Evelyn Lamb is a professional mathematician who has taken up journalism on the side. She received the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship last year, and spent the summer writing for the magazine Scientific American. We talked to her about maths journalism, the challenges involved in making advances accessible to a wider audience, and the differences between blogging and print journalism.
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The next issue of the Carnival of Mathematics, rounding up blog posts from the month of September, and compiled by Evelyn Lamb, is now online at Roots of Unity.
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.
Harald Helfgott has announced a proof of the odd Goldbach conjecture (also known as the ternary or weak Goldbach conjecture). This is big news. Like a good maths newshound, Christian Perfect promptly wrote this up for The Aperiodical as “All odd integers greater than 7 are the sum of three odd primes!”
Wait, though, there’s a problem. As Relinde Jurrius pointed out on Twitter, the formulation used in the paper abstract was not quite the same.
The ternary Goldbach conjecture, or three-primes problem, asserts that every odd integer $N$ greater than $5$ is the sum of three primes. The present paper proves this conjecture.
The version Christian used makes the assertion using odd primes, whereas the paper abstract only claims “the sum of three primes”. The latter version includes $7$ because $7$ can be written as the sum of three primes, but not odd ones ($7 = 3+2+2$). Certainly, you can see both statements of the weak Goldbach conjecture used (for example, here’s the $\gt 5$ version and here’s the $\gt 7$ version). Are they equivalent?