Category Archives: Number Theory

Functions Too Cool For Facebook. But Don’t Worry, We’ve Got You Covered

Today is the official launch of the L-functions and modular forms database. The LMFDB is a database containing all the relevant information about millions of mathematical objects. Set up like a Facebook for mathematical objects — by objects I mean … Continue reading

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Packing Heat: The World Of Sphere Packings Is On Fire

Suppose somebody hands you a bunch of oranges and asks you to stack them on a shelf, I’ll bet I can guess how you would do it. You’d build a pyramid by laying down a base layer and then fill … Continue reading

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Opening The Cryptographic Backdoor

Unless you’ve been living off the grid somewhere in an igloo build out of old discarded iPhones, you’ve probably heard about the recent standoff between Apple and the US government. The short story, is that the US Government has demanded … Continue reading

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There’s a New Prime! And It Looks Like…Wait…What?

A new prime has been discovered. It’s really long. Over 22 million digits. And the number has just been sitting on a computer in the middle of Missouri unnoticed since September. But that’s not the crazy thing about it. The … Continue reading

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Getting Primed For Halloween

Maybe it’s the chill in the air or the changing leaves, maybe it’s the ache in my belly from too much candy corn, but whatever the reason, I’ve been in the mood for spooky halloween things this past week. I’ve … Continue reading

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That Time Terence Tao Won $500 From Paul Erdős

Suppose you have some arbitrary sequence of 1 and -1, something like this 1, 1, -1, -1, -1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, -1, -1, …. And suppose you start plucking entries from fixed intervals and adding them together. For … Continue reading

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In Praise of Teamwork

Part of what makes math blogging so interesting is that it helps to build connections between the people creating math and those consuming math. The evolution in math blogging and blossoming of math on twitter has done a great deal … Continue reading

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Online Toolbox For Number Theorists

Sometimes I wonder: how did people do research before the internet? Not only do electronic communication and dropbox folders make long-distance collaborations a piece of cake, there are also just so many useful things on the internet. When I stand … Continue reading

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Medaling Mathematicians

You may consider the Fields Medal a boon to the mathematical community as it showcases amazing young mathematicians and brings math into the limelight. Or you may view the Fields Medal as an unfortunate reinforcement of the notion that mathematics … Continue reading

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How Quadratic Reciprocity Is Like Dealing Cards

Currently the Riemann-Roch theorem is my nemesis, and I stumbled on Matt Baker’s math blog while I was looking for some help figuring out how to use it. The post I came across, Riemann-Roch for Graphs and Applications, was not … Continue reading

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