Articles on Mathematics

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Clifford Berry stands by the Atanasoff-Berry Computer. Courtesy of Iowa State University Library Special Collections and University Archives

Curious Kids: What was the first computer?

The first computer, named the ABC, was built at Iowa State University. But for a long time, few had heard of it.
Why don’t students say math is imaginative? Here, the White Rabbit character originally from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, written under mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s pen name, Lewis Carroll. (Shutterstock)

Mathematics is about wonder, creativity and fun, so let’s teach it that way

Mathematician Peter Taylor taught high school math to prepare to develop a new 'RabbitMath' curriculum that emphasizes collaborative creativity and learning to work with complex systems.
How many lakes are in Alaska? Thermokarst lakes on Alaska’s North Slope are self-similar and fractal. Painting by Cherissa Dukelow

Mathematics of scale: Big, small and everything in between

What do earthquakes, wealthy Italian families and your circulatory system have in common? Scientists use fractals, self-similarity and power laws to translate from local to global scales.
The math of raindrops. Stefan Holm/shutterstock.com

What happens when a raindrop hits a puddle?

Why does the impact of rain in a puddle look different from when it falls elsewhere, like in a lake or the ocean? A 'puddle equation' dives deep into the secret math of ripples.
Assistant professor of chemistry Sidney Wilkerson-Hill, left, in a chemistry lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with Bolatito Babatunde, a student in the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program at UNC. Lars Sahl / UNC Chemistry

Here’s how to increase diversity in STEM at the college level and beyond

Researchers find promising results for two programs patterned after the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, a renowned initiative launched at UMBC in the 1980s and known to increase diversity in STEM.
If you thought multiplication tables at school were hard, imagine multiplying numbers with billions of digits. Shutterstock/Nina Buday

We’ve found a quicker way to multiply really big numbers

To multiply two numbers by hand take a few steps but it's something we're taught in school. When dealing with big numbers, really big numbers, we need to a quicker way to do things.

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