Author Archives: woit

A Letter to the AMS

Leonid Reyzin at Boston University has drafted a letter in response to the recent article published in the Notices by Michael Wertheimer of the NSA (discussed here). He’s collecting signatures, and if you’re a member of the AMS I urge … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Short Items

Science magazine this week has an article and a podcast about the NSA and the AMS. AMS president David Vogan is portrayed as outraged at the NSA’s misuse of mathematics, but without much support for doing anything about it: But … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

It Really Is Just Dust

The Planck collaboration has an inimitable way of releasing important new results, they like to do it in French (see here for instance). Tonight a French Planck website contains the long-awaited news of the results from the BICEP2/Keck/Planck collaboration to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Mathematics Without Apologies

If you’d asked me ten years ago to describe a book I’d love to read that could be characterized as part of an “incredibly unlikely trend in books about math for the general public”, I might have chosen “brilliant meditations … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | 8 Comments

Snowpocalypse 2015

For the last few days the media in New York have been filled with continuous frantic warnings of the deadly storm of the century bearing down on the city. Grocery stores have been emptied, with long lines of desperate people … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments

The NSA, NIST and the AMS, Part II

Last summer I wrote here about an article in the AMS Notices which appeared to make misleading claims about the NSA’s involvement in putting a backdoor in an NIST cryptography standard known as DUAL_EC_DRBG. The article by Richard George, a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Short Items

The latest issue of the New York Review of Books has an article about the new Turing film, explaining in detail how it gets pretty much everything completely wrong about Turing and his story (see my review here). In related … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Back

Now back from vacation, and as far as I can tell, not much happened while I was away. Here are a few things I’ve seen that may be of interest: Mochizuki has posted a long progress report on “activities devoted … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Winter Break

Blogging here should be light to non-existent for a while, with family holiday celebrations tomorrow and departure for a trip to Europe the day after. Travel plans still in flux, but the general idea is to head south after arriving … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Dualities

There’s a very interesting new paper on the arXiv by Joe Polchinski, a survey article for Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, entitled just Dualities. It’s an unusually lucid summary of the story of dualities in quantum field … Continue reading

Posted in Multiverse Mania | 61 Comments