## News from the world of Maths

How would you go about adding up all the integers from 1 to 100? Tap them into a calculator? Write a little computer code? Or look up the general formula for summing integers?

Sometimes you just can't argue with the evidence. If a large sample of

very ill people got better after dancing naked at full moon, then surely

the dance works. But hang on a second. Before you jump to conclusions, you need to rule

out a statistical phenomenon called regression to the mean.

Scientists find a new method of storing information in DNA.

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

Stephen Hawking was once told by an editor that every equation in a book would halve the sales. Curiously, the opposite seems to happen when it comes to research papers. Include a bit of maths in the abstract (a kind of summary) and people rate your paper higher — even if the maths makes no sense at all.

The London Underground turns 150 today! It's probably the most famous rail network in the world and much of that fame is due to the iconic London Underground map. But what makes this map so special?

Without doubt the biggest event in physics and maths this year was the discovery of the Higgs boson. Relive the excitement and understand what it's all about with these *Plus* articles.

Merry Christmas!

*Travelling Salesman* is an unusual movie: despite almost every character being a mathematician there's not a mad person in sight. Moreover, the plot centres on one of the greatest unsolved problems in mathematics, does P = NP? Last month we were lucky enough to host the UK premiere of this movie ...