# 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.

# The Mathematical Formulae That Will Help You Get Dates

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…

# 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.

# 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.

# Can You Find Spock By Solving This 1983 Math Problem?

Published in the May 1983 issue of the journal *Mathematics Teacher*, this amazing math problem challenges students to locate the USS Enterprise's missing first officer—in 50 minutes or less—using compass and straightedge. Are you up to the task, cadet?

# The Most Important Mathematician You've Never Heard Of

Sometimes, even the great, pivotal figures in science don't get their due. In today's very special "Ask a Physicist," I'll introduce you to Emmy Noether, one of the most important thinkers you might not have heard of.