Timothy Gowers’ mathematical writing experiment, which we reported on last month, has now concluded and the results are available. The experiment concerned a set of proofs of results on metric spaces; Gowers sought opinions on how well-written and understandable each one is.
It turns out that experiment was a ruse!: Gowers revealed on his blog that he has been working on a program which can produce human-readable proofs of propositions, and its proofs were smuggled in amongst two others written by humans. After revealing that, he asked for people to tell him which proofs were the computer’s. He’s just published the results of that second experiment on his blog, along with a description of the program.
Do you know about metric spaces? Would you like to be the subject of an experiment? Then Timothy Gowers needs you!
Gowers put a post on his weblog this morning containing five propositions to do with metric spaces, along with three write-ups of proofs of each proposition. He’s looking for feedback on how easy or hard to understand each write-up is, as well as how well-written they were.
If you’ve some time to spare, go and take part in the experiment over at Gowers’s weblog.
Prof Sir Tim Gowers has published a couple of very interesting posts on his blog this week, explaining his thinking behind a couple of announcements to do with Open Access.
I’m hijacking Katie’s newly-instituted series of posts about who to follow on Twitter with a post about who to follow on Google+.
Google+ famously has almost nobody on it. If anyone knows the potential for really interesting exceptions to the word “almost”, it’s mathematicians, so by that mad logic there should be some really interesting mathematicians on Google+. As luck has it, there are! It seems that the unconstrained nature of Google+ posts gives mathematicians the space they need to express themselves usefully.
Here are a few mathsy people you might like to encircle on Google+.
The EPSRC has silently updated its table of “areas in which fellowships are available” to include “intradisciplinary research” in mathematical sciences at all career stages. According to a post by Timothy Gowers on Google+, this “means in practice pretty much all of maths.”
The campaign to make access to scholarly literature fairer and broader has been picking up steam and moving quite quickly lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to collect the recent news about open access, the Elsevier boycott, and so on, all in one place.
To help you catch up with the story so far, the Guardian have published a (free) roundup of content on the “Academic Spring”.