Mathematicians Sceptical of Supposed Million-Dollar Proof

There are six outstanding problems that, if solved, will net you a $1 million reward. That's £760,000! On Monday, a highly regarded mathematician claimed in a lecture that he has proven perhaps the most famous of these problems, called the Riemann hypothesis. But there’s reason to be sceptical. Read More >>

These Black Female Mathematicians Should Be Stars in the Blockbusters of Tomorrow

The hallways of maths and science history are overflowing with the achievements of white men, from Sir Isaac Newton to Steve Jobs; their faces are printed into school textbooks everywhere, and their achievements have been indelibly drilled into our minds, with countless awards and institutions named after them. To be brilliant is a gift, but who gets to be remembered as such involves privilege. Read More >>

How Much Pee Would It Take To Turn An Olympic Pool Green?

One of the frothiest stories to bubble forth from the shit-tastic Rio Olympics this week was the sudden, inexplicable greening of not one, but two Olympic pools. Read More >>

The World’s Biggest Ever Maths Proof is a Whopping 200TB

If you think you had a hard time filling out pages of algebra at school, spare a thought for the three mathematicians who have just published the world’s largest ever proof. It takes up 200TB of storage space. Read More >>

Now We Know How Many Ways We Can Arrange 128 Tennis Balls

Here’s a question worthy of the ball boy at Wimbledon: if you have 128 tennis balls packed into a container, how many different ways can you arrange them? Answer: 10^250; that's more than the entire number of subatomic particles in the universe. Read More >>

Why Assuming You’re Mediocre Could Save You From Financial Ruin 

Why do many of us feel like we’re not doing so well financially — even in times of relative prosperity? Read More >>

There’s a Hidden Connection Between Pi and Quantum Mechanics 

Physicists have uncovered a hidden connection between a famous 350-year-old mathematical formula for pi, everyone’s favourite irrational number, and quantum mechanics. At least one mathematician has pronounced the discovery “a cunning piece of magic.” Read More >>

watch this
How Facial Recognition Uses Super-Simple Patterns to Understand Your Expression

Facial recognition systems use all kinds of clever software to work out who you are and even how you’re feeling. But in this video explainer, Dr Michel Valstar explains how a simple piece of analysis known as a Local Binary Pattern can help detect your expression. Read More >>

These Mathematical Scarves are Designed By a Computer Algorithm

It’s still summer, but these mathematical merino scarves designed with a computer algorithm are getting us in the mood for colder temps. And making us wonder if we need to improve our coding skills. Read More >>

How Maths Helped Design Your Mouse Pointer

You might think that your mouse pointer, and the rest of your computer’s user interface for that matter, was designed with a bucket load of human intuition and large dollop of design savvy. You’d be right, of course, but there was also a healthy amount of mathematics involved in the process. Read More >>

Digital Music Couldn’t Exist Without the Fourier Transform

This is the Fourier Transform. You can thank it for providing the music you stream every day, squeezing down the images you see on the internet into tiny little JPG files, and even powering your noise-cancelling headphones. Here’s how it works. Read More >>

Rebuilding Cambridge University’s First Computer

In 1946, scientists at Cambridge University built the institution’s first ever computer — the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator. One of the first to be used to solve real scientific problems, it was scrapped to make way for its successor. Now, it’s being rebuilt. Read More >>

watch this
Why You Should Always Catch the Coin to Make a Toss Fair

When you throw a coin in the air to make a decision, you'd expect the outcome of the toss to be 50-50 whether you catch it or let it land on the ground. But, according to randomness expert Persi Diaconis, that's simply not true. Read More >>