## News from the world of Maths

In the film "Good Will Hunting", Matt Damon plays a poor janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is a self-taught mathematical protégé, discovered by an established mathematician and Fields medal winner. What exactly is a Fields medal?

"*God does not play dice*" Albert Einstein once said. Since then the undisputable successes of the quantum theory have convinced all but a handful of contemporary physicists that God does indeed play dice. The question some are now asking is *why* does God play dice?

"Nothing is more interesting than nothing" - or so says Ian Stewart, Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University. Many people have difficulty with the concept of zero. In fact, it has only really been used for the last 1500 years or so.

Mathematics is a maze, according to Ian Stewart at the Royal Institutions Christmas Lecture.

In issue No 1 we introduced GIMPS, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. Well, on Sunday 24th August 1997 they did it again.

Numbers like Pi have no repeating pattern. So just how accurately do we know what it is?