Archive for June, 2014

The strange world of contributed ICM talks and posters

June 29, 2014

ICMs are professional events, attended by thousands of mathematicians. There are Planary talks and Invited talks with first rate contributions by specialists. All of them are recorded in the proceedings volumes.

And then there are Contributed talks, and Posters, which are not recorded in the proceedings, apparently. And this seems to be leaving the door open to virtually any claim. Indeed, one can find there a mix between regular graduate student or postdoc contributions, and, shall we say, more dubious material.

In fact, in 1998 in Berlin, nothing suspect pops up among the talks announced in time, but the google cache tells us that the accepted late submissions included “Fermat’s Last Theorem, a Simple Proof based on Irrational Numbers“, and “NP = P“.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage to find the ones from 2002 in Beijing.

But, nil desperandum, there were also noticeable revelations in 2006 in Madrid, including “On Fermat’s historic marginal note: some significant left-out grains of truth leading to new proof of FLT“.

In 2010 in Hyderabhad, lots of creativity was again to be found, including “Four Errors in Cantor’s Proofs on the Uncountability of Real Number Set and The Foundation of Mathematics“, but also three new proofs of FLT ( “Fermat’s Last Theorem“, “Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem (FLT)” and “Proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem“).

The 2014 one in Seoul promises yet more of the same, including “How to prove the Riemann hypothesis” (based on v16 of this paper, apparently).


I don’t quite understand why all this is allowed to happen…


First Mathematics Breakthrough Prizes announced

June 23, 2014

As reported by the BBC, the first Mathematics Breakthrough Prizes, each endowed with $3m, have just been awarded to (in alphabetical order): Simon Donaldson, Jacob Lurie, Maxim Kontsevich, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor.

A good mix of ages and topics (although it is perhaps surprising that no probabilist has been distinghuised in the first batch).

Curious to see whether they’ll keep the 5 laureates per year rate for long, but to launch the prize this looks like it was necessary indeed.

Edit: according to the New-York Times, from now on the plan is to have one mathematics laureate per year.

3D printing mathematical objects

June 21, 2014

With all the 3D printing craze, some folks have been trying to get mathematical objects. For instance here are some by fdecomite on flickr:

The details are a bit rough

but still it is quite decorative and I can imagine metal printing to be even nicer.

As for monochrome objects, some impressive ones have been attainable for a couple years, like this quadrifolium

Plans for 2018 and 2022 ICMs

June 17, 2014

Although it is quite far in the future, it appears the Comité National Français des Mathématiciens is intent on making a bid for France as organizer of the 2022 ICM.

As for the 2018 ICM, the deadline for bids was in november 2012 and the location will be announced next august, I think. There is a bid from Brazil, and I couldn’t find others online.

Speaking of ICMs, the medalists probably know who they are by now (they usually get a call in may). There’s been an interview last month in Le Journal du CNRS of Martin Andler (otherwise known as energetic Animath president) where he says that

Pour les lauréats, le secret est tout de même lourd à porter, notamment vis-à-vis des autres candidats possibles à la médaille. Dans les semaines qui précèdent la cérémonie, la tension est palpable entre les mathématiciens !

Which I’d roughly translate as

For the laureates, the secret is still quite heavy to bear, in particular with respect to the other possible candidates for a medal. In the weeks that precede the ceremony, tension between mathematicians is palpable!

The format of it all certainly seems a bit devoid of understanding of human emotions…



Research level math videos

June 9, 2014

It is a bit unfortunate that no single place for research-level maths videos yet exists (when one can even find a list of Paris places bearing the name of a mathematician). Here are some URLs that I could find:

[Edit: there’s a very nice list of videos on Pinterest which focuses on courses and colloquium-style talks, some being taken from the pages below, but that list doesn’t include most of the dozens of more specialized talks mentionned on those pages.]

MSRI (tons of workshops…)

IAS (includes Minerva Lectures…)

Newton Institute (tons of workshops…)

Institut Henri Poincaré (includes workshops and recent Bourbaki seminars…)

IHÉS  (includes recent courses…)

PIMS (under the name

ICTS (lots of courses…)

University of Oregon (includes Moursund Lectures).

Hebrew university of Jerusalem (includes Landau Lectures)

HIM (lots of seminars)

ICM (from 1998 Berlin ICM onwards)

Cornell University

Stony Brook

U Texas at Austin


Clay Mathematics Institute

U of Arizona (mostly Arithmetic Geometry)

Mathnet Korea

MRC (Stanford)

IMA (tons of workshops…) (lots of seminars…)

U of Washington (includes Milliman Lectures…)

Michigan State U (includes Phillips Lectures…)

Topology seminars filmed by Carmen Rovi (UK, Oberwolfach…)

BIRS (lots of workshops…)

Institut Fourier (several summer schools…)

Columbia (Eilenberg lectures…)

IPAM (lots of workshops…)

CIRM (lots of workshops, many nice edited HD videos), see also its youtube channel.

Feel free to mention other relevant ones in the comment section (the post will be periodically updated accordingly, with most recent additions at the end of the list).

Obiously, a nice global interface with search by keywords or names would be much more appropriate (I just might set it up later, if not too much work, and not too expensive).