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Review: Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway, by Siobhan Roberts

The author Siobhan Roberts has sent us a copy of her new book, Genius at Play. There was a strong implication that we should review it. I’ve now read the book, so I’ll do that: I enjoyed it.

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Biography of Turing by his mother republished

Barry Cooper, Professor of Pure Mathematics at Leeds and Chair of the Turing Centenary Advisory Committee, writes in the Guardian a personal account of an interest in Turing and his efforts to get the limited edition biography written by Turing’s mother Sara republished.

Written from a mother’s viewpoint, Sara provides a unique insight into the early years of Turing, with candid descriptions such as, “In dress and habits he tended to be slovenly. His hair was usually too long, with an overhanging lock which he would toss back with a jerk of his head.” But the book is full of brilliant treasures, anecdotal accounts of Turing’s eccentricity and genius, and insights into his science.

Source: De-coding the Turing family.

Klein: outside the bottle

If you’ve heard of Felix Klein, it’s probably due to the Klein bottle, that strange four-dimensional object that is the subject of a new video here on The Aperiodical starring Katie Steckles and Matt Parker. Who is Klein and, apart from the bottle, what did he do?

Klein’s Times obituary records that he would point out “with a smile” that his date of birth comprised three squares of primes. So then, I will refer to his birth as taking place on the $( 5^2 )^{\textrm{th}}$ day of the $(2^2 )^{\textrm{th}}$ month in the year $43^2$ in Prussia. You might like to notice that today is the $( 5^2)^{\textrm{th}}$ day of the $( 2^2 )^{\textrm{th}}$ month as well, so it is the 163rd anniversary of Klein’s birth.

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