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- Articles by Rachel Thomas

Cosmologists gathered in the Netherlands last week to discuss a new view of the Universe. *The Universe as seen by Planck* was an international conference to discuss the recently released scientific results from the Planck satellite, including two particularly striking snapshots of the early Universe.

Modelling the spread of disease is a difficult business. Epidemiologists use incredibly complex models involving huge amounts of transport, social contact and disease data to predict the spread of diseases. But is there a way to hide all this complexity and draw a simpler picture of how diseases spread, even in today's complex world?

They've done it again! GIMPS has discovered the largest known prime number: *257,885,161-1*. This massive 17,425,170 digit number was discovered thanks to clever distributed computing software that uses idle computer time donated by volunteers.

Climate change is causing populations to sync in different species in the high arctic, increasing their risk of extinction.

It's not often the very first person you meet in a movie is a mathematician. The second, third and fourth people on screen also being mathematicians is even rarer. But the movie *Travelling Salesman* is a rare movie: not only are almost all of the characters mathematicians, the central plot also hinges on the solution of one of the most important problems in mathematics.

Struggling to solve today's sudoku? Is your tried and tested method hitting a brick wall and you feel like you are going around in circles? New research might make you feel a bit better: you might not necessarily be stuck... perhaps you are just in a patch of transient chaos on your way to the solution.

Inspired by Sara Storey's phenomenal gold medal we calculate whether we, and our bikes, have what it takes to triumph in our newfound quest for speed!

A new mathematical analysis of how to hit a winning serve shows that spin is the thing. Perhaps there's still time for Murray's coach to include some maths in his preparations for the match today...