For decades, scientists have been trying to solve a tough question: if the Internet runs out of cat pictures, can we generate more using advanced mathematics?* A paper posted on the arxiv earlier this month by mathematicians Kathryn Lindsey and the late William Thurston calms fears about "peak cat." In the paper, they describe a method of approximating the outline of a cat or other object using the Julia sets of polynomials.What’s a Julia set?...

Whenever Scientific American posts an article about electric cars, we see comments along the lines of "electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, so electric cars don't really reduce your carbon footprint, and the electricity is more expensive than gas anyway," possibly with more expletives...

The MTV Video Music Awards are being broadcast tonight. Since 1984, these awards have recognized the top popular musicians, videos, and songs each year.

On Tuesday, Scientific American turns 167 years old. It doesn't exactly look like the kind of anniversary we usually celebrate, with our decimal normative number system that overvalues ending zeroes and fives, but 167 is a pretty neat number...

William Thurston, whose geometrization conjecture changed the fields of geometry and topology and whose approach to mathematics and mathematics education has reverberated throughout the mathematical world, died on August 21 following a battle with cancer...

Last May, a University of Alabama graduate student was the first person to collect an oblong rock snail in over 70 years. The species, Leptoxis compacta , hadn't been observed since 1933 and was declared extinct in 2000...

In an opinion piece for the New York Times on Sunday, political science professor Andrew Hacker asks, "Is Algebra Necessary?" and answers, "No." It's not just algebra: geometry and calculus are on the chopping block, too...

I hope you're ready for your big Pi Approximation Day party tomorrow. You might have observed Pi Day on March 14. It gets its name from 3.14, the first three digits of the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter...

Last Wednesday night I attended a "Math Encounters" program co-sponsored by the soon-to-open Museum of Math in New York City. In 2008, Glen Whitney, a mathematician and former hedge fund manager, was dismayed to learn that a small museum dedicated to math in Long Island was closing...

Chances are, you heard this month about the discovery of a tiny fundamental physics particle that may be the long-sought Higgs boson. The phrase five-sigma was tossed about by scientists to describe the strength of the discovery...

They don't wear white coats or protective goggles, but mathematicians around the country have captured the imagination of students in ever more creative ways

I was a bit amused when I read a press release headline this week: "Scientists struggle with mathematical details." I expected the story to be about occasions when scientists had misunderstood, misinterpreted, or misapplied mathematical formulas in their published research, but instead the study in the June 25 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that research papers with lots of mathematical details are cited by other scholars less often than papers with fewer...