Articles

If your team scores first in a football match, how likely is it to win? And when is it worth committing a professional foul? John Haigh shows us how to use probability to answer these and other questions, and explains the implications for the rules of the game.
When we finally meet the Martians, John Conway believes they are going to want to talk mathematics. He talks to Plus about his Life game, artificial life and what we will have in common with extraterrestrials.
Paulus Gerdes takes us on a tour of the mathematical properties of some beautiful designs inspired by the traditional art of Angolan tribespeople.
Infinite series occupy a central and important place in mathematics. C. J. Sangwin shows us how eighteenth-century mathematician Leonhard Euler solved one of the foremost infinite series problems of his day.
Chemists John Watling and Allen Thomas talk to Plus about the vital role of maths in presenting criminal evidence.

One of the most puzzling aspects of human behaviour is cooperation, in situations where backstabbing and selfishness would seem to be more rewarding. From the point of view of evolutionary theory, the very existence of altruism and cooperation appear mysterious.