Richard Maunder obituary

My friend Richard Maunder, who has died aged 80, was distinguished in two separate scholarly disciplines: mathematics and musicology. His book, Algebraic Topology, first published in 1970, became a well-established textbook, and when his interests turned more fully to music he created a new version of Mozart’s Requiem that was controversial but led scholars and…

Can you solve it? Bigger! Faster! Heavier!

Hi guzzlers We use numbers every day to describe the world – distances, weights, speeds, debts, populations, and so on. Yet most of us struggle to have an intuitive sense of what these numbers mean. How big is big? How fast is fast? Today I’ve set a different challenge to my usual mathematical puzzle. The…

Scientists develop a mathematical model of a social conflict

Phase trajectories for a social system in a conflict situation without external interference. Credit: Lobachevsky University A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Alexander Petukhov of the Institute of International Relations and World History at Lobachevsky University is developing social conflict models on the basis of nonlinear dynamics. For mathematical modeling, an important feature…