Category Archives: history

the shadow of the past

Xu Guangqi

Our hotel in Shanghai is very close to the tomb of Xu Guangqi (1562-1633), Chinese Renaissance man: mathematician, first Chinese translator of Euclid, astronomer, calendar reformer, military strategist, agronomist, and more. Just across the road from our hotel is the … Continue reading

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Shrikhande 100

Professor S. S. Shrikhande is 100. I offer him my warmest congratulations and birthday greetings. Among much else in his distinguished career, he was one of the three who showed that a pair of orthogonal Latin squares exists for every … Continue reading

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Around All Hallows Eve

A few things to note, at this very autumnal time of year. On Saturday we went to a concert, part of the St Andrews Voices festival. The concert was given by Dowland Works (five singers including Emma Kirkby, and two … Continue reading

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Charles Sims

This morning I received the news that Charles Sims died on Monday. Sims was one of the most influential figures in computational group theory, but was much more besides. His name is attached to two sporadic simple groups; the one … Continue reading

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The Fife Coastal Path

A week or so ago saw for me the end of a journey that had been in progress for more than twelve years. I first walked a stretch of the Fife Coastal Path (St Andrews to Crail) on the free … Continue reading

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D’Arcy Thompson

D’Arcy Thompson’s celebrated book On Growth and Form was published 100 years ago. To celebrate this and the fact that Thompson was Professor of Mathematics at St Andrews for 64 years (and had been at Dundee before that, for part … Continue reading

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The history of computing

Today, the School of Computer Science at St Andrews put on this year’s Distinguished Lectures. The lecturer was Ursula Martin, and she spoke about the history of computing, or more precisely, “What every computer scientist should know about computer history”. … Continue reading

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