Articles

Human beings are famously prone to error, and proof-readers are, after all, only human. But who picks up the errors a proof-reader misses? John D. Barrow challenges readers to estimate the errors that aren't found from the errors that are.
The 2003 Dirac Lecturer, distinguished physicist Freeman Dyson, tells Plus why he is an optimist, what makes life interesting and why old-fashioned maths is what you need for physics.
In the first of a new series 'Imaging Maths', Plus takes an illustrated tour of an extraordinary geometric construction: the Klein bottle.
All of science can be regarded as motivated by the search for rules behind the randomness of nature, and attempts to make prediction in the presence of uncertainty. Chris Budd describes the search for pattern and order in chaos.
  • Optional maths - should students be able to give up maths at age 14?
  • Outer space - In what will now be a regular feature, mathematician and cosmologist John D. Barrow shares some maths that's amused and intrigued him.
  • Readers' corner- More Strange activities for last issue's Ship of Fools!
To study a system, mathematicians begin by identifying its most crucial elements, and try to describe them in simple mathematical terms. As Phil Wilson tells us, this simplification is the essence of mathematical modelling.