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

The human genome is represented by a sequence of 3 billion As, Cs, Gs, and Ts. With such large numbers, sequencing the entire genome of a complex organism isn't just a challenge in biochemistry. It's a logistical nightmare, which can only be solved with clever algorithms.

Numbers are bandied around all the time in sports coverage - and cricket is particularly rich in statistics and rankings. It has probably not escaped your attention that the World Cup of cricket has just finished in South Africa (Australia won - again) and so to mark the occasion, Rob Eastaway tells Plus what it takes to be the best.
A test invented by the mathematician Alan Turing in 1950 is helping to stop spammers.
Clearly the modern electronic computer couldn't have been built before electronics existed, but it's not clear why computers powered by steam or clockwork weren't invented earlier. Tom K├Ârner speculates on the historical reasons why computers were invented when they were.
We take reliable radio communications for granted, but accommodating many different users is not easy. Robert Leese explains how the mathematics of colouring graphs can help avoid interference on your mobile phone.
Practical problems often have no exact mathematical solution, and we have to resort to using unusual techniques to solve them. From navigation in the 17th century to postage stamps, see how this principle applies to a variety of real-life problems - and also learn how to use a piece of string to locate a German bomber!