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Aperiodical News Roundup – September 2022

Here’s a roundup of mathematical news stories we didn’t get round to writing about yet this month.


From 11th October onwards, the ICMS are organising a series of talks titled Diverse Voices of Maths, all taking place at the Bayes Centre in Edinburgh and being streamed online, with free tickets. Speakers include friends of the site Alison Kiddle on maths anxiety, Zoe Griffiths on numbers in the news and Sophie Maclean on ‘how to get rich quick’, as well as Angela Tabiri on algebra and geometry, and Karine Chemla on the history of maths. Full details and event dates are available in this PDF, and on the ICMS events page.

Front cover of book 'Peculiar Deaths of Famous Mathematicians' by Ioanna Georgiou

In just a few days, the Hellenic Centre in London is hosting a Storytelling in Mathematics event on Friday 7th October from 7pm, featuring author Ioanna Georgiou sharing some of the stories from her books (including Peculiar Deaths of Famous Mathematicians, pictured right).

And as if there aren’t enough free maths talks to attend this month, the Hamilton Day Lecture 2022 will take place at 6pm on 17th October at the Edmund Burke Theatre, Trinity College Dublin. The lecture will be given by Abel prize winner Avi Widgerson, the title is ‘Cryptography: Secrets and Lies, Knowledge and Trust’, and tickets are free.

The BBC has announced a new season of documentary content, including a new six-part science series with mathematician and legend Hannah Fry, called The Secret Genius Of Everything. The series, which will be on BBC2 and iPlayer, features Prof Fry “delving into the wonders of modern technology, and uncovering some of the mind-blowing stories behind it.”

Awards and Appointments

The American Mathematical Society has announced the 2023 winners of their Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM) Communications Award, who are Jordan Ellenberg and Grant Sanderson. Ellenberg is being recognised for “his clear and entertaining prose that brings the power and beauty of mathematics to general audiences”, and Sanderson for “his watchable and engaging YouTube channel, with over 4 million subscribers, about discovery and creativity in mathematics”. Both will give award lectures in January (along with 2022 winner Talithia Williams).

It’s Breakthrough Prizes season again, and this year Fields medalist James Maynard receives the New Horizons in Mathematics Prize for “multiple contributions to analytic number theory, and in particular to the distribution of prime numbers”, as well as Ana Caraiani “for diverse transformative contributions to the Langlands program, and in particular for work with Peter Scholze on the Hodge-Tate period map for Shimura varieties and its applications”, Ronen Eldan “for the creation of the stochastic localization method, that has led to significant progress in several open problems in high-dimensional geometry and probability, including Jean Bourgain’s slicing problem and the KLS conjecture.”

The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics goes to Daniel A. Spielman, for “multiple discoveries in theoretical computer science and mathematics”. And the Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize for up-and-coming female mathematicians goes to Maggie Miller, Jinyoung Park and Vera Traub. More information on the Breakthrough Prize announcement page.

Photo of Vicky Neale, who is a white woman with blue glasses and long blonde hair.
Vicky Neale

The Mathematical Association, which supports maths in education, has announced that Vicky Neale will be president of the MA in 2024.

The book ‘Playful Mathematics‘ by Helen Williams has been awarded Professional Book of the Year by Nursery World magazine asp art of their annual awards. The book is aimed at empowering early years teachers to communicate mathematical ideas through play.

And if you were wondering what happened with Grant Sanderson’s Summer of Math Exposition 2, the results have now been announced in the form of a video and a post on Grant’s blog. There are five cash prizes, listed below, and 20 ‘honourable mentions’, and the winners include both YouTube videos and interactive websites:

Important mathematical milestones

If you didn’t already know there’s a Twitter account that just tweets every prime number, you do now – and the big news is that the prime numbers account has just passed one million. Only infinity more to go!

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