To study a system, mathematicians begin by identifying its most crucial elements, and try to describe them in simple mathematical terms. As Phil Wilson tells us, this simplification is the essence of mathematical modelling.
If you had a crystal ball that allowed you to see your future, what would you arrange differently about your finances? Plus talks to the Government Actuary, Chris Daykin about the pensions crisis, and how actuaries use statistical and modelling techniques to plan for all our futures.
One million dollars is waiting to be won by anyone who can solve one of the grand mathematical challenges of the 21st century. But be warned...these problems are hard. In the first of two articles, Chris Budd explains how to hit the bigtime.
Numbers are bandied around all the time in sports coverage - and cricket is particularly rich in statistics and rankings. It has probably not escaped your attention that the World Cup of cricket has just finished in South Africa (Australia won - again) and so to mark the occasion, Rob Eastaway tells Plus what it takes to be the best.
Some molecules - thalidomide, for example - come in both left and right handed versions, while others are indistinguishable from their reflections. Plus finds out about the role of mathematical symmetry in chemistry.