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.

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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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Emmanuel Candès – MacArthur Fellow

Photo of Emmanuel Candès

Emmanuel Candès (Source Wikimedia)

Emmanuel Candès has won a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.  The official announcement is here.  The LA Times has a nice write-up.   Both the Los Angeles Times and the MacArthur announcement highlight Candès’s work on compressed sensing.  Terry Tao has a spot-on reaction to this work, quoted in the LA Times, typical of most mathematicians when you first hear about the method:  you can’t be getting be getting something for nothing.  This can’t work.  But it does!  Tao finally came around to believe it, as has the rest of the world.   Continue reading

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Job Posting – Associate Editor at Mathematical Reviews

Work at Math ReviewsMathematical Reviews is hiring!  We are looking for a new Associate Editor to start in late spring or summer 2018.  The new editor should have expertise in algebra and an interest in a range of algebraic topics, such as representation theory, nonassociative algebras, and group theory.  The job announcement is on the AMS website:  The position is posted on, which is also where you can submit an application.

Mathematical Reviews is a great place to work.  You get to do something important and useful.  You would also be working with great people.  A list of the current editors is here.  And here is a picture of some of us observing the eclipse in August 2017. Math Reviews watching the Eclipse of 2017

If you have any questions, drop me a line.

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MathSciNet at the MCA in Montreal

MCA 2017 banner

I just came back from the Mathematical Congress of the Americas in Montreal.   It was an intense week of mathematics.  Besides having excellent invited and plenary lectures, there were 70 special sessions!  There were five plenary lectures:  Manuel del Pino (Universidad de Chile); Shafrira Goldwasser (MIT); Peter Ozsvath (Princeton University); Yuval Peres (Microsoft Research); and Kannan Soundararajan (Stanford University).  Erik Demaine (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Étienne Ghys (École Normale Supérieure de Lyon) gave well-received public lectures.  The list of invited speakers is here.   Continue reading

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