• The New Yorker, February 14, 2017

    Christopher Strachey’s Nineteen-Fifties Love Machine

    Overwrought love letters began turning up on the notice board at the University of Manchester’s computer lab in August, 1953. Dripping with lustful vocabulary, the signatory was always the same: “M.U.C.,” for the Manchester University computer.

  • The New Yorker, June 29, 2016

    Waiting for Gödel

    Godel came to be compared not only to his friend Albert Einstein but also to Franz Kafka. Such was the nature of his contribution—only a handful of theorems, but all of them monumental and fantastical.

  • The New Yorker, April 30, 2016

    Claude Shannon, the Father of the Information Age, Turns 1100100

    Twelve years ago, Robert McEliece, a mathematician and engineer at Caltech, won the Claude E. Shannon Award, the highest honor in the field of information theory. During his acceptance lecture, at an international symposium in Chicago, he discussed the prize’s namesake, who died in 2001.

  • The New Yorker, April 26, 2016

    The Dice You Never Knew You Needed

    Earlier this spring, at a mathematical circus of a conference in the basement ballroom of Atlanta’s Ritz-Carlton, two scientists from the Dice Lab, Robert Fathauer and Henry Segerman, débuted their newest specimen, fresh from the petri dish.

  • Nautilus, Oct 22, 2015

    How to Build a Search Engine for Mathematics

    On the average summer Saturday, the mathematician Neil Sloane woke up to a crisis. “There are always crises,” he said— albeit crises of the teapot tempest variety. One Saturday over breakfast, he faced an inbox message titled “edits from outer space.”

  • The New Yorker, August 27, 2015

    Cogito, Ergo Summer

    Patrick Honner, a math teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School, arrived at a recent class seemingly unprepared. This was surprising, given that, days before, he had received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

  • Smithsonian, August 2009

    The Burgess Shale, Evolution’s Big Bang

    The fossil-hunting expedition began with a lung-busting hike, accompanied by an incessant ring-ding- ting-clank-clank-ring-ting-ding-clank.

  • The Globe and Mail, March 14, 2009

    π-Eyed for the Raddest Ratio

    Each year in March, the third month, on this 14th day, at precisely 1:59:26 p.m., number nerds gather around the world in celebration of the beloved mathematical constant π: 3.1415926…