The crumpling catastrophe: push a flat sheet of paper into a coffee filter holder. You will see ``conical dislocations in crumpling'' as described in an article ...more

How to slice a tort? A new algorithm devised by NYU politics professor Steven Brams and Union College math professor Alan Taylor gives a method for ``arbitrating any dispute ...more

Beautiful dynamics. ``Persistent patterns in transient chaotic fluid mixing'' in the October 21, 1999 Nature describes an elegant set of experiments in which a thin layer of fluid was stirred ...more

October 1999

``There are exactly 9, 117 and 926 topological types of, respectively, 4-connected uninodal, binodal and trinodal networks, derived from simple tilings ...more

Unexpected behavior from fractal drums. A team at the Université Paris-Sud in Orsay, France, has assembled fractal drums the size of a fingernail. ...more

Fermat's Last Theorem was just a special case of a new result that may have just been proved: the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture. ...more

No room on the family tree. ``About 20% of the people who lived 30 generations ago or earlier have no living descendants, whereas the remaining 80% are the ancestors of every person alive today.'' ...more

``... although mathematics and physics are different, it is more a matter of degree than black and white.'' This is from a piece entitled ``Randomness Everywhere'' ...more

Jackson Pollock's drip paintings have been subjected to fractal analysis. In the June 3 Nature, ...more

Fractals in the family room. Cover story in the May 27 Nature was "Escaping chaotic scattering"...more

Your cell phone may soon have a fractal antenna. According to a piece by George Musser,...more

Randomly ravenous rabbits? Suppose that Fibonacci's rabbits, instead of placidly pubescing and procreating ...more

"Connections between music and science are subtle and uncertain," -- Malcolm Browne (New York Times, May 11) ...more

"Multifractality in human heartbeat dynamics" is the topic of a letter in the June 3 1999 Nature. ...more

June 1999

Written in stone. The equations giving the hyperbolic structure for the complement of the Figure-8 knot are engraved ...more

``Mathematical genius Kurt Gödel'' is the subject of an article in the June 1999 Scientific American. ...more

Unreadable but irresistible. Sales of Principia Mathematica have soared recently after it was voted ...more

``I've been in schools where ... the results of the math team are announced with the same pride as the results of the football team.'' ...more

``Brain's Math Machine Traced to 2 Circuits'' was the New York Times' take on a report in the May 7 Science ...more

Math on the Web in MathML soon? Pages like this which include mathematical equations have a problem: only the most elementary ...more

May 1999

The music of the spheres: a paper in the Annals of Mathematics (January 1999) gives examples of one-parameter families of 10-dimensional drums which are all geometrically different but all "sound" the same ...more

Learn inference and logical rigor from a computer game? Try it out (in Aaron Gower's Java implementation). This is Minesweeper, a game used by Patti Frazer Lock at St. Lawrence University to give students ``a better sense of what proofs are all about,'' ...more

Ada and the Bernoulli Numbers. The May 1999 Scientific American has an article by Eugene Kim and Betty Toole on ``Ada and the First Computer.'' Ada is Augusta Ada Byron (her father was the poet) ...more

The plot of Internet traffic against time gives a curve with the self-similarity of a fractal! This according to Herb Brody, reporting on work at AT&T Laboratories ...more

Space could be finite, merely giving the illusion of infinity, according to Jean-Pierre Luminet, Glenn Starckman and ...more

April 1999

``Playful thinking can often lead to serious mathematics'' is one conclusion drawn from John Conway's career ...more

``Alan Turing's Forgotten Ideas in Computer Science,'' is a reminder of the danger of not publishing one's work ...more

``Why does the telephone cord always get twisted?'' Read Ian Stewart's ``Tangling with Topology'' ...more

A Knotty Mathematical Problem? A piece in Nature (March 4) on necktie knotting was picked up ...more

``Math Emerges Blinking Into the Glare of Popular Culture'' (Paul Lewis, New York Times, March 13) ...more

The Lagrangian Codes. Not the latest Ludlum but a William Safire column (New York Times, March 22) about ...more

The math of slime molds and ant bridges comes to life in a Science Times piece ``Mindless Creatures ...more