Mathematicians from North America, Europe, Australia, and South America have resolved the first one trillion cases of an ancient mathematics problem. The advance was made possible by a clever technique for multiplying large numbers. The numbers involved are so enormous that if their digits were written out by hand they would stretch to the moon and back. The biggest challenge was that these numbers could not even fit into the main memory of the available computers, so the researchers had to make extensive use of the computers' hard drives.

This is not a 'Star Trek' or 'Harry Potter' Story

University of Utah mathematicians developed a new cloaking method, and it's unlikely to lead to invisibility cloaks like those used by Harry Potter or Romulan spaceships in "Star Trek." Instead, the new method someday might shield submarines from sonar, planes from radar, buildings from earthquakes, and oil rigs and coastal structures from tsunamis.

"We have shown that it is numerically possible to cloak objects of any shape that lie outside the cloaking devices, not just from single-frequency waves, but from actual pulses generated by a multi-frequency source," says Graeme Milton, senior author of the research and a distinguished professor of mathematics at the University of Utah.

by Kitta McPherson

Finding the best way to pack the greatest quantity of a specifically shaped object into a confined space may sound simple, yet it consistently has led to deep mathematical concepts and practical applications, such as improved computer security codes.

When mathematicians solved a famed sphere-packing problem in 2005, one that first had been posed by renowned mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler in 1611, it made worldwide headlines.

Results of cosmic analysis set new limits on gravitational waves that could have come from the Big Bang, and begin to constrain current theories about universe formation

An investigation by the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration, designed and operated by Caltech and MIT, and the Virgo Collaboration, has significantly advanced our understanding of the early evolution of the universe.

We don't have any trouble coping with three dimensions – or four at a pinch. The 3D world of solid objects and limitless space is something we accept with scarcely a second thought. Time, the fourth dimension, gets a little trickier. But it's when we start to explore worlds that embody more – or indeed fewer – dimensions that things get really tough.

Scientists from the Department of Biological Sciences and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech have developed a quantitative, mathematical model of DNA replication and cell division for the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. C. crescentus, an alpha-proteobacterium that inhabits freshwater, seawater and soils, is an ideal organism for genetic and computational biology studies due to the wealth of molecular information that has been accumulated by researchers. It also plays a key role in global carbon cycling in its natural environment.

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