### 19 Brilliant Facts About Albert Einstein

Once a simple patent clerk, Albert Einstein changed the world with his theories of special and general relativity.

Once a simple patent clerk, Albert Einstein changed the world with his theories of special and general relativity.

John Dee served as Queen Elizabeth I’s court astrologer and conducted séances in an attempt to speak to angels.

In the 1840s, Ada Lovelace wrote the world’s first machine algorithm for an early computer that existed only on paper.

Computer scientists are developing algorithms for AI to complete the unfinished works of Beethoven and other classical music masters.

The modern chess set is named after Howard Staunton, a chess master who popularized its use. But his lasting contribution to sports might be in one that wasn’t even invented by the time he died in 1874.

A cargo craft delivering supplies to the International Space Station has been named after Katherine Johnson, the influential "human computer" who helped send the first Americans to space.

Barcode scanners don’t need to register the number below the barcode, but it can tell you a lot about a product.

It took University of Texas grad student Lisa Piccirillo less than a week to write a proof that solved the famous Conway Knot.

Katherine Johnson—the mathematician known for calculating the equations that sent the first astronauts to the moon and breaking barriers in the civil rights era, as seen in 'Hidden Figures'—died the morning of Monday, February 24, 2020 NASA has announced.

Goodbye equality, hello equivalency: A growing number of mathematicians is skeptical that the equal sign holds up to new math models.

Zero is an idea even young children struggle with, but bees are one of the few animal species that can figure it out.

Here are four easy steps to make sure your parallel parking experience isn’t the stuff of nightmares.

Karen Uhlenbeck has become the first woman to win the Abel Prize for her achievements in mathematics, capping a long and storied career.

Unlike simple equations like the quadratic equation, most equations do not have nice, simple, general solutions.

Astronomical distances are very specific, but estimating lights years without a calculator isn't impossible (even if there are dozens of zeros involved).

For decades, linguists have been able to use the quirks of written texts to pinpoint the author. The process, called stylometric analysis or stylometry, has dozens of legal and academic applications.

Before she helped send the first astronauts to the moon, Katherine Johnson was an anonymous “computer” doing thankless but vital work at NASA.

Mathematician, philosopher, soldier, scientist—René Descartes was the definition of a Renaissance man.

How much is an ice cream cone worth?

You know math better than you think you do: Our mathematical thinking includes not just algebra or geometry, but trigonometry, calculus, probability, statistics, and any of the at least 60 types of math out there.

Celebrate Pi Day by puzzling over these various math problems—including some real-life quandaries from JPL.

It's not as simple as it looks.

Mental Floss spoke to ETH Zurich archivist Michael Gasser about the papers—including one letter in which Einstein calls his good friend a "frozen whale."

Let's try to wrap our heads around it.