Category Archives: Uncategorized

A talk by Stephen Senn

I’ve just heard a nice talk by Stephen Senn, entitled “In search of lost infinities. What is the ‘n’ in big data?” The moral was that, in clinical trials and observational trials, everyone assumes that more data mean more accurate … Continue reading

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Atiyah memorial day

On Saturday, we went to the memorial event for Michael Atiyah, held in the magnificent Playfair Library in the University of Edinburgh’s Old College buildings. (Not named after John Playfair, Professor of Mathematics in Edinburgh and responsible for Playfair’s Axiom, … Continue reading

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Michael Atiyah

Sir Michael Atiyah died yesterday. I attended part of a course of lectures he gave on algebraic geometry in the 1970s (until term got too busy and I was forced to drop the course). They were excellent lectures, the sort … Continue reading

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Punctuation

Happy New Year everyone! A month ago I was engaged in a big fight with a major international academic publisher, whose typesetters had added commas to our paper in such a way as to change the meaning significantly. Today I … Continue reading

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Sophistry

The word “sophistry” means lies and deception, the kind of thing that more and more is associated with the pronouncements of politicians. I was prompted to think about this when the word came up in yesterday’s Guardian crossword, set by … Continue reading

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and G is for …

I am in Oxford for the birthday conference for Dan Segal and Aner Shalev. I will write something about that when time permits. This is just to report a discovery. There is now an official “Oxford Mathematical Alphabet”. I have … Continue reading

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Q is for quantum?

The letter q has three, or maybe four, standard uses in mathematics. It stands for “quantum”, and it is fashionable now to produce quantum versions of everything from chromatic number of a graph to the symmetric group. Related to this, … Continue reading

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