
For the better part of the 30ties, Ernst Witt (1) did hang out with the rest of the ‘Noetherknaben’, the group of young mathematicians around Emmy Noether (3) in Gottingen. In 1934 Witt became Helmut Hasse‘s assistent in Gottingen, where he qualified as a university lecturer in 1936. By 1938 he has made enough of… Read more »

The Leech lattice was, according to wikipedia, ‘originally discovered by Ernst Witt in 1940, but he did not publish his discovery’ and it ‘was later rediscovered in 1965 by John Leech’. However, there is very little evidence to support this claim. The facts What is certain is that John Leech discovered in 1965 an amazingly… Read more »

Conway’s puzzle M(13) involves the 13 points and 13 lines of $\mathbb{P}^2(\mathbb{F}_3) $. On all but one point numbered counters are placed holding the numbers 1,…,12 and a move involves interchanging one counter and the ‘hole’ (the unique point having no counter) and interchanging the counters on the two other points of the line determined… Read more »

If you only tune in now, you might want to have a look at the definition of Mathieu’s blackjack and the first part of the proof of the ConwayRyba winning strategy involving the Steiner system S(5,6,12) and the Mathieu sporadic group $M_{12} $. We’re trying to disprove the existence of misfits, that is, of nonhexad… Read more »

(continued from part one). Take twelve cards and give them values 0,1,2,…,11 (for example, take the jack to have value 11 and the queen to have value 0). The hexads are 6tuples of cards having the following properties. When we star their values by the scheme on the left below and write a 0 below… Read more »

Mathieu’s blackjack is a twoperson combinatorial game played with 12 cards of values 0,1,2,…,11. For example take from any deck the numbered cards together with the jack (value 11) and the queen (value 0) (btw. if you find this PI by all means replace the queen by a zerovalued king). Shuffle the cards and divide… Read more »

Even a virtual course needs an opening line, so here it is : Take your favourite $SL_2(\mathbb{Z}) $representation Here is mine : the permutation presentation of the Mathieu group(s). Emile Leonard Mathieu is remembered especially for his discovery (in 1861 and 1873) of five sporadic simple groups named after him, the Mathieu groups $M_{11},M_{12},M_{22},M_{23} $… Read more »
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