### Math puzzle goes viral

The puzzle. Credit: University of Huddersfield A University of Huddersfield lecturer has puzzled the world. Ed Southall already had a big following for the maths posers that he posts online and publishes in book form. But his latest conundrum has gone globally viral. Deceptively simple, it is a pink triangle inside a square, accompanied…

### Amateur mathematician partially solves 60-year-old problem

The 1581-vertex, non-4-colourable unit-distance graph G. Credit: arXiv:1804.02385 [math.CO] Professional biologist and amateur mathematician Aubrey de Grey has partially solved the Hadwiger-Nelson problem, which has vexed mathematicians since 1950. He has published a paper describing the solution on the arXiv preprint server. The Hadwiger-Nelson problem came about when Edward Nelson and Hugo Hadwiger wondered about…

### British girl wins gold medal in international maths competition

A 17-year-old Briton has won a gold medal in an international mathematics competition, becoming the first UK entrant to achieve full marks. Emily Beatty, who attends King Edward VII school in Sheffield, came joint-first among nearly 200 teenagers who took part. She was one of only five competitors to get a perfect score of 42…

### New study improves 'crowd wisdom' estimates

Aaron Leventman estimates how many beads are in the jar. Credit: Scott Wagner via Santa Fe Institute In 1907, a statistician named Francis Galton recorded the entries from a weight-judging competition as people guessed the weight of an ox. Galton analyzed hundreds of estimates and found that while individual guesses varied wildly, the median of…

### Did you solve it? The hipster bicycle race

On my puzzle blog earlier today I set the following questions: 1) Two hipsters, Atticus and Abe, were arguing about whose electronic bicycle was the slowest. They decided to race them along a 100m track. They agreed that the bike reaching the finish line last would be the winner. The guys got on their bikes…

### Mathematicians devise new model to study response of endovascular aneurysm sealing

Mathematical model geometry of post-EVAS AAA. (a) Solid cut-view of the idealised geometry of a sealed AAA with helical-like shape stents. (b) Transparent view of the idealised geometry of a sealed AAA showing the surface separating the two polymer filled endobags. (c) Transparent view of the sealed AAA for Patient 1. (d) Transparent view of…

### Can you solve it? The hipster bicycle race

Hi guzzlers, Today, a spring selection of bite-sized brain food. 1) Two hipsters, Atticus and Abe, were arguing about whose electronic bicycle was the slowest. They decided to race them along a 100m track. They agreed that the bike reaching the finish line last would be the winner. The guys got on their bikes on…

### Why prime numbers still fascinate mathematicians, 2,300 years later

Primes still have the power to surprise. Credit: Chris-LiveLoveClick/shutterstock.com On March 20, American-Canadian mathematician Robert Langlands received the Abel Prize, celebrating lifetime achievement in mathematics. Langlands’ research demonstrated how concepts from geometry, algebra and analysis could be brought together by a common link to prime numbers. When the King of Norway presents the award to…