### Exam board scraps A-level maths paper after leak fears

The exam board Edexcel is to scrap and replace an A-level maths exam paper that pupils were due to sit on Thursday over fears the paper could have been leaked. Pearson, the parent company of Edexcel, said it was withdrawing the A-level further maths paper and replacing it with a new version, following investigations into…

### Study explores how gossip spreads in social networks

Credit: CC0 Public Domain How many different types of people—colleagues, friends, taxi drivers, etc.—should we hear a piece of information from before we start sharing it as a true fact? Or, concerning marketing strategies, how many different types of people should recommend a service or a product before we buy it and begin recommending it…

### Did you solve it? Are you in the smartest 1 per cent (of 13-year-olds)?

Earlier today I set you the following puzzles: 1. In this word-sum, each letter stands for one of the digits 0–9, and stands for the same digit each time it appears. Different letters stand for different digits. No number starts with 0. Find all the possible solutions of the word-sum shown above. Solution To find…

### The hidden structure of the periodic system

A slightly different periodic table: The table of chemical elements, which goes back to Dmitri Mendeleev and Lothar Meyer, is just one example of how objects – in this case the chemical elements – can be organized in such a system. The researchers from Leipzig illustrate the general structure of a periodic table with this…

### Can you solve it? Are you in the smartest 1 per cent (of 13-year-olds)?

Today you are pitting yourselves against the best 13-year-old mathematicians in the UK. The questions below are taken from last week’s Junior Mathematical Olympiad, a competition aimed at children up to Year 8 (in England) who score in roughly the top half per cent of mathematical ability. The competition is a two hour paper, split…

### A-level maths paper leaked online before exam

An investigation has been launched after an A-level maths paper was circulated online before the exam. Images of the test paper by Edexcel appeared on social media on Thursday afternoon. The exam board’s parent company, Pearson, said the images “were circulated in a very limited way” before students sat the exam on Friday. “Having visited…

### Simplified, enhanced performance prediction for complex systems

Simulation of buckling knockdown factor prediction for a composite shell (left), and the ply stack of the composite (right). Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a novel design and training strategy for reversible ResNets that reduces the dimensionality of high-dimensional machine learning models for complex physical systems. Developing reduced-order…

### University subject profile: mathematics

What you’ll learn Familiar with fractals? Study a degree in maths and you soon will be. Broadly speaking, maths degrees should give you the basic ideas of pure mathematics (linear algebra, geometry, etc), applied mathematics (calculus, mathematical methods, modelling and numerical analysis), and statistics (including probability and operational research). Your first year will probably give…

### The universal beauty of the mountains can be seen in graphs

by The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences Earth’s mountain ranges share the same universal features. They become visible when the topographic map (here: the Ligurian Alps) is transformed into a ridge map. (Source: IFJ PAN) Credit: Source: IFJ PAN Mountains have character. The continuous gentle, wavy hills and wide valleys…

### Mathematicians work out how to predict success in show business

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Mathematicians from Queen Mary University of London have found a way to predict whether an actor’s career has peaked or if their most successful days lie ahead. They discovered that an actors’ most productive year, defined as the year with the largest number of credited jobs, is towards the beginning of…