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Maths is everywhere and Pi is no exception. Holger Motzkau

A day in the life of Pi

Mathematics nerds abound, Pi Day is here, and this year it's more accurate than ever.
Game theory needs to evolve to make sense of the complexity of what drives us to cooperate. from www.shutterstock.com

New take on game theory offers clues on why we cooperate

Recent research suggests a new way to look at the famous prisoner's dilemma and how the results could help us better understand human behavior and encourage cooperation.
A simple (but profitable) formula for university education. Andreas Kyprianou

UK universities find a cash cow in the financial fall-out

The past three decades have seen an unprecedented explosion of activity in a new sub-discipline of mathematics: financial mathematics. The emergence of this field has parallelled the expansion of the quantitative…
Paper folding may look like art, but it’s all about the math. Mina

Origami: mathematics in creasing

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. One uncut square of paper can, in the hands of an origami artist, be folded into a bird, a frog, a sailboat, or a Japanese samurai helmet beetle. Origami…
Got him: nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was bowled by Mohammed Sharmi last week. AAP/David Mariuz

Maths test: why using a cricket nightwatchman is off the mark

Imagine you are captain of the national cricket team. With 20 minutes left in day one of a test match, your top-order batsman is dismissed. Do you employ a nightwatchman? That is, do you send in a tail-end…
Deep thoughts for deep problems. xcv

Alan Turing’s legacy is even bigger than we realise

Alan Turing is one of the world’s best-known mathematicians, and probably the best known in the past century. This is partly for his work on cracking German codes in World War II, and partly for his arrest…
Getting to grips with Domino’s square pizzas is easy with a bit of algebra. Robyn Lee/Flickr

Domino’s square pizza is value for money – with the right toppings

Consider a standard pizza box containing a standard circular pizza. How much more would you be willing to pay for a square pizza that filled the box? Clearly the square pizza contains more pizza: but is…
There is such a thing as ‘too precise’ when it comes to numbers. So what’s appropriate? Erik Olsson

The significance of digits: just how reliable are reported numbers?

When numbers of any sort are presented in mathematics, science, business, government or finance, it’s fair to say a reader assumes that the data are reasonably reliable to their last digit. But presenting…
Tattoos, bow tie, sunglasses = Hipster. giorgiomtb

Craft beers + beards + bicycles = what? Solving hipster maths

Hipsters are so mainstream now that they’re the subject of mathematical papers. Jonathan Touboul, a mathematical neuroscientist from the Collège de France, claims to have answered one of the great mysteries…
Social security is on a collision course with insolvency. A little bit of math could keep it safe. Shutterstock

How mathematics could help us save social security

The US Social Security system has been heading toward insolvency for decades, with the program now projected to run a 25% deficit by a little after 2030, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Despite…
Every living organism needs the same five basic processes – and we can now model ecosystems on them. erban/Flickr

Life boils down to five ‘rules’ … or so says the Madingley Model

It may sound overly simple, but just five processes can define us as animals: eating, metabolism, reproduction, dispersal and death. They might not seem like much, but, thanks to a mathematical model from…
Maryam Mirzakhani – the first woman to win the Fields medal – was recognised for contributions to understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces. Stanford University

Meet the winners of the Fields medal – the ‘Nobel prize of maths’

The four winners of the 2014 Fields medals – the most prestigious prizes for mathematics – were announced today, including the first female and first Latin American recipients of the 78-year-old prize…
The answer… 56. Multiplication table by extender_01/Shutterstock

What is 7x8? You’ll need confidence to answer correctly

The British Chancellor George Osborne recently refused to answer a simple times table question posed to him by seven-year-old school boy Samuel Reddings. Osborne was asked the question 7x8, but declined…

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