### New computational methodology gives unexpected answers to two Hilbert problems

A paper titled “Numerical infinities and infinitesimals: Methodology, applications, and repercussions on two Hilbert problems,” published in EMS Surveys in Mathematical Sciences describes a recent computational methodology related to the separation of mathematical objects from numeral systems involved in their representation. It allows mathematicians to work with infinities and infinitesimals numerically in a unique computational…

### Sums fail to add up on maths pledge of budget, says Angela Rayner

Philip Hammond has failed to show how the sums add up on his flagship budget announcement of awarding about £250m for maths and computer teaching, according to Labour. Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, highlighted a gap between Hammond’s statements that about £250m would be spent on improving teaching for those subjects, and the official…

### How to cut your lawn for grasshoppers

Picture a grasshopper landing randomly on a lawn of fixed area. If it then jumps a certain distance in a random direction, what shape should the lawn be to maximise the chance that the grasshopper stays on the lawn after jumping? One could be forgiven for wondering what the point of such a question might…

### Did you solve it? This apple teaser is hard core!

On my puzzle blog earlier today I set you the following puzzle: You and your two friends Pip and Blossom are captured by an evil gang of logicians. In order to gain your freedom, the gang’s chief, Kurt, sets you this fearsome challenge. The three of you are put in adjacent cells. In each cell…

### Can you solve it? This apple teaser is hard core!

Hi guzzlers, What’s the similarity between a logic puzzle and an apple? Deduce! Sorry … let’s begin. You and your two friends Pip and Blossom are captured by an evil gang of logicians. In order to gain your freedom, the gang’s chief, Kurt, sets you this fearsome challenge. The three of you are put in…

### Mathematician's study of 'swarmalators' could direct future science

How does the Japanese tree frog figure into the latest work of noted mathematician Steven Strogatz? As it turns out, quite prominently. “We had read about these funny frogs that hop around and croak,” said Strogatz, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics. “They form patterns in space and time. Usually it’s about reproduction.…

### New paper answers causation conundrum

Red Tree #1, #3 by Piet Mondrian. The compression of information from one version to the next illustrates the concept of coarse-graining. Credit: Santa Fe Institute In a new paper published in a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, SFI Professor Jessica Flack offers a practical answer to one of the…

### Millions, billions, trillions—how to make sense of numbers in the news

Breaking down the big numbers. Credit: helen_g/Shutterstock.com National discussions of crucial importance to ordinary citizens – such as funding for scientific and medical research, bailouts of financial institutions and the current Republican tax proposals – inevitably involve dollar figures in the millions, billions and trillions. Unfortunately, math anxiety is widespread even among intelligent, highly educated…

### Researchers use 3-D printers to turn century-old theory into complex schwarzites

A schwarzite created on a 3-D printer by materials scientists at Rice University makes real a mathematical theory formed more than 100 years ago. The curved surface repeats throughout the structure, which showed excellent strength and deformation characteristics in tests at Rice. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University Rice University engineers are using 3-D printers to turn…

### UK universities warn of exodus by EU academics post-Brexit

The potential risk to UK universities from post-Brexit academic flight has been laid bare in a report that reveals there are regions where up to half of academic staff in some departments are EU nationals. The British Academy report [pdf] warns that economics and modern language departments will be particularly badly hit if European academics…