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Aperiodical News Roundup – August 2023

Here’s a selection of mathematical stories that crossed our desk in August.

Maths Research News

Researchers have discovered that a shape can be designed to trace almost any infinite periodic trajectory when rolling down a slope, as seen in this video (via Jeroen van Dorp)

Innovations in Graph Theory journal logo, featuring the title and a picture of a graph that looks like a flower, on a pale green background

A new diamond open access journal, Innovations in Graph Theory, has been founded. The first issue of the journal is expected to appear in 2024. (via Peter Cameron)

And in important publication news for silly season: Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine have achieved “the true ideal of an unordered set of equal authors, where every author comes first”. Their paper Every Author as First Author proposes a new standard for writing author names on papers and in bibliographies, which places every author as a first author, with the names all superimposed on top of each other, including details of the \namestack LaTeX command for this purpose. The results are predictably hilarious (see below). (via Nalini Joshi)

Screenshot from paper: "being equal. In our own writing, we try to avoid this practice, and instead write all authors' surnames whenever citing a paper, e.g., "X, Y, and Z [#]". But this workaround becomes impractical for references with over a dozen authors, such as some of our papers (*incomprehensible black smear of overlaid names* 2020; *incomprehensible black smear* 2020) or some papers in astronomy (*incomprehensible black smear* 2006) and biology (*incomprehensible black smear* 2001)."

Other News

Alison Kiddle has been posting daily conversation prompts involving LEGO to stimulate mathematical thinking on their blog every day in August, and people have been responding on Twitter and Mastodon.

Mathematician and logician Peter Aczel has died, as has Ian G. Macdonald (who introduced Macdonald polynomials).

One Response to “Aperiodical News Roundup – August 2023”

  1. Avatar Andy

    As someone who (not-pseudonymously) was joint first author on a major paper, but listed second in the author list, it still grates a bit to see my most highly cited paper as A et al. (XXXX) when it should be [A/F] et al. (XXXX), so using namestack might be the answer from now on :)


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