No, This Viral Image Does Not Explain the History of Arabic Numerals

Your cousin’s Facebook friends are probably going nuts over this image that claims to show how the early history of Arabic geometric design informs how we write numerals today. “Each figure contains its own number of corners and angles,” reads the text. That’s half-true of the drawings in the image. The rest is… »7/21/15 2:45pm7/21/15 2:45pm

What Did Pythagoras Mean By "All Things Are Number"?

We all know that numbers can help us understand the beauty of nature. But in this excerpt from the new book A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek, he shows how it goes a lot deeper than that. Did the ancient mathematician Pythagoras know something we don’t? »7/14/15 10:30am7/14/15 10:30am

How Is A Mathematical Proof Like Frodo's Journey In Lord Of The Rings?

When people describe a story as being told in a "by the numbers" fashion, that's usually regarded as bad. But in a talk at Oxford University the other day, scientist Marcus du Sautoy argued that a great mathematical proof is a lot like a story. In fact, a really great proof is like Frodo's journey in Lord of the Rings »1/21/15 4:00pm1/21/15 4:00pm