Connecting the dots to unlock brain structure

Hernando Ombao (right) hopes that more quantitative scientists will become interested in furthering understanding of the roles of genetics on brain function and behavior. Credit: KAUST Mapping genetic influences on connections between neural networks could lead to a better understanding of brain organization and behavior. A review of recent developments in statistical methods has highlighted…

Joyce Fletcher obituary

My aunt Joyce Fletcher, who has died aged 88, was an educationist who taught in Britain and Nigeria, where she worked on a series of maths books for primary schools, including teacher guides and workbooks, which became widely used. A couple of years ago when she was in hospital, one of the nurses, Nigerian by…

Math sheds light on how living cells 'think'

Credit: Queensland University of Technology How does the ‘brain’ of a living cell work, allowing an organism to function and thrive in changing and unfavourable environments? Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researcher Dr. Robyn Araujo has developed new mathematics to solve a longstanding mystery of how the incredibly complex biological networks within cells can adapt…

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…