## Take an online journey through the history of math

Around 1900 B.C., a student in the Sumerian city of Nippur, in what’s now Iraq, copied a multiplication table onto a clay tablet. Some 4,000…

Around 1900 B.C., a student in the Sumerian city of Nippur, in what’s now Iraq, copied a multiplication table onto a clay tablet. Some 4,000…

Imaginary numbers might seem like unicorns and goblins — interesting but irrelevant to reality. But for describing matter at its roots, imaginary numbers turn out…

For centuries, researchers have puzzled over how oysters grow stunningly symmetrical, perfectly round pearls around irregularly shaped grains of sand or bits of debris. Now…

Physicist Elisabetta Matsumoto is an avid knitter and has been since taking up the hobby as a child. During graduate school at the University of…

Gut connection Abnormal proteins tied to Parkinson’s disease may form in the gut before traveling through the body’s nervous system to the brain, Laura Beil…

Quantum pigeons don’t like to share. In keeping with a mathematical concept known as the pigeonhole principle, roosting pigeons have to cram together if there…

The new kilogram has finally arrived. Updates to scientists’ system of measurement went into force May 20, redefining the kilogram and several other units in…

The Shape of a LifeShing-Tung Yau and Steve NadisYale Univ., $28 One of the first remarkable things that mathematician Shing-Tung Yau reveals in his memoir,…

Multiplying 2 x 2 is easy. But multiplying two numbers with more than a billion digits each — that takes some serious computation. The multiplication…

Researchers have made what might be new headway toward a proof of the Riemann hypothesis, one of the most impenetrable problems in mathematics. The hypothesis,…

The Art of Statistics David SpiegelhalterBasic Books, $32 There are, as the saying goes, three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. David Spiegelhalter…

A strongly dominant eye, not an eye disorder, may explain why Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt van Rijn painted themselves with misaligned eyes. Previous research…

Every December 8 for years, Julia Robinson blew out the candles on her birthday cake and made the same wish: that someday she would know…

An inspirational “Hidden Figure” and a key player in sending the first humans to the moon, mathematician Katherine Johnson died February 24 at the age…

It has long been a mystery why pure math can reveal so much about the nature of the physical world. Antimatter was discovered in Paul…

Computer scientists’ daydreams have revealed the power of quantum mechanics. Imagine meeting omniscient beings who claim to have the solution to a complex problem that…

Deciding whether a knot is fit to be tied just got a bit more scientific. Some knots are stronger than others, but scientists have struggled…

Hala Nelson and her colleagues wanted to cook the perfect steak. So they decided to use math. The researchers created a mathematical simulation of a…

Ten years to metric, Science News, April 4, 1970 – Australia is taking its first brisk steps toward conversion to a fully metric system of…

A question has perplexed public officials trying to curb the COVID-19 pandemic: How large of a group of people is too large? As the spread…

To estimate your dog’s age in human years, multiply the dog’s age by seven, right? Wrong. A more accurate conversion isn’t so easy to do…

In October 2019, a state court determined that North Carolina’s congressional districts had been severely gerrymandered and struck down the state’s map. The court’s ruling…

There’s no one way to be a mathematical genius. Shakuntala Devi had little formal education. Maryam Mirzakhani attended graduate school at Harvard University. Two films…

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