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Aperiodical News Roundup – December 2023

Here’s a round-up of a few newsy things we didn’t cover on the site in the month of December.

scraps of old algebra textbook piled with an old photo of a woman surrounded by numbers floating randomly around her
Image: MIT Technology Review

Google DeepMind’s FunSearch has found a correct and previously unknown solution to the cap set problem, which the researchers claim as “the first discoveries made for established open problems using LLMs”. Fields Medalist Terry Tao wrote a blog post about the open problem back in 2007, and you can read the paper for the DeepMind result.

Screenshot of part of an arXiv page - under the heading 'Access Paper' the options are 'Download PDF', 'PostScript', 'Other Formats' and 'HTML (experimental)'

The arXiv has started offering HTML versions of papers – as described in this official arXiv blog post, they’re hoping it’ll make research papers more accessible for arXiv users with disabilities.

 HTML formatted papers are more easily and accurately read by screen readers and other technologies, which can assist researchers with reading disabilities, including blindness, low vision, dyslexia, and more.

arXiv blog post

For any papers submitted in TeX/LaTeX on or after December 1st, 2023, an HTML formatted version will be automatically generated – assuming the conversion works, since it’s currently still a bit experimental – but they were keen to roll this out sooner rather than later. (via Deyan Ginev on Mastodon)

And finally, Hannah Fry is the new President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (X), which turns 60 this year. In the official announcement on the IMA website, Hannah is quoted as saying:

I am so honoured to be taking up the Presidency of the IMA, especially during its 60th year. It is such a unique opportunity to simultaneously look forward to the future and consider how we face the new challenges it will bring while also taking the time to look back and celebrate the rich history of the IMA and all it has achieved over the past 60 years.

Hannah Fry, best person in the world (official)

(will not be published)

$\LaTeX$: You can use LaTeX in your comments. e.g. $ e^{\pi i} $ for inline maths; \[ e^{\pi i} \] for display-mode (on its own line) maths.

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