Hunting For Random: The Quest To Find Numbers That Keep Your Data Safe

You indirectly use random numbers online every day — to establish secure connections, to encrypt data, perhaps even to satisfy your gambling problem. But their ubiquity belies the fact that they’re actually incredibly difficult to find. This is the story of where they come from.

How Do People Estimate Crowd Sizes?

Although the task of determining how many people attend something as large as say, a political rally or a protest may seem like a daunting, almost impossible undertaking to do with any accuracy, with some basic information, it’s actually not that difficult to get reasonably accurate results.

How To Fix A Wobbly Table Using Maths

We’ve all been sat drinking a beer only to realise that the table wobbles irritatingly. But while a piece of folded paper can solve the problem for a few minutes, there is a better solution — and it uses some simple maths.

Computer Finally Proves The Answer To A 400-Year-Old Maths Problem

Way back in 1611, Johannes Kepler suggested that the most efficient way to stack spheres — like arranging oranges for sale — was in a pyramid formation. Sadly, he couldn’t prove it, but now a computer has finally verified it to be true, settling centuries of debate.

These Mesmerising GIFs Are Visual Proof That Maths Can Be Cool

Teachers looking for ways to convince their students that maths isn’t a boring slog have a convincing new set of visuals: GIF makers are using mathematics to craft hypnotic moving images. Even outside a classroom, they’re fascinating.

Silicon Valley Giants Hand Out $15 Million In Prizes To Mathematicians

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation, which is funded by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin and investor Yuri Milner, just doled out five $US3 million awards to cutting edge maths projects (which you almost certainly won’t understand). The Breakthrough Prizes — there have been two previously, for life science and fundamental physics — are designed to raise awareness of maths and make it a more compelling career choice for the young.

How Your Mobile Phone Knows Where You Are -- Even Without GPS

Nowadays, our phones use GPS to let us work out where we are. But mobile phone networks were able to work out where you were long before phones got smart — and this video explains how.

A Little Fancy Maths Could Make Mobile Networks Five Times Faster

LTE might be fast, but it sure ain’t fast enough. Enter new research from MIT and Caltech, which suggests that a little fancy maths could boost mobile data transmission rates — by as much as 400 per cent.

What Are Fractals, And Why Should I Care?

Fractal geometry is a field of maths born in the 1970s and mainly developed by Benoit Mandelbrot. If you’ve already heard of fractals, you’ve probably seen the picture above. It’s called the Mandelbrot Set and is an example of a fractal shape.

This Noir Cartoon Is The Best Explanation Of Fractals You'll Ever See

Maths is way more fun when it’s lent some narrative, some purpose — and we’ve never seen a better example than this stunning noir cartoon which explains fractals. You have to watch it.