Timothy Frye in front of a map of Russia

On March 18, the fourth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, Russians will go to the polls to vote for president. The outcome is not in doubt—but the way Vladimir Putin wins and the particulars of the election results will play a role in shaping Russia’s future.

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The project combines mapping techniques with Twitter-usage data to gain a real-time understanding of how people occupy public space.
Yaniv Erlich holds a framed picture of his father as a teenager

Columbia computer scientist Yaniv Erlich has assembled the world's largest family tree to date. He and his father (pictured as a teenager) are among the 86 million genealogy profiles Erlich and his colleagues drew from in their study. (MyHeritage)

From 86 million genealogy profiles, researchers have amassed the largest, scientifically-vetted family tree to date, which at 13 million people, is slightly bigger than a nation the size of Cuba or Belgium. Published in the journal Science, the new dataset offers fresh insights into the last 500 years of marriage and migration in Europe and North America, and the role of genes in longevity.

The Milky Way galaxy, perturbed by the tidal interaction with a dwarf galaxy, as predicted by N-body simulations. The locations of the observed stars above and below the disk, which are used to test the perturbation scenario, are indicated. CREDIT: T. MUELLER/C. LAPORTE/NASA/JPL-CALTECH

An international team of astronomers has discovered that some stars located in the Galactic halo surrounding the Milky Way - previously thought to be remnants of invading galaxies from the past - are instead former residents of the Galactic disk, kicked out by those invading dwarf galaxies

Ayad Ahktar close-up photo with a gray background

Photo by Martin Godwin for The Guardian

The Kennedy prize is given annually to a new play or musical that explores U.S. history and meaningfully participates in the great issues of our day.