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.

Learn More

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.

Concept of Zero Is Centuries Older Than Assumed, Analysis Suggests

A new analysis of the ancient Indian Bakhshali manuscript suggests the numerical symbol zero, as we use it today, may be centuries older than previously believed.

Ancient Babylonian Tablet May Show Early Trigonometry, But Some Experts Are Dubious

A reinterpretation of an ancient Babylonian tablet shows that trigonometry might be 1,000 years older than thought. But there's some disagreement.

Using TARDIS to Mathematically Travel Through Time

Two physicists have worked out a mathematical model for time travel. Now we just need some heretofore unseen exotic matter to get traveling.

New Mathematical Model Helps Explain Rogue Waves

Dangerous and unpredictable, rogue waves in the ocean seem to more closely resemble light waves than water waves.

Sine Us Up: It's Square Root Day.

Four (squared) cheers for Square Root Day!

How Chaos Theory Works

Has this ever happened to you? The meteorologist calls for a massive snowstorm, but the flakes fail to arrive. Chaos theory can shed light on why forecasts fail (and why our orderly world may not be so orderly after all).

What is number theory?

For many of us, a number is just a number, a bit of information that tells you, say, what time it is. But mathematicians look at that same number and divine relationships that underlie nature itself. Ready to enter the trippy world of number theory?

How Zero Works

You use the number zero all the time, but it may surprise you to learn that it sometimes isn't a number at all. It may surprise you even more to learn that it was all but invented. See what else surprises you about zero in this article.

How Fractals Work

Fractals have been around forever but were only defined in the last quarter of the 20th century. Think you can wrap your brain around how fractals work?

How Math Works

A world without math is unimaginable. It's a part of who we are. It's the analytical juice of our left brain. In the words of physicist Richard Feynman, even a fool can use it. So why do so many of us turn our backs on numbers?

How Tessellations Work

Mathematics achieves the sublime. Sometimes, as with tessellations, it rises to art. In their simplest form, tessellations consist of a single shape that repeats over a two-dimensional plane without any gaps. Why was M.C. Escher so fixated on them?