This year has been frankly ridiculous. And while we’ve done our best to cover all the hot maths topics throughout, we have inevitably missed a few. Here’s some mathematical news bits and bobs from 2016 which we (and you!) may have not noticed.
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Aperiodipal numero uno Samuel Hansen’s acclaimed podcast series Relatively Prime is back, on a new monthly schedule, with an episode about how PhD student Ibrahim Sharif designed a lottery to award licences to sell cannabis in the state of Washington.
When the stakes are so high (geddit?! – Ed.) you have to be really sure that your lottery is fair. That’s where a lot of fun maths comes in.
You can listen to Lottery Daze on relprime.com. Sam intends to fund this new incarnation of Relatively Prime through Patreon – you can pledge to pay Sam a certain amount (starting at a dollar) for every episode he releases, with perks for paying more such as a postcard from Sam or placing an ad in one of the episodes.
Listen to Lottery Daze on relprime.com
Support Relatively Prime on Patreon
The Association for Women in Mathematics in the USA is running its annual essay contest again, open to students in three age categories from Grade 6 to undergraduate.
Here’s the blurb:
To increase awareness of women’s ongoing contributions to the mathematical sciences, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and Math for America are co-sponsoring an essay contest for biographies of contemporary women mathematicians and statisticians in academic, industrial, and government careers.
The essays will be based primarily on an interview with a woman currently working in a mathematical sciences career. This contest is open to students in the following categories: Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, and College Undergraduate. At least one winning submission will be chosen from each category. Winners will receive a prize, and their essays will be published online at the AWM web site. Additionally, a grand prize winner will have his or her submission published in the AWM Newsletter.
The deadline for entries is January the 31st 2017, and if you want the AWM to pair you up with an interviewee, you need to get a request in by January 10th.
All the prize-winning essays from previous years are online, including this nice one about Tanya Khovanova by high school student Emily Jia.
I’m not normally interested in education stuff, but we’ve had a flurry of emails from various people telling us about their projects, and I’ve got nothing else to do today, so I thought I’d round them up.
Today is the 100th anniversary of Roger Apéry’s birth, and we’re The Aperiodical, so we just had to make a big deal of it.
So, for all of today, we’re The Apéryodical. Throughout today we’ve got a few posts about Apéry and the thing he’s most closely associated with: the Riemann zeta function.
For now, here’s a really big ζ. You’ll need it later.
Here’s a round-up of some of the news from this month.
Never-ending Turing centenary, part XLVI
The Alan Turing centenary shows no signs of abating.
First of all, there’s a marvellous new art installation under Paddington Bridge in London, in memory of Turing. There’s also a theatre piece called Breaking the Code, showing at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre until 19th November.
Secondly, work continues to introduce legislation in the UK pardoning all gay men who were convicted of crimes related to homosexuality, in the same way Alan was a few years ago. Ministers said they were ‘committed’ to getting the law passed, but in an emotional session the bill was “talked out” by minister Sam Gyimah, meaning it wasn’t voted on.
LMS wins the first Royal Society Athena prize
The London Mathematical Society (LMS) has been honoured this autumn by receiving the first Royal Society Athena Prize to recognise its advancement of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within the mathematical community. The prize was awarded in a ceremony at the Royal Society’s annual diversity conference on 31 October.
Fourth Christopher Zeeman medal goes to Rob Eastaway
Mathematician, author and friend of the site Rob Eastaway has received the 2016 Christopher Zeeman medal, awarded to recognise and acknowledge the contributions of mathematicians involved in promoting mathematics to the public and engaging with the public in mathematics in the UK.
There will be an award lecture taking place on 22 March 2017, and details will be announced in Mathematics Today and the LMS Newsletter.
Edmund Harriss is a very good friend of the Aperiodical, and a mathematical artist of quite some renown. His latest project is CURVAHEDRA, a system of bendable boomerang-like pieces which join together to make all sorts of geometrical structures.