### 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…

### Cracked it! Experts find answer to the knuckle-popping puzzle

Love it or loathe it, knuckle cracking is very common It has puzzled scientists for over 100 years but now they appear to have cracked it: what, exactly, is it that causes that wince-inducing sound when you pop your knuckles? Love it or loathe it, knuckle-cracking is very common. Earlier studies have established that not…

### Cost to fill Panini World Cup sticker book is £734, says maths prof

A maths professor from Cardiff has calculated that filling this year’s World Cup sticker book will cost collectors £773.60. Prof Paul Harper has devised a formula that suggests, given the probabilities of getting duplicate stickers, on average an individual would need to buy 967 packets or 4,832 stickers to get the set. As well as…

### Mathematicians invent tool to judge when voting maps have been unfairly drawn

This map shows a shifting kaleidoscope of partisan advantage, for US Congressional voting districts, since 1972. The size of each state is adjusted according to its number of seats in 2012. “The 2003 Texas redistricting is striking,” notes UVM’s Greg Warrington who created a new mathematical tool, a declination, used to measure the gerrymandering shown…