# Category Archives: Mathematics

## How Yitang “Tom” Zhang Proved a Theorem That Had Stumped Mathematicians for a Century

Yitang “Tom” Zhang spent the seven years following the completion of his Ph.D. in mathematics floating between Kentucky and Queens, working for a chain of Subway restaurants, and doing odd accounting work. Now he is on a lecture tour that … Continue reading

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## Quantum physics offers new way to factor numbers

Any number can, in theory, be written as the product of prime numbers. For small numbers, this is easy (for example, the prime factors of 12 are 2, 2, and 3), but for large numbers, prime factorization becomes extremely difficult—so … Continue reading

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## Pythagorean theorem

Thanks to Phil Krause

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## Triangle of Power

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## The most perfect day of the year

First there was Pi Day (3/14). Then, this year only, was Square Root Day (4/4/16). Now today (6/28) you can celebrate “the most perfect day of the year,” according to Scientific American. The numbers 6 and 28 are both perfect … Continue reading

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## The Connect-The-Towns Math Problem

Here is the connect-the-towns math problem: There are four towns (points A, B, C, and D). They are arranged in a perfect one mile by one mile square. What road design would result in the minimum amount of road needed … Continue reading

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## The Man Who Knew Infinity

Now learn about this mathematical genius who died young but left mysteries that still puzzle mathematicians today.

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## Mathematicians have discovered a strange pattern hiding in prime numbers

Mathematicians are pretty obsessed with prime numbers – those elusive integers that can only be divided by one and themselves. If they’re not creating cool artworks with them or finding them in nature, they’re using computers to discover increasingly larger primes. But … Continue reading

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## Pi might look random but it’s full of hidden patterns

Thanks to Steve Barker for pointing us towards this interesting article. – Deskarati After thousands of years of trying, mathematicians are still working out the number known as pi or “π”. We typically think of pi as approximately 3.14 but … Continue reading

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## The biggest mystery in mathematics: Shinichi Mochizuki and the impenetrable proof

Sometime on the morning of 30 August 2012, Shinichi Mochizuki quietly posted four papers on his website. The papers were huge — more than 500 pages in all — packed densely with symbols, and the culmination of more than a … Continue reading

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## Elliptical Pool Table

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A 100-gram potato is 99% water. If it dries to become 98% water, it will weigh only 50 grams. Even when working with old-fashioned finite quantities, math can lead to strange results. The key to the potato paradox is to closely look … Continue reading

## Singapore PM shares code for Sudoku puzzle solver

Singapore’s prime minister has revealed his computer programming skills by publishing code he wrote to solve Sudoku puzzles, on his Facebook page. At the launch of a government technology initiative, Lee Hsien Loong said he had written the “pretty basic” … Continue reading

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## Mathematicians argue that the ‘golden ratio’ is NOT the formula for beauty

If you’ve read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, you’ll be familiar with the golden ratio – the idea that there’s one ratio that’s reflected throughout the Universe’s most aesthetically pleasing objects, from the Greek Parthenon and the Pyramids of … Continue reading

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## The maths problem that’s gone viral: When the hell is Cheryl’s birthday?

A few days ago, Singaporean television host Kenneth Kong posted the below maths question on his Facebook page, and it went viral. The high school maths question was aimed at 15- to 17-year-olds, but somehow it managed to stump half … Continue reading

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## ‘Beautiful mind’ John Nash adds Abel Prize to his Nobel

Although some consider the Abel Prize to be the ‘Nobel of mathematics’, its winners are hardly ever household names. But this year’s prize, announced on 25 March, includes a notable exception: John Nash, the subject of the 2001 film A … Continue reading

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## Happy Pi Day

Click on Homer to go to Phil Krause’s great explanation of Pi(e) Day.

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## Happy Pie Day

Thanks to Phil Krause for this great post to celebrate the up coming Pi Day. Happy Pie Day. Well, not today but in a couple of weeks.  Being born in Melton Mowbray, I love my Pie’s. Pi is a number … Continue reading

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## Where’s Wally? There’s an algorithm for that

Thanks to Phil Krause for this post What’s the fastest way to find Wally, or Waldo as he’s inexplicably called in the US and Canada? Why, with machine learning, of course. The new method derived by a doctoral student at … Continue reading

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## New mathematical theory may explain patterns in fingerprints, raisins, and microlenses

As a grape slowly dries and shrivels, its surface creases, ultimately taking on the wrinkled form of a raisin. Similar patterns can be found on the surfaces of other dried materials, as well as in human fingerprints. While these patterns … Continue reading

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