## Articles

**Claire Ellis**tells us about their heroic efforts, which historians believe shortened the war by two years.

**Lewis Dartnell**explains, our brains have evolved to take pleasure in rhythm, structure and pattern. Since these topics are fundamentally mathematical, it should be no surprise that mathematical methods can illuminate our aesthetic sense.

*Plus*contributor Lewis Dartnell reports on the scramble for million-dollar prizes that made mathematical headlines at the BA Festival of Science in September 2004.

**Jim Woodhouse**and

**Paul Galluzzo**explain why.

*Plus*, we heard how a simple mathematical equation became the subject of a debate in the UK parliament.

**Chris Budd**and

**Chris Sangwin**continue the story of the mighty quadratic equation.

**Lewis Dartnell**solves these, and other, puzzles of animal patterning.

**John Haigh**thinks that perhaps the publicity surrounding the lottery has enhanced the nation's numeracy.

**Chris Budd**and

**Chris Sangwin**tell us, in 2003 the good old quadratic equation, which we all learned about in school, reached these dizzy pinnacles of fame.