# Articles on Numbers

## From thousands to millions to billions to trillions to quadrillions and beyond: Do numbers ever end?

Here’s a game: Tell a friend to give you any number and you’ll return one that’s bigger. Just add ‘1’ to whatever number they come up with and you’re sure to win.

## How counting by 10 helps children learn about the meaning of numbers

Findings of a study suggest using a ‘hundreds chart’ showing numbers one through 100, beginning with one in the top-left corner, fosters children’s counting by 10s.

## Quantum computers in 2023: how they work, what they do, and where they’re heading

After decades of hype, quantum computers are on the verge of becoming useful. Here’s a refresher on why they’re such a big deal

## Arithmetic has a biological origin – it’s an expression in symbols of the ‘deep structure’ of our perception

Humans have been making symbols for numbers for thousands of years. Different cultures developed their own symbols, but all use addition and multiplication, suggesting arithmetic is a universal truth.

## X marks the unknown in algebra – but X’s origins are a math mystery

How did the letter x get its enduring role as a symbol of the unknown? A mathematician explains why it’s hard to say for sure.

## Why is 13 considered unlucky? Explaining the power of its bad reputation

A sociologist unpacks how common superstitions like fear of 13 can gain steam.

## How a desire to help led me to track COVID numbers and make sense of them through graphs

If you cannot communicate a concept clearly, then you don’t understand it well enough yourself.

## Brains are bad at big numbers, making it impossible to grasp what a million COVID-19 deaths really means

The brain can count small numbers or compare large ones. But it struggles to understand the value of a single large number. This fact may be influencing how people react to numbers about the pandemic.

## Happy Twosday! Why numbers like 2/22/22 have been too fascinating for over 2,000 years

Numerology ties in with how our brains work, but that doesn’t mean its claims make sense.

## Adele’s ‘30’: A mathematician explores number patterns in album titles

Everyone is raving about Adele’s new album ‘30.’ A mathematician muses about the “Adele sequence”: the patterns of numbers in her album name.

## Emmy Noether faced sexism and Nazism – over 100 years later her contributions to ring theory still influence modern math

More than a century after publishing major papers in theoretical mathematics, German-born Emmy Noether continues to challenge and inspire mathematicians with her story and mathematical legacy.

## Numbers can trip you up during the pandemic – here are 4 tips to help you figure out tricky stats

Understanding numbers in the news or social media can empower you to figure out risks and make good choices. Here’s what to look out for to make sure you aren’t misled by COVID-19 coverage.

## Support for Biden’s \$1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package may not be as broad as it seems – it’s all a matter of perspective

It’s awfully hard to wrap your mind around a sum that large. But converting it to a more bite-size representation can affect a voter’s willingness to support government spending.

## More testing will give us a better picture of the coronavirus spread and its slowdown

Don’t just tell us how many new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, tell us how many people you tested as well. That helps us to know if things are getting better or worse.

## Why having fewer OSHA inspectors matters

A reduction in OSHA inspectors may lead to a reduction in workplace safety.

## So your kid’s finished their first year of school. Here’s what they should have learnt

Generally speaking, if your English-speaking child is at least six years old by the end of the year, there are some standard things they should know and be able to do.

## Bees can learn higher numbers than we thought – if we train them the right way

Honeybees are good at maths, but it was thought they could only count to four. That is, unless you present them with a task in which they are punished with a bitter-tasting drink for getting it wrong.

## Math skills aren’t enough to get through hard decisions – you need confidence, too

How mathematically proficient are you? And do you have the skills to back up your level of math confidence? The answers to those questions may have ramifications for your financial and physical health.

## Curious Kids: how was maths discovered? Who made up the numbers and rules?

The Romans were great engineers but they had a terrible number system. It didn’t even have zero.

## 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.