Usually at this time of year, I have a look through the New Year Honours list for particularly mathematical appointments. Here are the names I’ve found that are particularly mathematical.
- Tricia Dodd, Chief Methodology Officer, UK Statistics Authority, appointed MBE “for services to Statistics and Research”.
- Dave Watson, director of IBM Research in the UK, who apparently has a focus on big data, appointed CBE “for services to Science and Engineering Research”.
- Maggie Philbin, appointed OBE “for services to Promoting careers in STEM and Creative Industries”.
- Anne-Marie Imafidon, co-founder and CEO of Stemettes, appointed MBE “for services to Young Women within STEM Sectors”.
I think every time I have done this (for New Year and Birthday Honours since 2013), there has been at least one person on the list, and usually several, specifically included for services to mathematics or mathematics education. This time, this is not the case, though there is one mention of statistics.
Are there any others I’ve missed? Please add any of interest in the comments below. A full list may be obtained from the UK Government website.
Here’s a selection of news stories about mathematical prizes that have been awarded/announced in the last couple of months.
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.
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.
AWM essay contest
Back in 2013, our own Christian Lawson-Perfect came up with a way of making a solid from the smallest non-Hamiltonian graph, the Herschel Graph. Called the Herschel Enneahedron, it’s got nine faces (three squares and six kites) and the same symmetries as the graph itself.
The most recent news is that Spektrum magazine – sort of a German version of New Scientist – has included in its regular puzzle column a Herschel Enneahedron-related challenge. Here’s Google’s best effort at translating it:
Please make a polyhedron of 3 squares and 6 cover-like kite rectangles with suitable dimensions (in your thoughts, drawings or with carton). What symmetry properties does it have, how many corners and edges? Is it possible to make a (Hamilton-) circular path on its edges, which takes each corner exactly once and does not use an edge more than once?
Before you get out your cartons and start working on this, given that we started from a graph which isn’t Hamiltonian, you may have a slight spoiler on the answer here… but the solution given includes some nice videos and explanation as to how the solid is formed.
Treitz Puzzles 313, at Spektrum.de
Registration for the 2017 Alan Turing Cryptography Competition is now open!