Articles

Why can't human beings walk as fast as they run? And why do we prefer to break into a run rather than walk above a certain speed? Using mathematical modelling, R. McNeill Alexander finds some answers.
Bill Casselman writes about the intriguing amateur mathematician Henry Perigal, who took his elegant proof of Pythagoras' Theorem literally to his grave - by having it carved on his tombstone.
Yes, you were right to wish you were in the other lane during this morning's commute! Nick Bostrom tells why we're usually caught in the slow lane.
Sometimes a mathematical object can be so big that, however disorderly we make the object, areas of order are bound to emerge. Imre Leader looks at the colourful world of Ramsey Theory.
The dangers of trading derivatives have been well-known ever since they were catapulted into the public eye by the spectacular losses of Nick Leeson and Barings Bank. John Dickson explains what derivatives are, and how they can be both risky, and used to reduce risk.
This pattern with kite-shaped tiles can be extended to cover any area, but however big we make it, the pattern never repeats itself. Alison Boyle investigates aperiodic tilings, which have had unexpected applications in describing new crystal structures.