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The arXiv overlay journal Discrete Analysis has launched

discrete analysis

Discrete Analysis, a new open-access journal for articles which are “analytical in flavour but that also have an impact on the study of discrete structures”, launched this week. What’s interesting about it is that it’s an arXiv overlay journal founded by, among others, Timothy Gowers.

Results of Gowers’ mathematical writing experiment

Timothy Gowers’ mathematical writing experiment, which we reported on last month, has now concluded and the results are available. The experiment concerned a set of proofs of results on metric spaces; Gowers sought opinions on how well-written and understandable each one is.

It turns out that experiment was a ruse!: Gowers revealed on his blog that he has been working on a program which can produce human-readable proofs of propositions, and its proofs were smuggled in amongst two others written by humans. After revealing that, he asked for people to tell him which proofs were the computer’s. He’s just published the results of that second experiment on his blog, along with a description of the program.

Gowers needs you for an experiment concerning mathematical writing

Do you know about metric spaces? Would you like to be the subject of an experiment? Then Timothy Gowers needs you!

Gowers put a post on his weblog this morning containing five propositions to do with metric spaces, along with three write-ups of proofs of each proposition. He’s looking for feedback on how easy or hard to understand each write-up is, as well as how well-written they were.

If you’ve some time to spare, go and take part in the experiment over at Gowers’s weblog.

The Good, the Bad and Gowers

Prof Sir Tim Gowers has published a couple of very interesting posts on his blog this week, explaining his thinking behind a couple of announcements to do with Open Access.

Follow Friday

I’m hijacking Katie’s newly-instituted series of posts about who to follow on Twitter with a post about who to follow on Google+.

Google+ famously has almost nobody on it. If anyone knows the potential for really interesting exceptions to the word “almost”, it’s mathematicians, so by that mad logic there should be some really interesting mathematicians on Google+. As luck has it, there are! It seems that the unconstrained nature of Google+ posts gives mathematicians the space they need to express themselves usefully.

Here are a few mathsy people you might like to encircle on Google+.

EPSRC very quietly relents on maths funding

The EPSRC has silently updated its table of “areas in which fellowships are available” to include “intradisciplinary research” in mathematical sciences at all career stages. According to a post by Timothy Gowers on Google+, this “means in practice pretty much all of maths.”