Category: mathematics

Illustration of a salamander

Powerful new quantitative tools are now available to combat partisan bias in the drawing of voting districts. Continue reading

28 graph

Ramsey’s theorem predicts a surprising (and useful) consistency in the organization of graphs. Here’s a simple visual proof of how it works. Continue reading

Equiangular lines are an elemental part of geometry. Mathematicians have discovered a tighter limit on the number of such lines that exist in every dimension.

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Thomas Royen at his home in Schwalbach am Taunus, Germany.

When a German retiree proved a famous long-standing mathematical conjecture, the response was underwhelming. Continue reading

Illustration: diver searching for new math

In order to fully understand the quantum world, we may have to develop a new realm of mathematics. Continue reading

Calculating π by hand


Each year, the 14th of March is celebrated by scientifically-minded folks for two good reasons. First, it’s Einstein’s birthday (happy 135th, Albert!). Second, it’s Pi Day, because 3/14 is the closest calendrical approximation we have to the decimal expansion of pi, π =3.1415927…. Continue reading

I LOVE PI. No, not pie. Pi. The number. This crazy number shows up in all sorts of weird places.  If you take the square root of the gravitational field (g = 9.8 N/kg) you approximately get pi. Place a mass on a spring and let it oscillate? Yup, you get pi. Pi also one of the 5 super numbersin this magical equation: Continue reading