Here’s a round-up of some of the news from this month.
Never-ending Turing centenary, part XLVI
The Alan Turing centenary shows no signs of abating.
First of all, there’s a marvellous new art installation under Paddington Bridge in London, in memory of Turing. There’s also a theatre piece called Breaking the Code, showing at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre until 19th November.
Secondly, work continues to introduce legislation in the UK pardoning all gay men who were convicted of crimes related to homosexuality, in the same way Alan was a few years ago. Ministers said they were ‘committed’ to getting the law passed, but in an emotional session the bill was “talked out” by minister Sam Gyimah, meaning it wasn’t voted on.
LMS wins the first Royal Society Athena prize
The London Mathematical Society (LMS) has been honoured this autumn by receiving the first Royal Society Athena Prize to recognise its advancement of diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within the mathematical community. The prize was awarded in a ceremony at the Royal Society’s annual diversity conference on 31 October.
Royal Society press release
Fourth Christopher Zeeman medal goes to Rob Eastaway
Mathematician, author and friend of the site Rob Eastaway has received the 2016 Christopher Zeeman medal, awarded 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.
There will be an award lecture taking place on 22 March 2017, and details will be announced in Mathematics Today and the LMS Newsletter.
IMA website article on the award
Rob Eastaway’s citation (PDF)
In our traditional mode of picking apart the programmes of upcoming science festivals to make sure they’re doing their maths homework, here’s a round-up of the mathematicial goodies on offer at the upcoming Manchester Science Festival, running from 22nd October – 1st November at venues across Manchester.
A couple of papers by Alan Turing have appeared on the arXiv.
No, that’s right – The Applications of Probability to Cryptography and The Statistics of Repetitions are two papers Turing wrote during the Second World War, and they’re now available on the arXiv, transcribed into modern LaTeX by Ian Taylor.
I just want to be done with Alan Turing posts, but stuff keeps happening. Here’s a very brief round-up of some recent Turing news:
There’s a petition to Pardon all convicted gay men, not just Alan Turing. Sign it or don’t or write 12,000 words hemming and hawing about it all. Up to you.
This is actually really interesting: some “Banbury sheets”, invented by Alan Turing to make breaking naval Enigma codes go quicker (here’s some more info on how that works by Tony Sale) have been found stuffed in the roof of Hut 6 at Bletchley Park.
The UK government is putting together a mega-huge new Alan Turing Institute for Data Science, combining support from all sorts of universities and research organisations. The Guardian tells us that it’s going to be based at the British Library in London, while the Manchester Evening News laments that the University of Manchester, where Turing worked after the war, has not been selected to be an official part of the Institute.
The Imitation Game is the new film starring Sherlock Holmes as Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, and Keira Knightley as Kate Winslet as Joan Clarke. Together they are two mathematicians in World War II trying to build a bombe. The film will soon be available on DVD, blu-ray, and as an animated GIF set on tumblr.
These are the Imitation Game FAQs.
To celebrate the release of the upcoming Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game (see our incisive analysis of the film’s trailer by James Grime) the guys at the University of Manchester – who have previously run the hugely successful Alan Turing Cryptography competition – have been asked to run a one-off Imitation Game Cryptography Competition. And they have.
The competition is themed around the (possibly true? Who knows. It’s not like it’s my job to research these things) idea that Alan Turing’s fortune in silver is buried in a secret location somewhere near Bletchley Park, and it’s your job to crack the three coded clues and find out where. Prizes will be in the form of exclusive Imitation Game merchandise donated by the makers of the film, and the competition runs until the 28th of November.
Imitation Game Cryptography Competition
Manchester Science Festival takes over the city from 23rd October – 2nd November this year, and it’s got a great selection of mathematical events. If you’re based locally, or thinking of heading over there for any of the time, here’s The Aperiodical’s guide to where to get your factorial fix.