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4 Years Later, Math Pros Begin to Grasp Guy's Theory

But it could be years before ABC conjecture is officially solved

(Newser) - Four years after a Japanese mathematician announced he'd cracked an epic math problem , his fellow number crunchers are a step closer to deciding whether he got it right. Yes, his work is that complicated. In 2012, Shinichi Mochizuki of Kyoto University, who's known to work in isolation, published... More »

Man Being Hailed as Real 'Good Will Hunting'

Yu Jianchun has come up with alternate method of verifying Carmichael numbers

(Newser) - Yu Jianchun has never seen Good Will Hunting, and maybe he doesn't need to. CNN reports the 33-year-old Chinese migrant worker is living part of its plot. Yu attended a vocational school rather than college, and he's never taken advanced math—"I barely have any knowledge about... More »

Mathematicians Reveal 'True Protagonist' on Game of Thrones

Tyrion Lannister takes the cake in Westeros

(Newser) - There are so many characters in Game of Thrones it's hard to keep them straight, let alone identify the main character. Mathematicians Andrew Beveridge and a student from Macalester College turned to "network science" to sort it out, searching for instances in which two characters' names appeared within... More »

Author: Ditch Mandatory Algebra in Schools

Instead, teach kids basic math skills they'll use in the real world: Andrew Hacker

(Newser) - Something's not adding up, according to what the AP calls a "provocative new book" that pleads the case of getting rid of mandatory algebra in US schools. "One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school … one of the worst records in the... More »

Prof Solves 300-Year-Old Math Mystery, Wins $700K

Oxford professor had been trying to crack Fermat's Last Theorem since he was a boy

(Newser) - An Oxford professor is now $700,000 richer for solving a 300-year-old math mystery, the Telegraph reports. In 1994, Andrew Wiles, 62, cracked Fermat's Last Theorem, which was put forth by 17th-century mathematician Pierre de Fermat. Wiles will be traveling to Oslo, Norway, in May to collect the 2016... More »

Prime Numbers Just Got a Little Stranger

They repeat in patterns that aren't as random as thought

(Newser) - Two Stanford mathematicians have managed to surprise others in their field with a previously undiscovered insight about prime numbers: They're not as random as believed. Or, more precisely, there seems to be some order in the way one prime number follows another, reports Quanta Magazine . Start with the basics:... More »

Here Are 3.14-Plus Fun Ways to Celebrate Pi Day

Including checking out old-time pie pics, learning how to cut the perfect slice

(Newser) - Time is a flat circle in which we do the same things over and over again—or, in the case of Pi Day, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, celebrated over and over again each year on March 14. Here's 2016's homage... More »

Geographic Profiling Backs Theory on Identity of Banksy

Robin Gunningham appears to be artist's real name

(Newser) - His name is Robin Gunningham. That's the finding of British scientists who think they've confirmed the identity of Banksy using geographic profiling, the BBC reports. In the study published in the Journal of Spatial Science (one that was temporarily delayed by the artist's lawyers because he apparently... More »

'Astonishing' Clay Tablet May Rewrite Math History

Babylonian insights predate calculus

(Newser) - A newly deciphered clay tablet from ancient Babylon has science writers buzzing because it just might "rewrite the history of mathematics," as Live Science puts it. The tablet shows that Babylonians were using sophisticated geometric principles to track the path of Jupiter in the sky, says researcher Mathieu... More »

NFL Player to Begin Work on Math PhD

Urschel will spend the offseason crunching numbers at MIT

(Newser) - Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 305 pounds—but his brain may be more intimidating than his bulk. The 24-year-old, who already holds two math degrees, will begin his math PhD at MIT this offseason, specializing in spectral graph theory, numerical linear... More »

Behold the Biggest Prime Number Ever—All 22M Digits

It was discovered on a computer that went in for routine maintenance

(Newser) - The longest prime number ever found has been discovered by a computer in Missouri, and it's a doozy: 274,207,281–1 has 22,338,618 digits, the Guardian reports. The number also known as M74207281 was found by a computer tied to the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search... More »

Scientists May Be Close to Solving Ancient Inca Riddle

The 500-year-old khipus from Incahuasi were found with corresponding foods

(Newser) - When archaeologists unearthed nearly 30 "talking knots" at the archaeological complex of Incahuasi in Peru in 2014, the 500-year-old bounty was notable because the knots, called khipus, had only previously been documented in graves, reported Discovery at the time. This left scientists little to go on aside from the... More »

Math Model Helps Answer Riddle of Tiger's Stripes

Researchers can better explain why they're vertical or horizontal

(Newser) - Since the 1950s mathematicians have been trying to sort out exactly why some animals, like tigers and zebras, have stripes that are oriented perpendicularly to their spines, while others, like the zebrafish, have stripes that are parallel. Now Harvard researchers are proposing a mathematical model in the journal Cell Systems... More »

Has a Nigerian Professor Solved a 156-Year-Old Math Problem?

Probably not

(Newser) - "I know this will come to you as a surprise because you do not know me, prestigious mathematical institute. I am Dr. Opeyemi Enoch of Nigeria, and I have solved your unsolvable math problem. Please send me $1 million prize, and I believe that at the end of the... More »

Dad's 'Common Core' Check to School Goes Viral

But some say he's doing more harm than good

(Newser) - Last week, a frustrated Ohio dad posted a picture on Facebook —and now it's been shared more than 27,000 times and he's semi-famous. Doug Herrmann posted a picture of a check he wrote to his kids' elementary school which, he said, used Common Core math. Instead... More »

STEM Shocker: Intel Drops Science Contest

Company has been supporter of prestigious high school competition since 1998

(Newser) - "Wanted: Respected corporation with deep pockets and deep roots in the STEM arena to take over prestigious science and math competition." That's basically the ad the Society for Science and the Public now has to place to replace Intel, which has announced it will no longer sponsor... More »

Teen Catches Old Math Error at Boston Museum

It's finally fixed

(Newser) - People have been visiting the Mathematica exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science for more than twice as long as Joseph Rosenfeld has been alive. But it wasn't until the 15-year-old Virginia resident paid a visit that its math error was fixed, reports . The teen noticed that... More »

'Cheryl's Birthday' Math Problem Puzzles World

Question for Singapore students goes viral

(Newser) - Never mind the color of that dress : When is Cheryl's birthday? The latest viral puzzler to stump the Internet started out as a question for students in Singapore and spread around the world after it was posted here , reports the Washington Post . Students were asked to determine the birthday... More »

WWII Codebreaker's Notebook Sells for $1M

Turing notes show steps toward modern computing

(Newser) - A notebook that sheds light on how British mathematician Alan Turing helped invent modern computing—and win World War II—was sold for just over $1 million at an auction in New York yesterday. The 56-page handwritten notebook dates from 1942, when Turing was helping crack Nazi Germany's Enigma... More »

A Beautiful Mind Genius Wins Math Honor

John Nash gets prestigious Abel Prize

(Newser) - American mathematicians John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg have won this year's Abel Prize in mathematics. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters said today that the two "mathematical giants of the 20th century" made breakthroughs that have become "essential tools for the study of nonlinear... More »

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