P versus NP

The pioneering mathematician talks about his work, computer science and artificial intelligence.

We talk to pioneering mathematician Stephen Cook, who came up with the concept of NP-complete problems, about his work, computer science, and artificial intelligence.

There are problems that are easy to solve in theory, but impossible to solve in practice. Intrigued? Then join us on a journey through the world of complexity, all the way to the famous P versus NP conjecture.

Natalia Berloff explains how quantum particles, that are both light and matter, help solve infamous NP hard problems.

Quantum particles that are both light and matter help solve infamous NP hard problems.

The simple act of packing your luggage can open a complex can of worms.

A famous question involving networks appears to have come closer to an answer.

What will quantum computers be able to do that ordinary computers can't do?

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. We were lucky enough to speak to the writer/director Tim Lanzone about creating drama from 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.

The Travelling Salesman movie is coming to the UK! Get your tickets here and find out about the P vs NP problem.

Convex or concave? It's a question we usually answer just by looking at something. It's convex if it bulges outwards, and concave if it bulges inwards. But when it comes to mathematical functions, things aren't that simple. A team of computer scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have recently shown that deciding whether a mathematical function is convex can be very hard indeed.

  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.

  • What do chocolate and mayonnaise have in common? It's maths! Find out how in this podcast featuring engineer Valerie Pinfield.

  • Is it possible to write unique music with the limited quantity of notes and chords available? We ask musician Oli Freke!

  • How can maths help to understand the Southern Ocean, a vital component of the Earth's climate system?

  • Was the mathematical modelling projecting the course of the pandemic too pessimistic, or were the projections justified? Matt Keeling tells our colleagues from SBIDER about the COVID models that fed into public policy.

  • PhD student Daniel Kreuter tells us about his work on the BloodCounts! project, which uses maths to make optimal use of the billions of blood tests performed every year around the globe.