 Optional maths  should students be able to give up maths at age 14?
 Outer space  In what will now be a regular feature, mathematician and cosmologist John D. Barrow shares some maths that's amused and intrigued him.
 Readers' corner More Strange activities for last issue's Ship of Fools!

 Information overload  how mathematicians are helping us all to make sense of the vast amount of information now available to us
 Sum problems  can you be good at mathematics without being good at arithmetic?
 Readers' corner  Meet Mandy, the cuddly Mandelbrot set!
