math highlights 2018¾

hi all havent written on misc math topics for quite awhile. was reminded of the area by the recent fields medal award to Birkar and the wild theft imbroglio.[a13-15]

these are a collection of fascinating/ fun links.

highlights for me: wiles abel prize.[a11] but do think its a real pity it took ~2½ decades to award! ouch! alas, it shows how conservative prize committees are. it seemingly wasnt awarded until they were convinced his heroic effort had more applications in math and could be built on by others. to me solving a 3½ century open math problem eluding the worlds greatest mathematicians of ages deserves a large prize in a short amt of time, but this also reflects some of the larger math community conservativism: eg Collatz is open ¾ century but is not taken that seriously by mathematicians at large. gauss wrote evasively about FLT centuries ago and one might say the semi-stigma never went away…

my favorite area is auto thm proving and theres misc developments in the area, but alas nothing earthshaking as hoped and not even much of a discernable increase in momentum.[e] but, have learned to be very patient in this area and think fortunes will change. esp notable was the Yedidia-Aaronson paper on constructing a small Turing Machine that verifies ZFC very similar/ related to some of my own research into TM compilers.[e7][e8]

the abc conjecture resolution complexity seems to have gone on several years now with no end in sight and is a bit scandalous, now rather singular in the history of math.[b] to me it shows partly how complex modern math has become where new deep results may span hundreds of pages. as noted numerous times in this blog over the years there are a lot of analogies between math and computer code and that seems to be tightening in the 21st century. the ongoing abc work is sort of the “mother of all code reviews”. have also said here “math is like algorithms that run in human brains”.

deep links between the riemann conjecture and physics are very intriguing, feel like someone really should write a book on this or at least a huge survey.[c] there are other connections that show up.[d] have blogged on these yrs ago but it deserves another highlight.

there are a lot of inspiring profiles to read these days.[f] hadnt heard about frenkels colorful history and on being tipped off by him by some “edgy young dudes” in the SE physics/ math chat room (maybe ~½ fittingly one of them now banned for a year, RIP 0celo7); looked into his material, bought frenkels book, cant wait to read it.[f2] they may have snarkily quipped something about him being the worlds “only mathematician porn star”, maybe a new wild semi legendary story from our time added to the pantheon to tell instead of the Galois duel? has anyone seen his movie, what do you think? [f2]

so sad that mirzakhani died.[f3] as someone quipped in the math chat room the fields medal has not been award to “any living female mathematicians”. more on females in the field on [i] where there was a mini viral moment about the tone-deaf seminfamous “Women in Math” poster that probably blew up largely on reddit.


a. breakthru/ awards/ prizes
b. abc
c. riemann
d. physics
e. auto thm proving
f. profiles
f2. frenkel
f3. mirzakhani
g. culture
h. math/ advances
i. women


1 thought on “math highlights 2018¾

  1. Pingback: Atiyah Riemann attack/ post mortem/ autopsy, Primes torch carried on | Turing Machine

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