It used to live, unloved, in the A-level formula book: a mysterious result relating the area of a triangle to its sides. The most interesting thing about it was its name: Heron’s formula. (As far as I can make out, the chap’s name was Hero of Alexandria, and if you do a possessive in Greek…

# Aperiodical News Roundup – May 2024

Here’s a round-up of some of the mathematical news we saw last month. Maths News Thomas Hales and Koundinya Vajjha have claimed a proof of Mahler’s first conjecture, that the most unpackable centrally symmetric convex disk in the plane is a smoothed polygon. (via Greg Egan) There’s also a been a proof of the geometric…

# Particularly mathematical Birthday Honours 2024

The UK Government have announced the new set of King’s Birthday Honours. Here’s our selection of particularly mathematical entries for this year. If you spot any more, let us know in the comments and we’ll add to the list. Get the full list from gov.uk. Spot anyone we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.

# Carnival of Maths 228

The next issue of the Carnival of Mathematics, rounding up blog posts from the month of May 2024, is now online at Girls’ Angle. The Carnival rounds up maths blog posts from all over the internet, including some from our own Aperiodical. See our Carnival of Mathematics page for more information.

# Prime-generating functions

A few weeks ago I heard someone casually refer to ‘that formula of Euler’s that generates primes’. I hadn’t heard of this, but it turns out that in 1772 Euler produced this formula: \[ f(x) = x^2 + x + 41\text{.} \] Using this, \(f(0)=41\), which is prime. \(f(1)=43\), which is also prime. \(f(2)=47\) is…

# Aperiodical News Roundup – March/April 2024

Here’s a round-up of mathematical news from the last couple of months. Awards The 2024 Abel Prize has been awarded to Michel Talagrand, “for his groundbreaking contributions to probability theory and functional analysis, with outstanding applications in mathematical physics and statistics.” This year’s Turing Award has been given to Avi Wigderson, “for foundational contributions to…

# Carnival of Mathematics 227

The next issue of the Carnival of Mathematics, rounding up blog posts from the month of April 2024, is now online at Ioanna Georgiou’s blog. The Carnival rounds up maths blog posts from all over the internet, including some from our own Aperiodical. See our Carnival of Mathematics page for more information.