As anyone starting out knows, the violin is a difficult instrument. It takes time before the novice player can expect to produce a musical note at the desired pitch, instead of a whistle, screech or graunch. Jim Woodhouse and Paul Galluzzo explain why.
Why do so many people say they hate mathematics, asks David Acheson? The truth, he says, is that most of them have never been anywhere near it, and that mathematicians could do more to change this perception - perhaps by emphasising the element of surprise that so often accompanies mathematics at its best.
  • The permanent revolution - The government's response to Adrian Smith's Inquiry into post 14 mathematics education
  • A-levels - Are the ever-improving results a sign of falling standards?
How does the uniform ball of cells that make up an embryo differentiate to create the dramatic patterns of a zebra or leopard? How come there are spotty animals with stripy tails, but no stripy animals with spotty tails? Lewis Dartnell solves these, and other, puzzles of animal patterning.
In issue 29 of Plus, we heard how a simple mathematical equation became the subject of a debate in the UK parliament. Chris Budd and Chris Sangwin continue the story of the mighty quadratic equation.