Space probes, like NASA's recent Pathfinder mission to Mars, have radio transmitters of only a few watts, but have to transmit pictures and scientific data across hundreds of millions of miles without the information being completely swamped by noise. Read about how coding theory helps.

How do you choose a partner? Is it an irrational choice or is it made rationally, based on a mathematical model which analyses the best potential partner you are likely to meet?

The previous feature, "Mathematics, marriage and finding somewhere to eat" investigated the problem of finding the best potential partner from a fixed number of potential partners using a technique known as "optimal stopping". Inevitably, mathematicians and mathematical psychologists have constructed other models of the problem...

An account of how a prisoner of war's diary was recently decoded. Donald Hill wrote his diary in a numerical code, disguised as a set of mathematical tables, while in Hong Kong during and after the Japanese invasion of 1941.

Fibonacci, famous for the *Fibonacci sequence*, also introduced the decimal system into Europe.

**Sarah Hudson** talks about her first year at the University of Sussex. She is doing a BSc degree in Maths with European Studies, which includes a year in Germany.

Read about what it is like to work at the Meteorological Office in this interview with **Helen Hewson**. There's also a contact point for careers information.