The year in proofs has started with a big result in combinatorics: the existence conjecture for designs. As usual, weightier minds than ours have comprehensively explained the result, so I’ll just give a brief summary of the problem and then some links.
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MathsJam is an annual conference in the UK, and a monthly night in pubs around the world, organised respectively by mathematician and juggler Colin Wright, and stand-up mathematician Matt Parker. We cornered Matt and Colin at the MathsJam conference last November, and talked to them for just over half an hour about the conference, the pub nights, and a disturbing amount about cake.
CP walks into the office.
Cushing: Christian, look at this. I’ve asked Wolfram Alpha to plot a quadratic going through three squares.
Put away your calculators – the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh has announced that it will host an exhibition all about John Napier to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of his treatise on logarithms, Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio.
Napier’s pioneering work on logarithms offered simple and elegant solutions to previously laborious and error-prone calculations; enabling more calculations to be completed in an hour than had previously been completed in one day. From the introduction of the decimal point to the development of slide rules and ‘Napier’s rods’, this exhibition will explore how Napier’s revolutionary innovations advanced and influenced mathematics from the 17th Century to the modern day.
Power of Ten will run from 28 March to 6 July, and entry is free.
National Museums Scotland Exhibitions for 2014
John Napier to tax modern minds 400 years on, in The Scotsman
A translation of Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio by Ian Bruce
Event page at Edinburgh Napier University
via GHS Mathematics Department on Twitter
Top chap (and newest Aperiodipal?) Neil Sloane, founder of the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, wrote in to direct our attention towards a “best new integer sequence” contest being run on the sequence-fans mailing list.
Any sequence submitted between the middle of December and the middle of January is eligible. The winners (of which there will be at least three) will each receive a signed copy of the original 1973 Handbook of Integer Sequences, as well as the highly coveted “nice” keyword on their encyclopedia entries.
A press release from the Royal Society of Chemistry: Formula for the perfect cheese on toast revealed.
Well! I have been quite remiss in writing up the Newcastle MathsJams. The last recap published was for May’s meeting. The end of the year (and associated holiday) is a good time to kick myself up the backside and do the entire second half of the year in one go. So, here’s that.