Articles

Paulus Gerdes takes us on a tour of the mathematical properties of some beautiful designs inspired by the traditional art of Angolan tribespeople.
Will we ever be able to make computers that think and feel? If not, why not? And what has all this got to do with tiles? Plus talks to Sir Roger Penrose about all this and more.
Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees gives Plus a whistlestop tour of some of the more extraordinary features of our cosmos, and explains how lucky we are that the universe is the way it is.

The famous mathematician Euclid is credited with being the first person to axiomatise the geometry of the world we live in - that is, to describe the geometric rules which govern it. Based on these axioms, he proved theorems - some of the earliest uses of proof in the history of mathematics.

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.