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- Feb 2 20179 minutes
Against Willpower: Willpower is a dangerous, old idea that needs to be scrapped.
Thomas1 was a highly successful and mild-mannered lawyer who was worried about his drinking. When he came to see me at my psychotherapy practice, his wine intake had crept up to six or seven glasses a night, and he was starting to hide it from his fa
- Apr 1 20141 minute
3 Strategies for Dealing With Toxic People
Unfortunately, you can't change them. But you can change the way you interact with them.
- Feb 3 20174 minutes
Trump Says A Lot, But Not With Words
The president-elect is a fascinating study in the power of nonverbal forms of communication.
- Feb 2 20177 minutes
Why You Didn’t See It Coming: When scale confounds our perceptions, stories can clarify them.
You don’t see it coming. You probably couldn’t if you tried. The effects of large changes in scale are frequently beyond our powers of perception, even our imagination. They seem to emerge out of nowhere: the cumulative effects of climate change, the
- Nov 28 20161 minute
Hold Yourself Accountable—You’ll Be Happier
PEOPLE TEND TO EXTERNALIZE WHEN THEY encounter problems—to look beyond themselves and find fault with others when things go wrong. Society’s mantra is “There’s plenty of blame to go around!” You can hear it echo in the reactions to the election. But
- Feb 2 20178 minutes
What Quantum Gravity Needs Is More Experiments: Math won’t solve quantum gravity. Experimentation will.
In the mid-1990s, I studied mathematics. I wasn’t really sure just what I wanted to do with my life, but I was awed by the power of mathematics to describe the natural world. After classes on differential geometry and Lie algebras, I attended a semin
- Jan 3 20179 minutes
The Friendship That Created Behavioral Economics
A conversation with Michael Lewis about his new book on the research of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky
- Jan 4 20176 minutes
How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at School
The trendy concept is in high demand among educators, but its specifics are vague.
- Feb 14 20172 minutes
Love Can Make You Smarter
Love is supposed to make you stupid. We’re used to seeing the lover as a mooning fool, blind to his lover’s faults and the goings-on of the outside world, or even as a person who has lost all sense of rationality or propriety, driven to a kind of mad
- May 1 20162 minutes
How to Handle Personal Conflicts Professionally
Whether it's a betrayal, a personal dislike or a choice between public or private acknowledgement, personal conflicts can arise at work. Find out the right way to navigate these situations.
- Sep 15 201611 minutes
How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math: The building blocks of understanding are memorization and repetition.
I was a wayward kid who grew up on the literary side of life, treating math and science as if they were pustules from the plague. So it’s a little strange how I’ve ended up now—someone who dances daily with triple integrals, Fourier transforms, and t
- Feb 5 20175 minutes
The Healthy-Lifestyle Curriculum
At Perea Preschool in Memphis, Tennessee, lesson plans come with a heaping portion of nutrition.
- Oct 22 201510 minutes
How To Build A Search Engine For Mathematics: Math:The surprising power of Neil Sloane’s Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences.
On the average summer Saturday, the mathematician Neil Sloane woke up to a crisis. “There are always crises,” he said— albeit crises of the teapot tempest variety. One Saturday over breakfast, he faced an inbox message titled “edits from outer space.
- Jan 18 20175 minutes
Hidden Figures And The Appeal Of Math In An Age Of Inequality
The fantastic new film treats numbers as an instrument of meritocracy. It’s not alone in that.
- Dec 29 201629 minutes
What Does Any of This Have To Do with Physics?: Einstein and Feynman ushered me into grad school, reality ushered me out.
Have you ever been happy?” My girlfriend asked me that question, after work over drinks at some shiny Manhattan bar, after another stressful day on the trading floor. How to answer that? I knew she was talking about work, but how unhappy did she thin
- Jan 5 20174 minutes
What Sea Slugs Taught Us About Our Brain: Neuroscience:The simple nerve cells of sea creatures helped scientists fathom human memory.
When Leonid Moroz, a gregarious Russian-born neuroscientist and geneticist at the University of Florida, began studying ctenophores nearly a decade ago, he had a fairly simple goal in mind. He wanted to determine exactly where the blobby marine creat
- Dec 28 20163 minutes
Why Some Companies Are Trying to Hire More People on the Autism Spectrum
The majority of those with autism are unemployed, but new pilot programs at big companies, such as EY and Microsoft, are discovering unexpected benefits from having "neurodiverse" colleagues.
- Jul 3 201416 minutes
The Scientific Problem That Must Be Experienced: To understand turbulence we need the intuitive perspective of art.
When the German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld assigned his most brilliant student a subject for his doctoral thesis in 1923, he admitted that “I would not have proposed a topic of this difficulty to any of my other pupils.” Those others included such g
- Feb 6 20176 minutes
Minority Groups Lose When They Collaborate with Power
Cailin O’Connor—a philosopher, scientist, and mathematician—may not enjoy tense situations, but they fascinate her. Last year, in a Huffington Post article titled “Game Theory and The Walking Dead,” she wrote that the zombie show’s “plot lines are ri
- Dec 22 20165 minutes
The Common High-School Tool That's Banned in College
Why are students still using calculators?
- Aug 22 20139 minutes
The Man Who Invented Modern Probability: Chance encounters in the life of Andrei Kolmogorov.
If two statisticians were to lose each other in an infinite forest, the first thing they would do is get drunk. That way, they would walk more or less randomly, which would give them the best chance of finding each other. However, the statisticians s
- Sep 1 20142 minutes
A Yoga Franchise for Kids Stretches Bodies and Minds
Imagination Yoga uses storytelling to encourage kids to move through a series of yoga positions.
- Mar 1 20141 minute
9 Ways to Become a Better Leader
From encouraging dissenting voices to showing compassion, here are tips for leading with purpose and poise.
- Nov 6 20143 minutes
These Males Are Cheating Animals: The tricks they play would make Darwin blush.
A chart’s purpose is usually to help you properly interpret data. But sometimes, it does just the opposite. In the right (or wrong) hands, bar graphs and pie charts can become powerful agents of deception, tricking you into inferring trends that don’
- Oct 3 20163 minutes
The Real Retirement Struggle: Defining Yourself as More Than the Sum of a Long Career
FIGURING OUT THE MONEY IS ONLY PART OF retirement planning. Longer lives are bringing the emotional aspects into focus as well, as new retirees with two decades of free time in front of them forge new identities that will shape their general well-bei
- Oct 24 20162 minutes
The Literacy of Long-Form Thinking
A man from ancient Rome said it was better to know nothing about a subject than to half-know it. I’m worried that this Republic of ours is set on proving his wisdom all over again. Only, we aren’t even bothering to know 50% of what’s going on. Seems
- Apr 9 20164 minutes
How a Hypothesis Can Be Neither True Nor False
Georg Cantor died in 1918 in a sanatorium in Halle, Germany. A pre-eminent mathematician, he had laid the foundation for the theory of infinite numbers in the 1870s. At the time, his ideas received hostile opposition from prominent mathematicians in
- Jan 26 20179 minutes
How to Build a Probability Microscope: The surprising mathematics of the extremely rare.
If the rumors are true, 20th Century Fox will release a remake of the 1966 science-fiction film Fantastic Voyage in the next year or two. The conceit behind the film is that its protagonists are shrunk down and injected into the human body, through w
- Nov 27 20162 minutes
Sucking at Stuff
Where, how, and why to play piano, bake sourdough, and learn Thai massage in spite—and because—of the fact that you’ll be very bad at it. At least at first.
- Jul 18 201311 minutes
Unhappy Truckers and Other Algorithmic Problems: Transportation optimization starts with math, but ends in understanding human behavior.
When Bob Santilli, a senior project manager at UPS, was invited in 2009 to his daughter’s fifth grade class on Career Day, he struggled with how to describe exactly what he did for a living. Eventually, he decided he would show the class a travel opt