Why do so many people say they hate mathematics, asks David Acheson? The truth, he says, is that most of them have never been anywhere near it, and that mathematicians could do more to change this perception - perhaps by emphasising the element of surprise that so often accompanies mathematics at its best.
As anyone starting out knows, the violin is a difficult instrument. It takes time before the novice player can expect to produce a musical note at the desired pitch, instead of a whistle, screech or graunch. Jim Woodhouse and Paul Galluzzo explain why.
  • The permanent revolution - The government's response to Adrian Smith's Inquiry into post 14 mathematics education
  • A-levels - Are the ever-improving results a sign of falling standards?
How much evidence would you need before buying into a get rich quick scheme? Do high ice cream sales cause shark attacks? And just how likely was it that you were ever born? Andrew Stickland finds out that, when it comes to probability, our instincts can lead us seriously astray.
There are many different types of lottery around the world, but they all share a common aim: to make money. John Haigh explains why lotteries are the way they are.