The Math Behind Gerrymandering and Wasted Votes

Imagine fighting a war on 10 battlefields. You and your opponent each have 200 soldiers, and your aim is to win as many battles as possible. How would you deploy your troops? If you spread them out evenly, sending 20 to each battlefield, your opponent could concentrate their own troops and easily win a majority... Continue Reading →

Visionary Mathematician Vladimir Voevodsky Dies at 51

In math as in life, Vladimir Voevodsky played by his own rules. Voevodsky, a Russian-born mathematical prodigy, produced a string of daring insights in the 1990s that revolutionized one of the central fields of mathematics and established him at the pinnacle of his profession. His work continues to reverberate today. On Sept. 30, Voevodsky died... Continue Reading →

Ultra-Powerful Radio Bursts May Be Getting a Cosmic Boost

Some of the brightest flashes in the universe may be coming into focus. So-called fast radio bursts are enigmatic, ultra-brief, ultra-powerful bursts of energy coming from distant galaxies. They last for only a fraction of a second, but in that time they emit the energy of perhaps 500 million suns. Their power and brevity have... Continue Reading →

How to Win at Deep Learning

“Deep learning” is the new buzzword in the field of artificial intelligence. As Natalie Wolchover reported in a recent Quanta Magazine article, “‘deep neural networks’ have learned to converse, drive cars, beat video games and Go champions, dream, paint pictures and help make scientific discoveries.” With such successes, one would expect deep learning to be... Continue Reading →

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