Category: stories

  • music of the primes

    Let me admit it : i was probably wrong in this post to advise against downloading A walk in the noncommutative garden by Alain Connes and Matilde Marcolli. After all, it seems that Alain&Matilde are on the verge of proving the biggest open problem in mathematics, the Riemann hypothesis using noncommutative geometry. At least, this […]

  • 3 yrs. later

    probably, you’ve never seen the dedication in my one quiver to rule them all paper on the arXiv unfortunately, i’ve not much to add to this, even 3 years later…

  • arXiv trackback wars

    If you happen to have a couple of hours to kill, you might have a look at the arXiv trackback policy debate over at Jacques Distler’s blog Musings. But before you dive into this it is perhaps useful to glance at what went before. Distler did pester (his wording, not mine) the arXiv to add…

  • Alain Connes on everything

    A few days ago, Ars Mathematica wrote : Alain Connes and Mathilde Marcolli have posted a new survey paper on Arxiv A walk in the noncommutative garden. There are many contenders for the title of noncommutative geometry, but Connes‚Äô flavor is the most successful. Be that as it may, do not print this 106 page…

  • 2005 lists : mathematical novels

    Mathematical Fiction is a nice site maintained by Alex Kasman and is an attempt to collect information about all significant references to mathematics in fiction. In september I ordered a pile of novels from this list from Amazon and had an enjoyable read (mostly) since. I’ve mentioned a couple of books already on this blog…

  • Jacobian conjecture remains open

    Lately some papers were posted on the arXiv claiming to solve the plane Jacobian conjecture. Fortunately, T.T. Moh took the time to crack these attempts and posted the mistakes they made also on the arXiv : Comment on a Paper by Yucai Su On Jacobian Conjecture and Comment on a Paper by Kuo, Parusinski and…

  • teaching mathematics

    Tracking an email address from a subscribers’ list to the local news bulletin of a tiny village somewhere in the French mountains, I ended up at the Maths department of Wellington College. There I found the following partial explanation as to why I find it increasingly difficult to convey mathematics to students (needless to say…

  • two TA tales

    situation 1 : one of the better first year students comes up to TA1’s office. student : Um, can I ask you a question? TA1 : Sure! student : Well, um, about next year… will it be more of this? … I mean, with proofs and stuff like that? TA1 : Heh? Well… eh… yes,…

  • the Oxford murders

    Set in the spring and summer of 1993, the Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez is a crime-story about a series of murders commited in Oxford. At a certain moment one even conjectures that the next victim will be Andrew Wiles on the eve of delivering his extra two talks at a Cambridge seminar and that…

  • Mappalujo

    Together with Steve Beard, Jeff Noon devised the writing game Mappalujo. The set of rules can be made applicable (with minor changes) to other situations such as : writing a mathematical paper or book with a co-author, an idea for a group-blog or it might be fun to run a seminar with two lecturers following…