Two of the most fundamental questions asked by people are how life emerged on the Earth, and whether we are alone in the cosmos. These deeply important questions form the core of a new kind of science, one that recently has been rapidly gathering momentum: astrobiology. Lewis Dartnell explains.
Computer-generated art is on the rise, and with it comes a further blurring of the boundaries between maths and art. Lewis Dartnell looks at some stunning examples.
Lewis Dartnell turns the universe into a matrix to model traffic, forest fires and sprawling cities.
I've read several of Paul Nahin's books before (see my review of Dr. Euler's fabulous formula in Plus) and this is no exception to his excellent style. The strategies of pursuit and evasion have fascinated mathematicians for centuries. One of the earliest problems was posed by Frenchman Pierre Bouger in 1732.
Sylvia Nasar told the story of John Nash's troubled life in her book A Beautiful Mind, although probably better known as the film with Russel Crow.
The basis of this wonderful book came in a series of questions about modern maths sent to Philip Davis by a friend of his, Christina.
If you've ever watched a flock of birds flying at dusk, or a school of fish reacting to a predator, you'll have been amazed by their perfectly choreographed moves. Yet, complex as this behaviour may seem, it's not all that hard to model it on a computer. Lewis Dartnell presents a hands-on guide for creating your own simulations — no previous experience necessary.
How to cut a cake is the latest volume holding reprinted articles from Stewart's regular maths column in Scientific American between 1987 and 2001.