Statistical Proof That Lionel Messi Is the Best Soccer Player On Earth

Over at FiveThirtyEight Sports, Benjamin Morris makes a thoroughly convincing case that Argentina's Lionel Messi is the world's best soccer player. Even if you're not big on sportsball, the statistical rigor in Morris' analysis –and the athletic supremacy revealed thereby – is enough to make any data nerd squee. » 7/03/14 3:30pm 7/03/14 3:30pm

This Mathematical Model Shows You Exactly Where to Park Your Starship

You may have heard of Lagrangian points — they are five gravitationally stable locations around our planet, created by the forces exerted by the Earth and Moon on each other. They're a perfect place to put a satellite (and indeed we have). In this incredible model, you can see exactly where they are, and why. » 6/19/14 3:40pm 6/19/14 3:40pm

What the Hunt for IEDs Can Teach Us About Stopping Wildlife Poachers

The World Wildlife Fund is sending Google-financed drones to African national parks to track down illegal poachers. But computer scientist Thomas Snitch believes he can do a better job—by applying a mathematical model he developed for the military to find insurgents making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq. » 4/29/14 5:30pm 4/29/14 5:30pm

Watch What This Man Creates with Some Sand and a Rake

It was while working as a computer tech that Andres Amador fell in love with fractals – mathematical sets of patterns out of which beautiful geometric designs emerge. He applied his fascination to the creation of what can only be described as land art. His canvas? A vast swath of open beach. His paintbrush? A set of… » 4/22/14 3:30pm 4/22/14 3:30pm