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Your search has returned 6 articles:
  • Math Trek

    Aircraft Boarding by the Numbers

    It shouldn't be that hard to get passengers on board an aircraft in a timely manner. But there are complications. Flights are often full. Privileged fliers generally get seated first. Some passengers may simply disregard boarding announcements and go out of turn. Luggage doesn't cram easily into packed overhead bins. Someone ends up in the wrong seat and has to switch. A plane's seat...

    07/21/2006 - 15:54 Numbers
  • News

    Prime proof zeros in on crucial numbers

    Fermat's last theorem is just one of many examples of innocent-looking problems that can long stymie even the most astute mathematicians. It took about 350 years to prove Fermat's tantalizing conjecture.

    Now, Preda Mihailescu of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich has proved a theorem that is likely to lead to a solution of Catalan's conjecture, another venerable problem...

    10/18/2004 - 20:00 Numbers
  • Math Trek

    Möbius at Fermilab

    Fermilab's Wilson Hall. Courtesy of Fermilab.

    Soaring into the sky like a medieval cathedral, the twin towers of the structure known as Wilson Hall dominate the flat countryside surrounding the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Ill.

    Named for physicist and...

    03/17/2003 - 15:44 Numbers
  • Feature

    The Power of Partitions

    Just a year before his death in 1920 at the age of 32, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan came upon a remarkable pattern in a special list of whole numbers.

    The list represented counts of how many ways a given whole number can be expressed as a sum of positive integers. For example, 4 can be written as 3 + 1, 2 + 2, 2 + 1 + 1, and 1 + 1 + 1 + 1. Including 4 itself...

    12/13/2002 - 15:52 Numbers
  • Feature

    Great Computations

    Computers at home or in the office often sit idle for minutes, hours, or days at a time. The Internet now allows researchers to take advantage of this enormous reservoir of unused computer power.

    More than 1.6 million people have downloaded software to sift through signals collected by the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico as part of a search for signs of...

    09/06/2002 - 17:54 Numbers
  • Math Trek

    White Narcissus

    The elegant, swooping forms carved out of wood by sculptor Robert Longhurst often resemble gracefully curved soap films that span twisted loops of wire dipped into soapy water. Alhough these abstract sculptures bear an uncanny resemblance to mathematical forms known as minimal surfaces, they emerge from Longhurst's imagination rather than from mathematics.


    02/08/2001 - 16:14 Numbers