All posts tagged: Maths

Khot’s insight

One summer afternoon in 2001, while visiting relatives in India, Subhash Khot drifted into his default mode — quietly contemplating the limits of computation. For hours, no one could tell whether the third-year Princeton University graduate student was working or merely sinking deeper into the living-room couch. That night, he woke up, scribbled something down and returned to bed. Over breakfast the next morning, he told his mother that he had come up with an interesting idea. She didn’t know what it was, but her reserved older son seemed unusually happy. Khot’s insight — now called the Unique Games Conjecture — helped him make progress on a problem he was working on at the time, but even Khot and his colleagues did not realize its potential. “It just sounded like an idea that would be nice if it was true,” recalled Khot, now a 36-year-old computer science professor at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. When Khot returned to Princeton, he mentioned the idea to Sanjeev Arora, his doctoral adviser, who advised him …

Skeptic Society Magazine Our Secret Weapon in the Fight against Disease

Our Secret Weapon in the Fight against Disease

Mathematics is increasingly integral to biology as more detailed experiments in recent years have led to a huge influx in biological data. Maths is the language of science. It crops up everywhere from physics to engineering and chemistry – aiding us in understanding the origins of the universe and building bridges that won’t collapse in the wind.