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Mathematics Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Image of a young woman holding a circuit board and next to table with electronics. CalWomenTech Scale Up Project: Proven Tools Attract Women to STEM Training Programs
Project aims to increase recruitment and retention of women in community college STEM programs
Released  April 6, 2012
Photo of a girl using a computer to match shapes to build pictures. Viewing the World Through a "Mathematical Lens" Can Help Young Children Learn Math
Helping children identify and connect the mathematics ideas that they use in daily activities is crucial to learning math at an early age.
Released  February 15, 2012
Photo of a young girl using a ruler on a piece of paper. Understanding Basic Concepts in Spatial Measurement
Researchers work to help elementary school students better comprehend basic measurement skills
Released  January 31, 2012
A 3-D computer model of a stent. Scientists Use Math to Build Better Stents
University of Houston mathematician Sunica Canic and her colleagues build computer models to study stents; their simulations could lead to better designs and also help doctors select the right stents for specific procedures
Released  August 26, 2010
Photo of Amy Barnes making phosphorus-rich phosphate glass to use with her doctoral research work. On Earth Day and Everyday, Ecologist Fights for Phosphorus
NSF-supported ecologist James Elser is internationally recognized as an expert on phosphorus in biology and ecology, and his research could help to change societyís views on phosphorus use and conservation
Released  May 6, 2010
Illustration showing optical beam splitter method and new method of controlling electron spin. Breakthrough in Electron Spin Control Brings Quantum Computers Closer to Reality
Research allows control of a single electron without disturbing other nearby electrons
Released  February 26, 2010
Graphical representation of seven test molecule structures. Video Game Technology and Science?
Chemists use the computer technology behind todayís video games to rapidly calculate the structure of molecules
Released  July 15, 2009
Eight thumbnail images and 2008 in Review 2008: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities that made news last year
Released  March 13, 2009
Illustration of heads with brains. Synthetic Brains
Researchers study the feasibility of brains made from carbon nanotubes
Released  January 27, 2009
Photo of a researcher in a lab. Math Could Aid in Curing Cancer
Scientists and medical doctors couple math and medicine for unusual, promising marriage
Released  August 4, 2008
Photo of Jessica Alba and recipients of 2008 A.M.P.A.S Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards. The Man Behind Amazing Movie Simulations
He may not be as famous as Johnny Depp or Jessica Alba, but Oscar-winner Ron Fedkiw creates 3-D models of liquids that have had a major impact on Hollywood and our lives
Released  July 24, 2008
A picture of the setting sun off the coast of Estonia and the letter "A." Cracking the Code of Images
New software easily detects pictures' hidden messages
Released  July 15, 2008
Photo of theoretical mathematician Graeme Milton. Cloaking Device Concept Moves Beyond Theory
Applied mathematician Graeme Milton brings the dream of cloaking devices portrayed in "Star Trek" and "Harry Potter" closer to reality
Released  June 18, 2008
Photo of surgeon Jon Wagner holding plastic casts of fractured jaws. Engineers Create Better Fix for Broken Jaws
Computer finite element modeling program used by University of New Mexico engineers in designing smaller and lighter plates for jaw repair surgery
Released  May 13, 2008
Photo of two men in at a whiteboard Using Abstract Mathematics to Solve Real-World Problems
Researcher's mathematical theory used in new technologies to destroy cancerous tumors
Released  March 5, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008
Photo of 2 people and a 3-D tessellated image of a brain projected on a large monitor. Brain Surgery: It Really Is Brain Surgery
Dynamic 3-D computer modeling tracks brain changes during surgery
Released  August 31, 2007
2006 in Review 2006: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported activities highlighted last year
Released  January 9, 2007
The challenge is to assign each grant application to the appropriate reviewers. Computer Program Streamlines Complex Work Scheduling
Chemical engineers develop an algorithm that could transform scheduling
Released  December 6, 2005
Side-by-side images of double-bubbles of equal and unequal volume chambers. Double Soap Bubbles: Proof Positive of Optimal Geometry
What do dish soap, an ancient question, a team of mathematicians and their ingenious proof of the Double Bubble Conjecture have to do with solving 21st century optimization problems? Plenty.
Released  October 7, 2004
Mathematical equations on chalkboard. 350 Years Later, Fermat's Last Theorem Finally Proved
In the 1630s, Pierre de Fermat set a thorny challenge for mathematics with a note scribbled in the margin of a page. More than 350 years later, mathematician Andrew Wiles finally closed the book on Fermat's Last Theorem.
Released  September 21, 2004
Pearson International Airport power plant Game Theorist Describes Unintended Consequences of U.S. Counterterrorism Policies
World events might not suggest that a decline in terrorism incidents has taken place during the post-Cold War era. Yet, economists have identified just such a trend while revealing that the likelihood of death or injury from terrorism has increased.
Released  July 30, 2004
icon of a hand and www Detecting Hidden Groups on the Internet
In the free-form clamor of the Internet's discussion groups and other public forums, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute want to listen for the whispers of groups trying to stay hidden.
Released  July 30, 2004
drawing of a triangular faucet opening. Triangles, Not Circles, Make Optimal Faucets
It had long been assumed that circular nozzles, such as those used by ink-jet printers to deposit tiny droplets of ink, were the best shapes for the job. Now, mathematicians at Harvard University have shown that triangular may be the way to go.
Released  July 30, 2004
Approaching wildfire threatens a subdivision Improving Fire Forecasts
Can mathematics help prevent forest fires? Itís not as far-fetched as it sounds. A statistician has combined unprecedented amounts of historical and environmental data to create statistical models that promise more accurate estimates of fire hazards.
Released  July 21, 2004

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