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Fractal or Fake?
Jackson Pollock couldn't possibly have been thinking of fractals when he started flinging and dripping paint from a stick onto canvas. After all, mathematicians didn't develop the idea of a fractal until a couple of decades later. But if one physicist is right, Pollock ended up painting fractals anyway. And that mathematical quality may explain why Pollock's seemingly chaotic streams of paint...

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...

Feature
In Pixels and in Health
Moment by moment, a movie captures the action as a group of immune cells scrambles to counter an invasion of tuberculosis bacteria. Rushing to the site of infected lung tissue, the cells build a complex sphere of active immune cells, dead immune cells, lung tissue, and trapped bacteria. Remarkably, no lung tissue or bacterium was harmed in the making of this film.
Instead...

News
Prime proof zeros in on crucial numbers
Fermat's last theorem is just one of many examples of innocentlooking 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...

Feature
Calculating Swarms
The frenetic scurrying of ants around a nest may seem like much ado about nothing. There's method in their madness, however.
All this activity adds up to ingenious strategies for collectively working out the shortest path to a food source, combining forces to move a large, unwieldy object, and performing other functions crucial to an ant colony's wellbeing.
...

Math Trek
Zeroing In on Catalan's Conjecture
Fermat's last theorem is just one of many examples of innocentlooking problems that can long stymie even the most astute mathematicians. It took about 350 years to prove Fermat's scribbled conjecture, for instance.
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...

Math Trek
Zeroing In on Catalan's Conjecture
Fermat's last theorem is just one of many examples of innocentlooking problems that can long stymie even the most astute mathematicians. It took about 350 years to prove Fermat's scribbled conjecture, for instance.
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...

Math Trek
Zeroing In on Catalan's Conjecture
Fermat's last theorem is just one of many examples of innocentlooking problems that can long stymie even the most astute mathematicians. It took about 350 years to prove Fermat's scribbled conjecture, for instance.
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...

Math Trek
Zeroing In on Catalan's Conjecture
Fermat's last theorem is just one of many examples of innocentlooking problems that can long stymie even the most astute mathematicians. It took about 350 years to prove Fermat's scribbled conjecture, for instance.
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...

Math Trek
Mathematical Art on Display
The term "mathematical art" usually conjures up just one name–that of Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher (1898–1972). Many people are familiar with Escher's endless staircases, hyperbolic tilings, Möbius ants, intricate tessellations, and other creations. They may also be aware of the intertwining of mathematics and art during the Renaissance, with the development of perspective...