Happy 119th Birthday, Otto Neugebauer

Birthday Cake with photo of Otto NeugebauerEvery year on or around Otto Neugebauer’s birthday (May 26),  Mathematical Reviews has a little birthday party for him, the founder of Mathematical Reviews.  I like it because it is a chance to remind ourselves that our founder did not give in to the demands of the National Socialists to fire Jewish editors and to give special treatment to papers from German mathematicians.  Instead, he uprooted himself and moved to a place where he felt that he could re-found his reviewing project free from the interference of government and politicians.  Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Carl Friedrich Gauß

Gaussian curvature Google is honoring Carl Friedrich Gauss today (April 30, 2018) with a Google Doodle, in honor of his birthday.  Although Mathematical Reviews didn’t start until 1940, or 84 years after Gauss had died, he has an author profile in MathSciNet and 36 publications.  Continue reading

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Robert P. Langlands receives the Abel Prize

Robert Langlands has been awarded the Abel Prize for 2018.  His work known as the Langlands Program is widely reported on in the news items for the prize, and justifiably so.   On a very deep level, the program relates number theory to automorphic representations of algebraic groups.  Merely understanding an abbreviated statement of the program requires a comfort level with an amazing amount of serious mathematics.

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Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking in a Zero G plane

Photo: NASA

Stephen Hawking was one of the most gifted and most famous scientists of the last fifty years.   His science demonstrated a blend of technical ability and intuition.  Hawking’s best-known results concern black holes.  His earliest work was on singularities in general relativity, what became known as the Hawking-Penrose theorems.   His discovery of Hawking radiation was a landmark result that fundamentally changed our understanding of black holes.  Hawking had a remarkable life story, some of which was represented in the movie The Theory of Everything.  Hawking had a playful spirit, which served him well and helped him to connect with the general public.  It also endeared him to those who saw his appearances on television shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, FuturamaThe Big Bang Theory, and even Last Week Tonight. Continue reading

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Andrew Ranicki

From MFO (Oberwolfach)

Andrew Ranicki has died. Ranicki was a topologist, with particular expertise in algebraic surgery.  Indeed, Ranicki had the unusual title of Professor of Algebraic Surgery at the University of Edinburgh.  (Andrew was a special case for almost everything.)  His two papers on surgery in Proc. London Math. Soc. [MR0560997 and MR0566491 (*)] were among his most cited papers.   He was also familiar to many for his work in $K$-theory, including his work as an editor for leading journals in the subject.  Continue reading

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Juan Meza, new Director of DMS

Juan Meza has been appointed as the new director of the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) of the NSF, as of February 20, 2018.  Meza works in scientific computing and numerical analysis. Before coming to the NSF, he was at University of California Merced where he was the Dean of Natural Sciences.  Earlier, he was in the  High Performance Computing Research group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and was at Sandia National Laboratories.

Meza did his PhD (find his thesis here) in the Computational and Applied Mathematics Department at Rice University with Bill Symes. (CAAM is in Duncan Hall, which is an exquisite building.) Symes did his PhD at Harvard with Phillip Griffith in algebraic geometry, though the vast majority of his publications are in PDEs and inverse problems.


[Photos from nsf.gov]

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May we suggest…

MathSciNet now has an auto-suggest feature for Author Searches and Journal Searches.  The feature uses the databases themselves to help you with your searches.  Continue reading

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Mathematical Reviews at the JMM in San Diego

Logo for the 2018 JMM in San DiegoMathematical Reviews will be at the JMM in San Diego.  There is always a lot going on at the meetings:  invited lectures, special sessions, editorial meetings, exhibits, and the chance to connect with old friends.  Mathematical Reviews is planning several activities during the meetings.  Most will be at the Mathematical Reviews area of the AMS booth in the exhibit hall: Hall B, San Diego Convention Center.  Everyone is encouraged to stop by the booth for conversation with editors, questions about MathSciNet, questions about reviewing, impromptu demos, giveaways, and more.   We will be glad to see you. Continue reading

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MathSciNet is now a cloud atlas to the mathematics literature

We are moving to the cloud.  Continue reading

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Gravitational Waves

A simulation of the merger of two black holes and the resulting emission of gravitational radiation.

Credit: NASA/C. Henze

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne for their work on the detection of gravitational waves. (See Note 1.)  The physics and engineering that go into this accomplishment are truly impressive.  However, before anyone could imagine setting up the experiment, some mathematical questions needed to be answered.  There are two articles in the August 2017 issue of the AMS Notices that give an overview the mathematics of gravitational waves.  In this post, I crib from those two articles and provide a literature tour of some of the significant papers by relying on MathSciNet. A longer article by Bieri just published in the AMS Bulletin goes into more detail on a selection of the topics.   Continue reading

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