# Articles

Have we caught your interest?Those who understand compound interest are destined to collect it. Those who don't are doomed to pay it - or so says a well-known source of financial advice. But what is compound interest, and why is it so important?

**John H. Webb**explains.
Fractal expressionismIn the late 1940s, American painter Jackson Pollock dripped paint from a can on to vast canvases rolled out across the floor of his barn.

**Richard P. Taylor**explains that Pollock's patterns are really fractals - the fingerprint of Nature.
Analemmatic sundials: How to build one and why they workWe've all seen a traditional sundial, where a triangular wedge is used to cast a shadow onto a marked-out dial - but did you know that there is another kind? In this article,

**Chris Sangwin**and**Chris Budd**tell us about a different kind of sundial, the analemmatic design, where you can use your own shadow to tell the time.Mathematical mysteries: Right angle race

The German mathematician Adam Ries (1492-1559) was the author of the most successful textbook of commercial arithmetic of his day. The book, published in 1552, earned such a high reputation that the German phrase nach Adam Ries is used to this day to indicate a correct calculation.

Editorial

- New Millennium, New Name and New Look
- How to lie with statistics
- World maths year 2000
- Network capacity problem - issue 3 revisited

Codes, computers and trees Underlying our vast global telecommunications networks are codes: formal schemes for representing information in machine-readable and transmissible formats.

**Kona Macphee**examines the prefix property, one of the important features of a good code.
The origins of proof IV: The philosophy of proof

**Robert Hunt**concludes our Origins of Proof series by asking what a proof really*is*, and how we know that we've actually found one. One for the philosophers to ponder...
Self-similar syncopations: Fibonacci, L-systems, limericks and ragtime

**Kevin Jones**investigates the links between music and mathematics, throwing in limericks, Fibonacci and Scott Joplin along the way.*Plus*is proud to present an extended version of his winning entry for the THES/OUP 1999 Science Writing Prize.
In space, do all roads lead to home?Is the Universe finite, with an edge, or infinite, with no edges? Or is it even stranger: finite but with no edges? It sounds far-fetched but the mathematical theory of topology makes it possible, and nobody yet knows the truth.

**Janna Levin**tells us more.