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Aperiodical News Roundup – March 2022

Here’s a roundup of mathematical things that have happened in March 2022.

British Science Week mathematicians poster competition

Maria Gaetana Agnesi by Bianca Milesi Mojon (1836) and 祖冲之铜像.jpg by 三猎.

I wrote a mathematics-themed competition for British Science Week, which is a UK-wide event lasting ten days taking place this month.

The competition calls for individuals or groups to research the life and/or work of a mathematician and produce a poster to share their findings. The six mathematicians available to choose from are:

MathsCity hosts freehand circle-drawing competition for π day

To celebrate 14th March (π day), MathsCity in Leeds is hosting a competition to celebrate everyone’s favourite geometrical shape whose circumference is π times its diameter: the circle.

ICM 2022 will not be held in Russia – it’ll be virtual, and free

In recent days there have been calls for the International Mathematical Union (IMU) to not hold in the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Russia in July 2022 due to the developing situation in Ukraine.

This is in addition to previous complaints that Russia is not a safe place to host the ICM, particularly because of its laws affecting LGBTQ+ people.

The IMU announced today that the ICM and associated General Assembly of the IMU will not be held in Russia. Instead, the ICM will be a wholly virtual event – and free to attend. They are seeking an alternative location outside Russia for the General Assembly and prize-giving.

Aperiodical News Roundup – February 2022

Here’s a roundup of mathematical things that have happened in February 2022.


The deeply troubling and developing situation in Ukraine has implications for the 2022 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) due to take place in St. Petersburg, Russia in July. A group of Ukrainian mathematicians has issued a call for mathematicians to boycott the event. National organisations around the world have been issuing statements setting out their positions, standing down their participation and calling on the International Mathematical Union to not hold the event as planned. Here are some we spotted:

The International Mathematical Union (IMU) itself wrote to its member organisations expressing its deep concern, acknowledging the calls and saying it is assessing the situation.

Other news

The organisers of the Gathering 4 Gardner recreational maths conference have announced that this year’s event, taking place in April, will be a hybrid event with 50% discount for online-only places, making them a snip at $200. Registration is restricted to previous attendees and invitees, but it is possible to nominate yourself or someone else for an invitation.

Casualties of the recent storms in the UK apparently also include Newton’s apple tree – not the actual tree an apple fell on his head from, but scions of the original are planted all over the UK and one of the ones at Cambridge, which was planted in 1954, hasn’t survived the combined effects of Storm Eunice and gravity. More info in this excellent Twitter thread.

The Royal Statistical Society has released a report entitled Behind the numbers: The RSS puts the statistical skills of MPs to the test, in which they report the results of asking an anonymous unspecified group of Labour and Conservative MPs a series of simple stats and probability questions. The survey concluded that while MPs performed better than they did in a similar test ten years ago, their stats skills were still sub-par. It may not be as unambiguous as the research seems to claim though – Rob Eastaway has thoughts about the questions used.


Dr. Matilde Lalín (photo: CMS)

Canadian number theorist Dr. Matilde Lalín is to receive the Krieger-Nelson prize, awarded since 1995 by the Canadian Mathematical Society to recognise outstanding contributions in the area of mathematical research by a female mathematician. (via Jordan Ellenberg)

Maryam's Magic

The winners of the 2022 Mathical book prize, an annual award for fiction and nonfiction books that inspire children of all ages to see maths in the world around them, have been announced. The winners look to include some lovely titles, including Maryam’s Magic – the story of mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani – and the fantastic-sounding Uma Wimple Charts Her House. (via Jordan Ellenberg)

And finally

If you like that kind of thing, you can buy a bunch of cheap maths puzzle book PDFs in a Humble Bundle (via Adam Atkinson). And if you like proof assistants, there’s now a Proof Assistants Stack Exchange.

Aperiodical News Roundup – January 2022

Here’s a roundup of some of the mathematical things that happened in the first month of the year.