Some updates during the coronavirus | COVID-19 epidemic

The world is responding to the global coronavirus and COVID-19 epidemic in many ways.  One of the most important is by socially distancing ourselves from one another.   While this helps slow the spread of the epidemic, it also cuts us off from friends and family.  Most people are also cut off from their places of work. Below I describe two changes from the AMS in response to the epidemic.  The first change is a way in which it is possible to set up remote pairing without direct access to your institution.  The second is a change for reviewers in the time you have to review, plus information about how to go to “Inactive” status temporarily. Continue reading

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Hillel Furstenberg & Grigoriĭ Margulis win Abel Prize

"Abel Prize" in wordsHillel Furstenberg and Grigoriĭ Margulis have been announced as the winners of the 2020 Abel Prize.  You can read the official announcement here.   There is a news item about the prize on the AMS website.  Needless to say, they have made tremendous contributions to mathematics. In this post, I will point out a few things about Furstenberg and Margulis from MathSciNet. Continue reading

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Mathematics and epidemiology

Mathematics & Epidemiology text blockMathematics is a useful tool in studying the growth of infections in a population, such as what occurs in epidemics.  A simple model is given by a first-order differential equation, the logistic equation, $\frac{dx}{dy}=\beta x(1-x)$ which is discussed in almost any textbook on differential equations.  It can be found, for instance, in Chapter 2 of Boyce and DiPrima’s book Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems.  (See MR0179403 for a short review of the first edition, from 1965.)  This is a rudimentary model, but mathematicians have built on it to create more realistic, hence more useful models.  There is an informative explanation of how to use a mathematical model for epidemics, including the importance of determining the reproductive number $R_0$ of an infectious disease, in this video made by Tom Britton, a professor of mathematical statistics at Stockholm University.  Britton is one of the authors of

Diekmann, Odo(NL-UTRE-NDM)Heesterbeek, Hans(NL-UTRE-NDM)Britton, Tom(S-STOC-NDM)
Mathematical tools for understanding infectious disease dynamics.
Princeton Series in Theoretical and Computational Biology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2013. xiv+502 pp. ISBN: 978-0-691-15539-5
92-01 (62P10 92D30)

the review of which is copied below.

If you are interested in exploring some of the mathematics used in modeling epidemics, you can search MathSciNet using the MSC 92D30, which is the five-digit class for epidemiology, in particular, in the context of population dynamics.  Besides the review of Britton’s book, some other reviews are also copied below, to help give a sense of the mathematics used in epidemiology. Continue reading

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The editors of Mathematical Reviews and zbMATH have finished the latest revision of the Mathematics Subject Classification, MSC2020.  The official announcement is published jointly in the March 2020 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society and the March 2020 issue of the Newsletter for the European Mathematical Society.  The Notices version is available already online here. I will add a direct link to the version in the Newsletter when that has been posted.

A PDF version of the new classification is available here.

Please see the earlier post about the MSC2020 project.



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Current Index to Statistics

New main page for the Current Index to Statistics from MathSciNetThe Current Index to Statistics (CIS) is now hosted by the AMS.  It is available on the MathSciNet servers from the URL  The database is openly available using a brand new search interface.  Continue reading

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Emily Riehl

"Emily Riehl" name in a box

Emily Riehl, a mathematician at Johns Hopkins University, won a huge prize from the university recently: the $250,000 President’s Frontier Award. Riehl works in category theory related to homotopy theory, such as $(\infty,1)$-categories.  Her work has roots in earlier work of Quillen, Dwyer, Kan, Lurie, and others, but has significantly pushed the field forward.  Continue reading

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Louis Nirenberg

Portrait of Louis Nirenberg. Image posted by Nirenberg to MathSciNet. Louis Nirenberg died January 26, 2020 at the age of 94.  He made tremendous contributions to the field of partial differential equations and global analysis.   Continue reading

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Mathematical Reviews at JMM 2020 in Denver

JMM 2020 Logo and photo of Denver

Mathematical Reviews will be at the JMM in Denver, January 13-18, 2020. The Joint Mathematical Meetings is the largest gathering of mathematicians in the world.  There are lots of great activities:  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.  Everyone is encouraged to stop by the booth for conversation with editors, questions about MathSciNet, questions about reviewing, scheduled and impromptu demos, giveaways, and more.   We will be glad to see you. Continue reading

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Stylized "MR4000000"Today, item number MR4000000 was added to MathSciNet. Hurray!  It is a paper on a local Jacquet-Langlands correspondence by Vincent Sécherre and Shaun Stevens, published in Compositio MathematicaContinue reading

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Drawing of three cubesAfter posting about Booker and Sutherland’s cool expression of 42 as a sum of three cubes, Drew Sutherland wrote to say that they found a new way to write 3 as a sum of three cubes:

$569936821221962380720^3 + (-569936821113563493509)^3 +  (-472715493453327032)^3 = 3$.

As explained below, this is both amazing and predicted.  Some earlier computer attempts turned up no new solutions from what Mordell had already found.  Nevertheless, Heath-Brown expected an infinite number of solutions, and even estimated their density.  However, it wasn’t until Booker and Sutherland had cracked the much harder nuts 33 and 42 that this new solution for 3 was found.  It sure helps to have access to half a million cores!

Sutherland gave me permission to quote his message, which tells the latest story well.

[Note: I made minor edits, including some formatting to work in WordPress.] Continue reading

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