Life and Style

Johanes Kepler, who was born on 27 December 1771, was born near Stuttgart and made his foray into astronomy after he worked as a maths teacher in Graz, Austria - where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg.

Mandelbrot, father of fractals, dies at 85

Benoit Mandelbrot, the Polish-born mathematician who played a central role in Chaos theory, has died at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, aged 85, of cancer.

Maths prodigy Arran Fernandez is the youngest Cambridge fresher since 1773

Boy, 15, follows trail blazed by Pitt the Younger – but dad will take him to lectures

Boffinology, By Justin Pollard

After encountering the weird odds and ends in this book of scientific quirks – the "Halifax gibbet", invented for the dispatch of Yorkshire miscreants, was a predecessor of the guillotine; heroin, invented by the Bayer company, takes its name from heroisch because it made one user feel heroic; an Indiana mathematician persuaded his state to grant him a patent for pi at the incorrect value of 3.2 – the reader may recall a TV programme that specialises in unlikely revelations.

God didn't create universe, says Hawking

The universe was not created by God, scientist Stephen Hawking has said in his new book.

Official: just 20 moves needed to solve a Rubik's Cube

To be precise: there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different possible configurations of the coloured squares on any Rubik's Cube. Yet now researchers have calculated that you're never more than 20 moves away from solving the famous puzzle.

Russian mathematician rejects $1m prize

A Russian mathematician has rejected a $1m (£700,000) prize for solving one of the most challenging problems because he considers it unfair.

Colombia set to elect the world's first Green leader

A former philosopher with some unusual policy ideas looks certain to take the country's presidency

Book mixing math and crochet wins UK 'odd' prize

A book charting the frontier between handicrafts and geometry on Friday won Britain's quirkiest literary award, the Diagram Prize for year's oddest book title.

Shy maths genius leaves million dollar prize money on the table

Russian recluse holed up in apartment urged to give unclaimed reward to charity

Keynes, By Peter Clarke

Shares in John Maynard Keynes are rising, and Peter Clarke's elegant, succinct biography could not be more timely. The first half is a chronological account of Keynes's life, reminding us what a polymath the man was. As well as the most influential economist of the 20th century, he was a mathematician and philosopher whose first published work was a treatise on probability, an essayist and journalist, an adviser to governments, and friend of most of the leading intellectuals of his day. (Bertrand Russell described him as the cleverest man he ever knew, and said that every time he argued with Keynes he felt as though he was taking his life in his hands.)

Last Night's Television: Vampires: Why They Bite, BBC3<br />Horizon, BBC2

My relationship with Horizon has been a bit rocky of late. We were pretty much inseparable back in the Eighties, but recently it's been nothing but bickering and rows. I've often thought about cutting my losses entirely and going for a clean break, perhaps even dating other science strands less obsessed with cosmetics and celebrities. The only problem is that there aren't any out there, and certainly none that can match the memories I have with Horizon. Also, every now and then, something clicks and I remember what made me fall in love in the first place. It happened last night, with Stephen Cooter's "To Infinity and Beyond", a dizzyingly enjoyably attempt to net the ineffable. It won't, I think, have been one for the real puritans, those for whom a Seventies Open University physics module remains the apogee of science broadcasting. But I thought it was close to exemplary in its quiet wit and patience and relish for paradox.

Seeing Further, Edited by Bill Bryson

This year the Royal Society celebrates its 350th birthday. The "Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge" was founded on 28 November 1660, when a dozen "ingenious and curious gentlemen" met at Gresham College, London, after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the 28-year-old Professor of Astronomy, and decided to found "a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning." Among the signatories of that historic memorandum were Wren, chemist Robert Boyle, clergyman and polymath John Wilkins, Sir Robert Moray, and mathematician William, Viscount Brouncker.

The core of truth behind Sir Isaac Newton's apple

The manuscript that gave rise to one of science's best-known anecdotes is now online.

The schizophrenic genius whose worst fears came true

Walter Sartory made a fortune in the markets, but it never made him happy and was the motive for his murder, writes Guy Adams
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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence