All New Boardmad

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Questioning Truth, Reality and the Role of Science

It’s an interesting time to be making a case for philosophy in science. On the one hand, some scientists working on ideas such as string theory or the multiverse — ideas that reach far beyond our current means to test… Continue Reading →

A Classical Math Problem Gets Pulled Into the Modern World

Long before robots could run or cars could drive themselves, mathematicians contemplated a simple mathematical question. They figured it out, then laid it to rest — with no way of knowing that the object of their mathematical curiosity would feature… Continue Reading →

How Brain Waves Surf Sound Waves to Process Speech

When he talks about where his fields of neuroscience and neuropsychology have taken a wrong turn, David Poeppel of New York University doesn’t mince words. “There’s an orgy of data but very little understanding,” he said to a packed room… Continue Reading →

Stellar Disks Reveal How Planets Get Made

Over the past two and half centuries, scientists envisioning the origin of planetary systems (including our own) have focused on a specific scene: a spinning disk around a newborn star, sculpting planets out of gas and dust like clay on… Continue Reading →

Mathematicians Disprove Conjecture Made to Save Black Holes

Nearly 60 years after it was proposed, mathematicians have settled one of the most profound questions in the study of general relativity. In a paper posted online last fall, mathematicians Mihalis Dafermos and Jonathan Luk have proven that the strong… Continue Reading →

A New World’s Extraordinary Orbit Points to Planet Nine

In early 2016, two planetary scientists declared that a ghost planet is hiding in the depths of the solar system, well beyond the orbit of Pluto. Their claim, which they made based on the curious orbits of distant icy worlds,… Continue Reading →

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect

Artificial intelligence owes a lot of its smarts to Judea Pearl. In the 1980s he led efforts that allowed machines to reason probabilistically. Now he’s one of the field’s sharpest critics. In his latest book, “The Book of Why: The… Continue Reading →

A Chemist Shines Light on a Surprising Prime Number Pattern

About a year ago, the theoretical chemist Salvatore Torquato met with the number theorist Matthew de Courcy-Ireland to explain that he had done something highly unorthodox with prime numbers, those positive integers that are divisible only by 1 and themselves…. Continue Reading →

How Vaccines Can Drive Pathogens to Evolve

Andrew Read became a scientist so he could spend more time in nature, but he never imagined that would mean a commercial chicken farm. Read, a disease ecologist who directs the Pennsylvania State University Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, and… Continue Reading →

Artificial Neural Nets Grow Brainlike Navigation Cells

Having the sense to take a shortcut, the most direct route from point A to point B, doesn’t sound like a very impressive test of intelligence. Yet according to a new report appearing today in Nature, in which researchers describe… Continue Reading →

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