# There's a Hidden Connection Between Pi and Quantum Mechanics

Physicists have uncovered a hidden connection between a famous 350-year-old mathematical formula for pi, everyone’s favorite irrational number, and quantum mechanics. At least one mathematician has pronounced the discovery “a cunning piece of magic.”

# Can You Solve the Math Problem That Stumped Most Scottish Students?

A math question posed to Scottish teenage students has received a great deal of criticism for being too hard. Can you solve it?

# What's the Best Way to Tie Your Shoes? Physics May Have the Answer.

The most common mistake when tying your shoelaces is accidentally making a weaker granny knot instead of the stronger square knot. Now, physics can help you tie the perfect knot that stays tight no matter what.

# Plan Your Free Online Education at Lifehacker U: Fall Semester 2015

Your education doesn’t have to stop once you leave school. We’ve put together a curriculum of some of the best free online classes available on the web this fall for the latest term of Lifehacker U, our regularly-updating guide to improving your life with free, online college-level classes. Let’s get started.

# If It Weren't for This Equation, You Wouldn't Be Here

This is Shannon’s information theory, and it’s the equation that makes data compression possible. Without it, you wouldn’t be reading this article online right now.

# Career Spotlight: What I Do as a NASA Engineer

Space exploration, whether it be through telescopes watching the skies or probes sent to far away planets, is the culmination of thousands of people’s work, collaborating together to solve the innumerable problems that arise when you try to reach beyond what seems possible.

# How to Bake Pi Uses Math to Solve the Cookbook Paradox

There is a lie running through your cookbooks. No, it’s not that you can substitute crackers for apples in your pie and no one will know the difference (though, come on, let’s be decent to each other, folks: Knock that off.) The lie goes much deeper than all that, and is the source of what I call the Cookbook Paradox.

# Don't Freak Out if You Can't Solve a Math Problem That's Gone Viral

A number of math problems have recently garnered considerable attention, but the inability to solve these problems quickly is not indicative of a person’s overall math skill, nor should it prompt a crisis of confidence about the state of American math aptitude.

# Why Mathematicians Are Hoarding This Special Type of Japanese Chalk

This spring, an 80-year-old Japanese chalk company went out of business. Nobody, perhaps, was as sad to see the company go as mathematicians who had become obsessed with Hagoromo Fulltouch Chalk, the so-called “Rolls Royce of chalk.”

# How A Tea Party Turned Into A Scientific Legend

When pouring tea, do you add the tea first or the milk first? If you think it can’t possibly matter, you’re unfortunately wrong — as Dr. Ronald Fisher proved at an innocuous tea party where he conducted an experiment that changed statistical science forever.

# Can You Solve This Vietnamese Math Puzzle for 8-Year-Olds?

If you thought the Singaporean logic puzzle was tough, brace yourself for this math problem that was originally set for eight-year-old students in the Vietnamese town of Bao Loc. It’s apparently even stumped someone with a doctorate in economics with mathematics.

In a charming TEDx talk at Binghamton University last year, complexity expert Hannah Fry applies her math skills to romantic relationships. Watch as she explains how pattern theory may help you get dates, how to use optimal stopping theory to pick a spouse, and how an understanding of negativity thresholds can help…

# How Two Sentences Overturned 200 Years Of Mathematical Precedent

For almost 200 years, Euler's conjecture reigned in mathematics unchecked. Then, a paper came out that turned the whole thing on its head... and it did it all in just two sentences.

# Is A Kilobit 1,000 Or 1,024 Bits?: A Mathematical Debate Explained

What is a kilobit equal to? The answer is 1,000 bits, but some people say it should really be 1,024.

# Finally, Science Has Solved The Eternal Question of "Where's Waldo?"

Searching for Waldo (or Wally, to give him his original name) is frustrating to the point of insanity. So when a doctoral student unexpectedly found himself snowed in last weekend, he decided to compute the most efficient way to look for the elusive red-and-white man.

# The Barber Paradox Shook the Foundations of Math

No less a mind than Bertrand Russell, of Principia Mathematica fame, was responsible for this paradox, which opened a hole in math. It's those barbers. The Barber Paradox shows that barbers are not to be trusted.

# Here's How Fictional Dust Explains Radio Static

Cantor's Dust is a famous fractal, a basic pattern that repeats itself over and over. It's a pretty pattern, but it didn't seem very useful at the time it was invented. Years later, it was invoked again at the dawn of chaos theory to explain an odd phenomenon in broadcasting.

# The Epic Story Of Johann Bernoulli, The Meanest Man In Math

No profession is free from the kind of miserable jerks who ruin it for everyone else. No intelligence level is either. When great intelligence, prestige careers, and big egos come together, things get ugly. Johann Bernoulli was, as a person, very ugly.

# Baby Poop Sausage, And Other Winners From The 2014 Ig Nobel Awards

Last night, scientists from around the world gathered at Harvard's iconic Sanders Theatre for the "24rd First Annual" Ig Nobel Awards, the wonderfully peculiar annual awards ceremony that recognizes those achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.