Issue 10

January 2000

Is the universe infinite with no edge, finite with an edge, or infinite with an edge? What really is a proof? And what are the links between limericks, music and mathematics? Find out in this issue.

Underlying our vast global telecommunications networks are codes: formal schemes for representing information in machine-readable and transmissible formats. Kona Macphee examines the prefix property, one of the important features of a good code.
Robert Hunt concludes our Origins of Proof series by asking what a proof really is, and how we know that we've actually found one. One for the philosophers to ponder...
Kevin Jones investigates the links between music and mathematics, throwing in limericks, Fibonacci and Scott Joplin along the way. Plus is proud to present an extended version of his winning entry for the THES/OUP 1999 Science Writing Prize.
Is the Universe finite, with an edge, or infinite, with no edges? Or is it even stranger: finite but with no edges? It sounds far-fetched but the mathematical theory of topology makes it possible, and nobody yet knows the truth. Janna Levin tells us more.
  • New Millennium, New Name and New Look
  • How to lie with statistics
  • World maths year 2000
  • Network capacity problem - issue 3 revisited
Helen Thompson works for Sainsbury's Supermarkets as a Sales Forecasting Manager. The Plus team paid her a visit at Drury House on the banks of the Thames in London.