There’s been a lot of maths news this month, but we’ve all been too busy to keep up with it. So, in case you missed anything, here’s a summary of the biggest stories this month. We’ve got two new facts about primes, the best way of packing spheres in lots of dimensions, and the ongoing debate about the place of maths in society, as well as the place of society in maths.
A surprisingly simple pattern in the primes
Kannan Soundararajan and Robert Lemke Oliver have noticed that the last digits of adjacent prime numbers aren’t uniformly distributed – if one prime ends in a 1, for example, the next prime number is less likely to end in a 1 than another odd digit. Top maths journos Evelyn Lamb and Erica Klarreich have both written very accessible pieces about this, in the Nature blog and Quanta magazine, respectively.
Today marks computing and maths pioneer Ada Lovelace’s 200th birthday. In celebration we’ve rounded up a few Ada-based links from around the internet.
Ada Lovelace was a 19th-century mathematician and early computer scientist, during an era when it was uncommon for women to do such things, and worked alongside Charles Babbage. His incredible Analytical Engine, an early mechanical calculator, was studied by Ada and her most enduring work is an article she wrote about the engine and its mathematical potential.