Each year, Purdue University’s INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering turns into a toy testing laboratory.

The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2020

Tested and reviewed by engineers, these top picks make coding, robotics and engineering more accessible than ever

According to the World Health Organization, some 42 "candidate vaccines" against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 are undergoing clinical trials.

What Is the Best Strategy to Deploy a Covid-19 Vaccine?

Mathematicians are modeling different scenarios for a vaccine rollout to see what may work best

In the television adaptation, Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke play point-of-view characters Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.

Data Science, Psychology Reveal Why the 'Game of Thrones' Books Are So Riveting

A network model demonstrates how George R.R. Martin's sprawling series remains comprehensible but surprising

This month's picks include Mantel Pieces, The Dead Are Arising and A Series of Fortunate Events.

How the Alphabet Got Its Order, Malcolm X and Other New Books to Read

These five October releases may have been lost in the news cycle

A student tries to solve a math problem.

What Is Math?

A teenager asked that age-old question on TikTok, creating a viral backlash, and then, a thoughtful scientific debate

Jewish doctors give medical examinations in the Warsaw Ghetto

How a Public Health Campaign in the Warsaw Ghetto Stemmed the Spread of Typhus

A new study shows how life-saving efforts by Jewish doctors helped curb an epidemic during World War II

An aerial view of one of the circular enclosures at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey

Did Geometry Guide the Construction of the World's Oldest Temple?

New research suggests the center points of three stone megalith circles at Göbekli Tepe form a near-perfect triangle

The Conway Knot

Graduate Student Untangles Decades-Old Math Problem in Less Than a Week

Lisa Piccirillo recently published her proof of Conway’s knot problem, a well-known quandry that stumped mathematicians for more than 50 years

Fibonacci spiral

The Fibonacci Sequence Is Everywhere—Even the Troubled Stock Market

The curious set of numbers shows up in nature and also in human activities.

The "knapsack problem" is a widespread computing challenge—and no, it doesn't have to do just with literal backpacks.

How the Mathematical Conundrum Called the 'Knapsack Problem' Is All Around Us

A litany of issues in business, finance, container ship loading and aircraft loading derive from this one simple dilemma

Posed in Hampton, Virginia, Katherine Johnson stands before a backdrop of gathering clouds, "symbolic of the obstacles ... that she had to face in her career," says curator William Pretzer.

Smithsonian Curators Remember Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician Highlighted in 'Hidden Figures,' Who Died at 101

An African American woman who battled workplace discrimination, Johnson performed crucial calculations to send astronauts into space

Left, the British Army camped at Balaklava in the Crimea. Right, an angelic Nightingale animates a stained glass window crafted around 1930.

The Defiance of Florence Nightingale

Scholars are finding there’s much more to the “lady with the lamp” than her famous exploits as a nurse in the Crimean War

MIT researchers develop a mathematical model to predict a knot’s stability with the help of color-changing fibers.

The Mathematics of a Well-Tied Knot

Fibers that change color under pressure helped researchers predict knot performance

Purdue University’s INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering works with pre-school, school-age, college undergrads, engineers and parents to test and rate science- and tech-themed products.

The Ten Best STEM Toys to Give as Gifts in 2019

Stretch young learners’ minds with everything from card games to robotic spheres

Nash won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994

John Nash’s Nobel Prize Sells for $735,000

Best known as the subject of "A Beautiful Mind," Nash made pioneering advances in the study of game theory

The spiral pattern of an Aloe polyphylla plant at the University of California Botanical Garden.

Decoding the Mathematical Secrets of Plants’ Stunning Leaf Patterns

A Japanese shrub’s unique foliage arrangement leads botanists to rethink plant growth models

Living with the “thermostat patriarchy”

Chilly Rooms May Cool Women’s Productivity

A new study has found that women perform better on math and verbal tests in warmer temperatures

Women were involved with the computing field from its earliest days.

The Gendered History of Human Computers

It's ironic that women today must fight for equality in Silicon Valley. After all, their math skills helped launch the digital age

Researchers found that white individuals represented 97 percent of artists featured in the National Gallery of Art's permanent collection

Survey Finds White Men Dominate Collections of Major Art Museums

A comprehensive study reveals that 85 percent of artists featured in permanent collections are white, while 87 percent are men

Despite statistical methods that help sports fans improve their brackets, the probability of a perfect bracket remains something of a mystery in mathematics.

The Mathematical Madness Behind a Perfect N.C.A.A. Basketball Bracket

Picking a perfect bracket is so unlikely that it will almost certainly never occur, even if March Madness continues for billions of years

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