Archive for March, 2014

Recent observations

March 31, 2014

Three open access journals are now three months into existence. On the one hand the two Gold OA ones from the AMS: Proc.AMS Ser.B has 5 papers while Trans.AMS Ser.B has 2.  (For perspective, the backlog for Proc.AMS is 11 issues as of february, 28 — similar to what it’s always been).    On the other hand, Green OA journal Algebraic Geometry published by the Foundation Compositio Mathematica has had in the same amount of time 12 papers in two issues.

As for the Forum of Mathematics Pi and Sigma journals from Cambridge University Press, which are both Gold OA (but with currently a fee waiver, so effectively Green) and which have been accepting papers for a year and a half: Sigma had 5 papers in 2013 and so far has 4 in 2014; Pi had 4 in 2013 and none so far in 2014.


Completely unrelatedly, a couple weeks ago the first séminaire d’excellence organised by the Académie Francophone des Savoirs took place in Gennevilliers. The aim is to provide talented french-speaking graduate students from developing countries a place to meet established researchers.  Ever-present Cédric Villani (who, incidentally, was president of the support committee of recently elected Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo) was among the speakers, and agreed to take a selfie with the laureates and…his medal!

French mathematics during WW1

March 30, 2014

Since many events are planned here in France for the 100 years of the start of WW1, I’ve had a little look at the impact on french mathematicians at the time.

Several historians of mathematics have produced over the past few years many interesting books and papers (many in english, for wider readership).

I have noticed that Laurent Mazliak has an interesting paper on René Gateaux, who died in 1914 aged 25, even before completing his PhD.  Mazliak also has a book in collaboration with Rossana Tazzioli on the intense correspondance between Vito Voltera (who wanted Italy to join the conflict, and himself fought in the trenches aged 55) and several french mathmaticians (Borel, Hadamard and Picard).

David Aubin also has several interesting papers on the topic. One discusses what happened to students of Ecole Normale Supérieure. A few months ago Aubin published three more papers (all will appear in a book to be published by the AMS): with Catherine Goldstein this long one on the general setting beyond the french perspective, with Goldstein and Hélène Gispert that one centred on parisian mathematicians, and a last one on ballistics.

Between 2003 and 2008, a seminar was held with many more contributors.