Dana Mackenzie

All Stories by Dana Mackenzie

  1. An overhead photo of several pedestrian intersections with lots of people walking through the area.

    Dense crowds of pedestrians shift into surprisingly orderly lines. Math explains why

    New research into collective behavior adds to decades of study on the wisdom of crowds.

  2. Sign warning people not to use a playground in Washington

    How large a gathering is too large during the coronavirus pandemic?

    Mathematical models explain why large gatherings are especially dangerous in an epidemic, and identify how large is too large.

  3. spiral stairs

    Spirals inspire walking aids for people with disabilities

    Long admired for their beauty, spirals have inspired a shoe that may help disabled people walk. The shapes make for a better crutch and an entertaining skateboard as well.

  4. Computing

    A tale of touching tubes

    Mathematicians solve the challenge of putting seven cylinders in contact without using their ends.

  5. Math

    Goldberg variations: New shapes for molecular cages

    Scientists have figured a way to iron out the wrinkles in a large class of molecular cages.

  6. Math

    Year in Review: Progress made toward twin prime proof

    A surprising advance sparks a flurry of work on the mathematical conjecture.

  7. Math

    Twin primes and prime bunches in mathematicians’ crosshairs

    For second time this year, a mathematician makes a major advance toward proving a long-standing conjecture.