evolution
Physicist and cosmologist Paul Davies has made an unusual move into the infant discipline of astrobiology. He tells Plus about his interest in the big questions: what is life, how would we recognise aliens  and are they all around us?


Researchers have used mathematical modelling to understand the evolution of the influenza virus.

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.

Neuropsychologist Brian Butterworth tells us about research showing that even newborn babies have a basic understanding of number. It seems we are all mathematicians!

'Of the myriad strategems I employ to avoid useful work, the one I most enjoy is to envision how scientists of earlier eras would have made use of modern computers.' John L. Casti tells us how today's mathematicians are using computers to carry on the work of turnofthecentury polymath d'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, who showed how mathematical functions could be applied to the
shape of one organism to continuously transform it into other, physically similar organisms.

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