Articles

Alan Turing is the father of computer science and contributed significantly to the WW2 effort, but his life came to a tragic end. Stefan Kopieczek explores his story.
Peter Macgregor explores the beautiful world of the infinite.
Liz Newton finds that having a small brain doesn't stop you doing great things.
Lewis Dartnell turns the universe into a matrix to model traffic, forest fires and sprawling cities.
According to Darwin, natural selection is the driving force of evolution. It's a beautifully simple idea, but given the thousands of years that are involved, nobody has ever seen it in action. So how can we tell whether or not natural selection occurs and which of our traits are a result of it? In this article Charlotte Mulcare uses milk to show how maths and stats can provide genetic answers.
Next year is a great one for biology. Not only will we celebrate 150 years since the publication of On the origin of species, but also 200 years since the birth of its author, Charles Darwin. At the heart of Darwin's theory of evolution lies a beautifully simple mathematical object: the evolutionary tree. In this article we look at how maths is used to reconstruct and understand it.

The Plus anniversary year — A word from the editors

Over the last few years the words string theory have nudged their way into public consciousness. It's a theory of everything in which everything's made of strings — or something like that. But why strings? What do they do? Where did the idea come from and why do we need such a theory? David Berman has an equation-free introduction for beginners.