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…