There’s been a lot of maths news this month, but we’ve all been too busy to keep up with it. So, in case you missed anything, here’s a summary of the biggest stories this month. We’ve got two new facts about primes, the best way of packing spheres in lots of dimensions, and the ongoing debate about the place of maths in society, as well as the place of society in maths.
A surprisingly simple pattern in the primes
Kannan Soundararajan and Robert Lemke Oliver have noticed that the last digits of adjacent prime numbers aren’t uniformly distributed – if one prime ends in a 1, for example, the next prime number is less likely to end in a 1 than another odd digit. Top maths journos Evelyn Lamb and Erica Klarreich have both written very accessible pieces about this, in the Nature blog and Quanta magazine, respectively.
Oliver and Soundararajan’s paper on the discovery is titled “Unexpected biases in the distribution of consecutive primes”.
Here’s a round-up of some mathematical news from last month.
The Abel Prize for 2014 has gone to Yakov Sinai of Princeton University, “for his fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and mathematical physics”.
The Abel Prize for 2013 has been awarded to Pierre Deligne, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, for
seminal contributions to algebraic geometry and for their transformative impact on number theory, representation theory, and related fields.
Nominations are now open for the Abel Prize 2013. The Abel Prize is awarded annually by Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters “for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics” and probably has a greater claim to be the ‘mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize‘ than does the, perhaps better known, Fields Medal.
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters hereby calls for nominations for the Abel Prize 2013, and invite you (or your society or institution) to nominate candidate(s). Your nomination should be accompanied by a description of the work and impact of the nominee/nominees, together with names of distinguished specialists in the field of the nominee/nominees who can be contacted for an independent opinion.
Further details are given in the nomination guidelines.
A new episode of the Math/Maths Podcast has been released.
A conversation about mathematics between the UK and USA from Pulse-Project.org. This week Samuel and Peter spoke about: Endre Szemerédi wins the Abel Prize 2012; Automatically tagging the World Service archive; Intel Science Fair; 72nd Putnam; The Spanish link in cracking the Enigma code; Greater Manchester sunflowers to test Alan Turing theory; e-petition: Put Alan Turing on the next £10 note; Five Math Things to do Before You Die; Music helps children learn maths; Alcohol boosts ability to solve problems creatively; Spiked Math IQ Test; Mondrian of Life; Journalism lecturer to take maths GSCE to test ‘dumbing down’; The Proof is Trivial; Angry Birds Space Mirrors Real Rocket Science; Rosenthal Prize; The New MAA Store; new NCETM contract; Reviving the Carnival of Mathematics; Google interviews: would you get a job with the search giant?; and more.
Get this episode: Math/Maths 90: Maths is to Mathematics as Math is to…?