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Not Mentioned on the Aperiodical, 10th November 2016

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)

Follow Friday: 13/2/15

Remember when we used to do a regular Follow Friday post, recommending mathematically interesting Twitter accounts? Well, this is like that, only not hugely regular. Enjoy it while it lasts!

IMA 50th Anniversary events


The IMA turns 50 this year, and is holding two celebration events and publishing a book.

Not mentioned on The Aperiodical last year

Here’s a quick round-up of some news stories from the tail end of 2012 that we characteristically failed to write up!

IMA Bulletin Volume 1, Issue 1

IMA members receive, as part of their subscription, copies of Mathematics Today. The original IMA members’ magazine was the IMA Bulletin, first published in 1965 following the founding of the institute in 1964. In 1996 the Bulletin re-branded as Mathematics Today, though kept the numbering system, so the most recent issue I received is volume 48, issue 1 for February 2012.

This week, on a trip to Salford for workshops run by our supported projects, I was lucky enough to spend a little time with a complete set of issues of IMA Bulletin/Mathematics Today. Here is a picture of volume 1, issue 1. A far cry from the latest Mathematics Today!

Edited by E.T. Goodwin of National Physical Laboratory and J. Howlett of the Atlas Computer Laboratory, serving under founding President Prof. M.J. Lighthill, no contents are listed but the issue contains:

  • An update on the society, now registered to James Lighthill’s rooms at Imperial College, including notice of appointment of “the first permanent officer of the Institute”, Mr. Norman Clarke, who left the Institute of Physics and The Physical Society for appointment, and notice of the first AGM on Wednesday, 29 September 1965.
  • Notice of a residential conference on “The State of the Art in Numerical Analysis” at Birmingham University in July.
  • Notice of a symposium on “How to Teach the Art of Approximation” at Imperial College, London in May and repeated at University of Strathclyde in July.
  • Notice of various “Lecture Meetings” in London, Manchester, the West Midlands, Bristol and Leeds, with the expressed hope of further meetings in Liverpool, Newcastle and Southampton. These were to “try to appeal to a wide range of membership and not be highly specialized”, with topics including wave propagation, satellite orbits, electrical manufacturing, OR, meteorology, blood flow and Christopher Zeeman’s “A Mathematical Model of the Brain”. A note records that “at some of the above centres it seems likely that local branches of the Institute will develop”, with the first Branch proposal coming from Manchester and a Scottish committee being formed “to cater for interests in Scotland”.
  • Notice of a proposal for running examinations towards a H.N.C. in Mathematics.
  • An article detailing “The Origins of the Institute”.
  • A full list of members as of 1st January 1965, comprising 416 Fellows, 195 Associate Fellows, 42 Companion Members, 84 Graduate Members and 7 Student Members.

Wanted: IMA University Liaison Officer

I am leaving my roles at the IMA and University of Nottingham to take up a new role as HE Curriculum Innovation Advisor with the Maths, Stats and OR Network as part of the National HE STEM Programme. What will I be doing? Here’s some blurb from the job advert:

The National HE STEM programme aims to review and enhance the content, delivery and assessment of the undergraduate mathematics science curriculum. The HE Curriculum Advisor will work closely with other members of the MSOR Network and the mathematical science departments across England and Wales to facilitate and support innovation within the mathematical sciences curriculum, primarily through funded curriculum innovation projects.

One result of this is that the IMA are seeking my replacement. The job advert has been posted with a deadline of 30 July 2010. Blurb from this job advert:

A University Liaison Officer is required to forge links with all those in the mathematics departments; working with university mathematics societies; encouraging links with the IMA early career mathematicians group; presenting details of career options that follow a degree in mathematics and developing ways to stay in touch with graduate mathematicians once they leave university.
It is anticipated that the post will be of interest to persons of at least graduate standing (in mathematics) who are enthusiastic about mathematics; good communicators; committed to achieving the highest professional standards and able to develop an empathy with mathematics students. It is possible that the person appointed will have experience of student engagement mechanisms and a keen interest in helping to reinforce the aims of the Institute.
The successful applicant will work from home, but will need to be able to visit Southend (our Head Office), London (for meetings) and many universities throughout the UK on the Institute’s behalf in pursuit of their responsibilities.

Further details and an application form are available from the IMA Careers webpages.

A little personal spin: Being University Liaison Officer for the IMA has been the best job I have had. I’m so sad to be leaving, but my interests (not least through my PhD) are drawn towards improving maths education at HE level and the new role looks like a brilliant mixture of all my interests. Onwards, ever onwards!