Math Concepts

Math is often called the universal language because no matter where you're from, a better understanding of math means a better understanding of the world around you. Learn about math concepts such as addition, subtraction, fractions, ratios and more.


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PEMDAS: The Easy Way to Remember Math's Order of Operations

A simple math problem may seem to some of us like an inscrutable pile of numbers and symbols, just waiting to trip us up. PEMDAS to the rescue!

How Many Orbeez Does It Take to Fill a Bathtub?

It's an important question, so come with us and we'll show you how to figure it out.

Perpendicular Lines Create All the Right Angles in the World

Two lines that are perpendicular to the same line are parallel to each other and will never intersect.

Mobius Strips: So Simple to Create, So Hard to Fathom

It's easy to make a Mobius strip with some paper and tape, but your mind will be blown by the mathematical concepts it unlocks.

The Venn Diagram: How Overlapping Figures Can Illustrate Relationships

Venn diagrams are an easy way to simplify information and visualize relationships between concepts or sets of data.

What Is the Butterfly Effect and How Do We Misunderstand It?

We may think the butterfly effect means that a small change (like the flap of a butterfly's wings) can have huge consequences (a tornado in China). But what if it means the opposite?

What Are Corresponding Angles and How Do You Find Them?

Corresponding angles are what you get when two parallel lines are crossed by a third line, creating angles that have the same relative position at each intersection. They're easy to find once you know what to look for.

Dodecahedron: The 12-sided Shape With the 12-letter Name

A dodecahedron has 12 flat faces, all shaped like pentagons. Here are 12 cool things you just may not know about them.

Scientific Notation Is Math's Version of Shorthand

How do you calculate absurdly high numbers without writing them out in numerals? You use scientific notation. We'll give you examples and show you how.

The Pythagorean Theorem Makes Construction and GPS Possible

The Pythagorean theorem, which explains how to calculate the longest side of a right-angled triangle, is an ancient mathematical statement that still buttresses modern-day construction, aviation and even how we navigate through traffic.

Mathematicians Solve Sum-of-Three-Cubes Problem for the Number 42

Two mathematicians have solved a decades-old math problem by harnessing the power of a virtual supercomputer.

We've Got Your Numbers Quiz

Whether you're a math whiz or not, there are some pretty cool number theories, beliefs and coincidences to appreciate. How down with digits are you?

Mathematician Cracks the 33 Problem

Mathematician Andrew Booker has found the three cubes that add up to the number 33, a long-unsolved math problem.

5 Trailblazing Female Mathematicians

Can you name even one female mathematician? Don't worry if you can't. That just means you need to read our article on five famous female mathematicians to up your cred.

How Pi Works

Whether the circle is as big as planet Mars or as small as a tennis ball, the ratio of its circumference divided by its diameter will always equal pi (3.14). But why?

The Kilogram Is Dead. Meet the Kilogram 2.0

For more than a century, the mass of a kilogram was defined by a weight stored in a French vault. But now, instead of a hunk of metal, the kilogram's mass will be tied to a mathematical equation.

HowStuffWorks: Illustrated: Scutoids! Just Like Spheres and Cubes, But Not

The scutoid is kind of like the Higgs boson. Researchers theorized the new shape existed. And then they went looking for it.

Mathematician Claims Proof of 159-year-old Riemann Hypothesis

Sir Michael Atiyah says he has proven the Riemann Hypothesis, one of the long-unsolved problems in mathematics.

The Scutoid: How We Discover New Shapes

Spanish researchers recently uncovered a new geometric shape that allows human tissue to curve. But how?

Trillions and Quadrillions: A Short Guide to Absurdly Big Numbers

You've heard of Google, but what about a Googol? If not, then this tutorial is for you.

Can Adults Overcome Math Anxiety?

Does your brain start to cramp at the thought of having to do math? Experts explain why some people have math anxiety and how they can overcome it.

Amateur Solves Part of Decades-Old Math Problem

Anti-aging scientist Aubrey de Grey, who does math problems for relaxation, just made major progress on the daunting Hadwiger-Nelson problem.

How Did Benjamin Gompertz Predict Our Deaths?

English mathematician Benjamin Gompertz formulated the first natural law of the way we die.

The Facebook Flick and Other Strange Units of Measurement

The flick, the shake and the micromort are just three of the unusual measurements that scientists use.