Prominent mathematics education lecturer Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (assistant professor at UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics) has been honoured as the recipient of the 2020 Maths Week Ireland Award for her contribution to raising public awareness of maths, pictured with Dr Sheila Donegan, and Eoin Gill, co-founders of Maths Week. Photograph: John Ohle Photography

Prominent maths educator Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin has been honoured as this year’s recipient of the Maths Week Ireland Award for raising public aw(...)

Terry Tao. Photograph: Graeme Mitchell/The New York Times

Pick a number; if it is even, divide it by 2; if odd, triple it and add 1. Now repeat the process, each time halving or else tripling and adding 1. He(...)

How is it that the world can be understood mathematically? Einstein addressed it repeatedly, once asking ‘How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought, independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality?’ Photograph: AP

Applied mathematics is the use of maths to address questions and solve problems outside maths itself. Counting money, designing rockets and vaccines,(...)

Years ago, we were confident a computer would never beat a chess grand master; now machines are unbeatable.   It’s the same for boardgame Go.

There are ongoing rapid advances in the power and versatility of AI or artificial intelligence. Computers are now producing results in several fields (...)

Centibillionaire Mark Zuckerberg. The word ‘centibillionaire’ has entered into common usage for someone with a net worth of more than $100 billion. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

One year ago, there were just two centibillionaires, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Recently, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has joined the Amazon and Micros(...)

Plaque with the Drake Equation, at the  National Radio Astronomy Observatory, in West Virginia, US.

The Drake Equation is a formula for the number of developed civilisations in our galaxy, the Milky Way. This number is determined by seven factors. So(...)

In a two-child family, given that there is at least one boy, what is the probability that there are two?

A paradox is a statement that appears to contradict itself, or that is counter-intuitive. The analysis of paradoxes has led to profound developments i(...)

Hungarian Cornelius Lanczos took up a position   at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

In May 1954, Cornelius Lanczos took up a position as senior professor in the School of Theoretical Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studie(...)

How can we understand such enormous quantities? Popular descriptions often involve counting the grains of sand on a beach. Some mathematicians refer to the number of litres of water flowing over the Niagara Falls, or the raindrops falling to earth every year.

In 1920, a kindergarten class was asked to describe the biggest number that they could imagine. One child proposed to “write down digits until you get(...)

Thanks to a mathematical technique called principal component analysis, this can be done with remarkable accuracy

It may seem too much to expect that a person’s geographic origin can be determined from a DNA sample. But, thanks to a mathematical technique called p(...)

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