Maryam Mirzakhani obituary

In 2014 the Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, who has died aged 40 of cancer, was awarded the Fields medal, the discipline’s most celebrated prize. The 52 previous recipients had all been men. Maryam won it “for her outstanding contributions to the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces”. Surfaces are basic objects…

Researchers study lengths of restroom queues

Two queueing theorists of Ghent University investigated why queues at restrooms are invariably longer for ladies than for men. Time and time again. What are the main causes for this disparity? And how can it be overcome? Moving to unisex toilets, it appears from this study, may reduce waiting times for women from over 6…

Maths 'genius' Maryam Mirzakhani dies, aged 40

Mathematiciangenius Maryam Mirzakhani won a string of honours during her career including the coveted Fields Medal in 2014 Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian-born mathematician who was the first woman to win the coveted Fields Medal, has died in a US hospital after a battle with cancer. She was 40. Mirzakhani’ friend Firouz Naderi announced her death…

Theory of modularity limiting disturbance effects found to be sound using springtails

Experimental network (right) and four modules with different living conditions. Credit: Andrew Gonzalez, Luis J. Gilarranz et al./CSIC (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Spain, Switzerland and Canada has used common springtails to prove the soundness of a theory that suggests that modularity limits disturbance effects in networks. In their paper published in the journal Science,…

Going to extremes to predict natural disasters

Predicting natural disasters remains one of the most challenging problems in simulation science because not only are they rare but also because only few of the millions of entries in datasets relate to extreme events. A systematic method for comparing the accuracy of different types of simulation models for such prediction problems has recently been…

What maths does—building a perfect metropolis

Credit: Shutterstock Oxford Mathematician Neave O’Clery works with mathematical models to describe the processes behind industrial diversification and economic growth. Here she discusses her work in Oxford and previously at Harvard to explain how network science can help us understand why some cities thrive and grow, and others decline, and how they can offer useful,…