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7.5 billion and counting How many humans can the Earth support

7.5 billion and counting: How many humans can the Earth support?

Humans are the most populous large mammal on Earth today, and probably in all of geological history. This World Population Day, humans number in the...
Studying games to understand the evolution of cooperation

Studying games to understand the evolution of cooperation

If people understand that defection today means that we will play a game with a lower payoff tomorrow, then cooperation becomes a winning strategy All...
Millions, billions, trillions How to make sense of numbers in the news

Millions, billions, trillions: How to make sense of numbers in the news

National discussions of crucial importance to ordinary citizens – such as funding for scientific and medical research, bailouts of financial institutions and the current...
Math explains why your bus route seems so unreliable

Math explains why your bus route seems so unreliable

Have you ever waited for your bus at a bus stop for a very long time – only to be greeted by two or...
How things go from straight-forward to chaotic

How things go from straight-forward to chaotic

Engineers have developed mathematical tools that determine when randomness emerges in any stochastic (random) system. The research looks to answer a long-standing question: When does...
What Is the Computational Power of the Universe

What is the computational power of the universe?

Can a close look at the universe give us solutions to problems too difficult for a computer - even if we built a computer...
Stanford classics student traces history of ancient geometry diagrams

Stanford classics student traces history of ancient geometry diagrams

Humans have been drawing lines and circles to grasp geometrical concepts and describe the laws of nature for about 5,000 years. But most scholars have...
Solving the mystery of the Arctic's green ice

Solving the mystery of the Arctic’s green ice

In 2011, researchers observed something that should be impossible -- a massive bloom of phytoplankton growing under Arctic sea ice in conditions that should...
New twist on sofa problem that stumped mathematicians and furniture movers

New twist on sofa problem that stumped mathematicians and furniture movers

Most of us have struggled with the mathematical puzzle known as the "moving sofa problem." It poses a deceptively simple question: What is the largest...
Making better decisions when outcomes are uncertain

Making better decisions when outcomes are uncertain

A simple statistical trick could help make a ubiquitous model of decision processes more accurate. Markov decision processes are mathematical models used to determine the...