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Hannah Fry’s Hello World is Radio 4 Book of the Week

This week Radio 4 has chosen Hannah Fry’s new book Hello World as its Book of the Week. This means excerpts from the book are read out each day, and you can listen along on iPlayer Radio.

To find out what the book’s like, read this review by Colin Beveridge.

Maths at the British Science Festival 2018

British Science Festival logoGuest author Kevin Houston has written a round-up of maths-related events at next week’s British Science Festival.

The British Science Festival is taking place in Hull and the Humber 11-14th September. There are lots of talks so I’ve put together a handy guide to talks with a mathematics-related theme.

The Joy Of Winning documentary on BBC2

Hannah Fry presents a new one-off BBC4 documentary about game theory (reading the description, it sounds more classic than combinatorial), which the BBC4 website describes as a “gleefully nerdy adventure”. Should be fun!

This is tomorrow, 28th August 2018 at 9pm on BBC4 and on iPlayer after.

Update: iPlayer link to The Joy Of Winning.

International Congress of Mathematicians 2022 – St Petersburg

Saint Petersburg will host the next International Congress of Mathematicians, in 2022.

More informationSaint Petersburg beats Paris to win bid to host ICM 2022.

2018 Christopher Zeeman Medal awarded to Hannah Fry

Hannah FryTV maths legend and UCL-based mathematician Hannah Fry has been awarded this year’s IMA/LMS Christopher Zeeman Medal, which aims to recognise and acknowledge the contributions of mathematicians involved in promoting mathematics to the public and engaging with the public in mathematics in the UK.

Named after the late Professor Sir Christopher Zeeman FRS, whose Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on mathematics in 1978 were a shining example and led to the development of their mathematics and engineering Masterclass programme, the medal will be awarded at a ceremony to take place in 2019, where Dr Fry will also give a lecture.

From the official announcement/citation:

Hannah Fry’s dedication in promoting mathematics to the widest possible public has not only done untold good for the subject, but has provided a powerful role model for mathematicians, most especially female ones, making mathematics feel more relevant, more humorous and most of all more human. Her spectacular success in an otherwise notoriously difficult endeavour may be ascribed to a unique and enviable set of characteristics. First, she has an uncanny instinct for spotting mathematics that will readily engage the public, and then of constructing the perfect context and using it to convey profound mathematical ideas that might otherwise appear dry. Second, she is effortlessly able to transcend audience boundaries and make mathematics both accessible and “cool” to an enormous range of hard-to-convince onlookers. Finally, Hannah has a tremendous capacity for her sheer hard work: the breadth and range of activities that she undertakes, the number of separate media appearances to which she commits, and the widely disparate audiences and age groups that she is able to reach are all eloquent testament to her ability and commitment. Perhaps her most significant achievement is to have inspired a generation of girls in a way that has not been done before.

Hannah Fry awarded 2018 Zeeman Medal, on the LMS website

More information about the Christopher Zeeman Medal award, on the LMS website

Medal citation (PDF)

Caucher Birkar becomes first person ever to receive the Fields Medal twice

You may know from our recent foray into breaking news that the Fields Medal awarded to Caucher Birkar was stolen, minutes after it was awarded. It turns out the International Mathematical Committee (IMU) had a spare medal in Rio for display purposes, and they decided to award it to Birkar as a replacement.

Birkar is quoted as joking “I’m much more famous than I would be,” in reference to the increased media attention following the theft. Being the first person in the world to ever receive the Fields Medal twice certainly makes him a good answer to a trivia question at your next maths-themed pub quiz.

A post from the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) tries to play down the incident. ICM Chairman Marcelo Viana called it a “regretful incident with a happy ending” – slightly strange as the stolen medal hasn’t been found – and Birkar himself is quoted saying how lovely Rio is.

More information

“I’m more famous now than I would be”, jokes Birkar.