Mark Ronan

Eureka moments in Syracuse

In a charming Sicilian museum you can test the theories of antiquity’s greatest mathematician

Brotherly and sisterly love

André and Simone Weil were two sides of the same coin: impatient; determined; brilliant; attracted to ancient wisdom and ideas

Brought to book

Mathematics publishing is a soft touch. The publisher usually hasn’t a clue, so they send the manuscript to someone like me to comment on. I used to be a soft touch too

Playing the numbers game

Mark Spiegelhalter's book helps explain how implausible statistical nonsense arises in the first place

Civilisation made concrete

The ancient Assyrians deserve to be remembered for being pioneering builders and engineers

Is this the real life or just fantasy?

It may not be possible to know if we are living in a simulation — but perhaps we don’t need certainty

Escaping the Moscow ghetto

How a brilliant young Russian mathematician was blocked by blatant Soviet anti-Semitism

Opera’s summer in the country

This year’s rural festivals provided a feast of productions of works outside the main repertoire

The heroes who came up with zero

‘Arabic’ numerals came to Europe from India — but ancient Sumerians invented them

An Italian take on time and space

Events in the quantum world do not form an orderly queue but crowd around in a chaotic fashion

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"