Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy new year

Happy new year, everyone. Although I can’t see the end of the Covid tunnel yet, I do hope that for all of us the new year brings better times. One big change for me in the coming year is that, … Continue reading

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Two pointers

As you know, this is where I take out my frustrations by having a good grumble about life, the universe, and everything. Yesterday, in a meeting, we learned of two developments coming to the academic world. In neither case is … Continue reading

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COP26

If I could send a message to the world leaders who will soon assemble in Glasgow, it would be, in the words of a St Andrews honorary graduate: What’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?What’ll you do now, my darling … Continue reading

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Bad times

Apologies for this. If you don’t like reading personal news, especially bad news, don’t persist. I am writing it down in the hope of putting it behind me. Back in early April, Rosemary had a very bad fall on the … Continue reading

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EDI

We hear a lot about equality, diversity and inclusion now. Perhaps it would be good to remind ourselves of the formal definition. A and B are equal if, for all x, we have (x∈A) ↔ (x∈B). A and B are diverse if … Continue reading

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Three passages

[Dmitri] Egorov [founder of the Moscow School of Mathematics] was a very reserved and modest man, so much so that it would be easy to believe that he lived only for mathematics. […] His publications do not reveal any evidence … Continue reading

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Graphs on groups, 3

Since this stuff keeps growing, I have decided to keep the most recent version on the web. It is now nearly twice as long as the first version I circulated. If you are interested, please take a copy: it’s at … Continue reading

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Cheryl Praeger

Good news for a change. I just heard that Cheryl (my mathematical sister, third most prolific coauthor, and good friend) has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-26/professor-cheryl-praeger-receives-companion-order-of-australia/13089958 Congratulations Cheryl!

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Alan Hoffman

I have just heard the news that Alan Hoffman has died, at the age of 96. There is much to say about Alan; I will restrict myself to my own person perspective, and not even all of that; I didn’t … Continue reading

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Eric Lander

One of my first doctoral students, Eric Lander, has been appointed science advisor in Joe Biden’s cabinet: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/01/biden-appoints-geneticist-eric-lander-science-advisor I have had so many congratulatory emails that it almost seems as if I have done something good myself …

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