Given that 14 billion years have elapsed since the birth of the Universe and that the cosmos contains a mind-boggling 1024 stars, can Earth really be the only planet in the entire Universe to contain life?
The movie is based on one of the best mathematical tales ever written. Inhabiting a two-dimensional world populated by polygons and ruled by circular tyrants, a bright young hexagon, through sheer mathematical willpower, imagines a third dimension.
The flocking behaviour of birds, the spread of diseases and the Cuban missile crisis — all of these and much more can be modelled mathematically. In our second teacher package we bring together all Plus articles on mathematical modelling, ready for use in classroom discussions or students projects.
Penguin eggs are not something you'd normally associate with maths, but they are right there on the archives of the Smith Institute, an organisation helping businesses use maths to solve their problems. Claudia Centazzo tells us about her role at the institute, selling maths to unsuspecting business people.