Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jan Saxl

This morning brought the news that Jan Saxl died on Saturday. Jan arrived in Britain in the early autumn of 1968, as did I: a very significant time for Czechoslovakia. (I spent six weeks in Earls Court, in London, before … Continue reading

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S. S. Shrikhande

News reached me today of the death of S. S. Shrikhande, at the age of 102. I have written about him before; in particular, here, I discussed two things for which he was perhaps best known, which can bear repeating. … Continue reading

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John Conway

News came this morning that John Conway has died. I hardly know where to begin paying tribute to such a polymath. But perhaps I will just tell a story which shows several things about him, not least his breadth of … Continue reading

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Carlo Casolo

Terrible news: Carlo Casolo died last week, possibly of a heart attack. I have one paper with him, on “Integrals of groups”, published last year. In February, as I reported, I visited Florence to carry on with this work and … Continue reading

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Hadamard on impact

In his book on how mathematicians think, which I have discussed here, Hadamard devotes a chapter to inquiring how mathematicians choose the topic to work on. He starts with Claparède’s view that there are two kinds of invention: one is … Continue reading

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Prophecy

Once we had a country and thought it so fair If you look through the mirror you still find it there But now our great country is broken and torn And all of its promise and liberties worn Procol Harum, … Continue reading

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Birthday card

This year’s birthday card sets the scene for the year that follows. Apologies if you find me unusually full of grumbles this year.

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Some good news among the gloom

The University of St Andrews has signed up to DORA, a mere seven years after the declaration was drawn up. We are committed to fair assessment of research rather than reliance on bibliometrics.

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Not dark yet

I had a bit of a shock this morning, when David Wallace sent sincere condolences to Rosemary. The December issue of the IMA magazine Mathematics Today records the death of Peter Cameron. But, I am afraid, it is not me.

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Election musings

We have a general election in just over a week, the third in less than five years. Like every election, there are multiple issues. I recommend Diamond Geezer’s post today on the Conservative manifesto; he has heroically read the whole … Continue reading

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