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Math899 articles archived since 1845

Shoelace Study Untangles a Knotty Problem

Researchers have trotted out data that show a combination of whipping and stomping forces is what causes laces to unravel without warning. Karen Hopkin reports.

April 12, 2017 — Karen Hopkin

Wavelet Theory Nets Top Mathematics Award

Yves Meyer wins the Abel Prize for development of a theory with applications ranging from watching movies to detecting gravitational waves

March 21, 2017 — Davide Castelvecchi and Nature

Human Body Ratios

A project that measures up

March 16, 2017 — Science Buddies and Sabine de Brabandere

New Number Systems Seek Their Lost Primes

For centuries mathematicians tried to solve problems by adding new values to the usual numbers. Now they’re investigating the unintended consequences of that tinkering

March 15, 2017 — Kevin Hartnett and Quanta Magazine

How to Calculate a Bigger Slice of Pi

For thousands of years people have struggled to pin down pi. Watch how mathematicians from Archimedes on have wrapped their heads around the math of circles.

March 14, 2017 — Shelley Sandiford and Lydia Chain

The Race to Replace the Kilogram

The long-running effort to ditch the decaying, 19th-century artifact that defines the kilogram nears its conclusion

February 1, 2017 — Tim Folger

Knot Not Easy to Knot

Chemists have synthesized the most complex molecular knot ever, using a strand just 192 atoms long. The advance could lead to new tougher materials. Christopher Intagliata reports.

January 18, 2017 — Christopher Intagliata

How to Quickly Calculate Percentages

How to calculate percentages is easier than you think. Quick, what’s 36% of 25? Or how about 250% of 20? Learn a quick and dirty tip to help you calculate all of those pesky percentages in your head.

January 11, 2017 — Math Dude Jason Marshall

Best Science Books of 2016

Barbara Kiser, books and arts editor at Nature, talks about her favorite science books of 2016, especially three works about the little-known history of women mathematicians.  

December 31, 2016 — Barbara Kiser and Steve Mirsky

Gifts for Mom

Mother’s Day is Around the Corner