Articles

Neuropsychologist Brian Butterworth tells us about research showing that even newborn babies have a basic understanding of number. It seems we are all mathematicians!
Infinite series occupy a central and important place in mathematics. C. J. Sangwin shows us how eighteenth-century mathematician Leonhard Euler solved one of the foremost infinite series problems of his day.
Paulus Gerdes takes us on a tour of the mathematical properties of some beautiful designs inspired by the traditional art of Angolan tribespeople.
Knots crop up all over the place, from tying a shoelace to molecular structure, but they are also elegant mathematical objects. Colin Adams asks when is a molecule knot a molecule? and what happens if you try to build a knot out of sticks?
Claude Shannon, who died on February 24, was the founder of Information Theory, which is the basis of modern telecommunications. Rachel Thomas looks at Shannon's life and works.
Over the past one hundred years, mathematics has been used to understand and predict the spread of diseases, relating important public-health questions to basic infection parameters. Matthew Keeling describes some of the mathematical developments that have improved our understanding and predictive ability.
Arguably, the exponential function crops up more than any other when using mathematics to describe the physical world. In the second of two articles on physical phenomena which obey exponential laws, Ian Garbett discusses radioactive decay.
Adam Smith is often thought of as the father of modern economics. In his book "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" Smith decribed the "invisible hand" mechanism by which he felt economic society operated. Modern game theory has much to add to Smith's description.