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# Category Archives: Uncategorized

## Grand Unification of Mathematics and Physics

For a second slogan about quantum mechanics I’ve chosen: Quantum mechanics is evidence of a grand unification of mathematics and physics. I’m not sure whether this slogan is likely to annoy physicists or mathematicians more, but in any case Edward … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics, Uncategorized
3 Comments

## 2014 Fields Medals

I thought this wasn’t supposed to be announced until late this evening New York time, but the Fields Medal announcement is now online. The winners are: Artur Avila Manjul Bhargava Martin Hairer Maryam Mirzakhani Mirzakhani is the first woman to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized
53 Comments

## The NSA, NIST and the AMS

Among the many disturbing aspects of the behavior of the NSA revealed by the Snowden documents, the most controversial one directly relevant to mathematicians was the story of the NSA’s involvement in a flawed NIST cryptography standard (for more see … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized
23 Comments

## String Theory and Post-Empiricism

Note: This is being published simultaneously here and at Scientia Salon. Discussion will be at the Scientia Salon site. Last monthâ€™s Strings 2014 conference in Princeton included two remarkable talks by prominent physicists, both of whom invoked philosophy in a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized
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## Quick Links

Jim Simons is profiled in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the New York Times today. The WSJ piece is partly about a recent $50 million donation to the Simons Center for Quantitative Biology at Cold Spring Harbor, but it reports … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized
8 Comments

## Pierre van Baal 1955-2013

I only recently heard about the death late last year of Dutch particle theorist Pierre van Baal. Pierre was my office mate when we were both postdocs at Stony Brook during the mid-eighties, and he was one of the people … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized
2 Comments

## 2015 Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics

The first set of winners of the $3 million Milner/Zuckerberg financed Breakthrough Prizes in mathematics was announced today: it’s Donaldson, Kontsevich, Lurie, Tao and Taylor. There’s a good New York Times story here. When these prizes were first announced last … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized
24 Comments

## Smoking Gun No Longer Smoking

The BICEP2 paper is now out in Physical Review Letters, with major revisions to its conclusions from the preprint/press conference version of last March. For another sort of associated revision, compare this (from a March 17 Stanford press release): Linde, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized
47 Comments

## Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference

While I was away last week Columbia was hosting the Large Hadron Collider Physics (LHCP) conference here on campus. Talks are available here. Matt Strassler posts about some of the new Higgs results, which basically see some of the inconsistencies … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized
7 Comments

## Evidence in the Natural Sciences

I recently spent a day at the Simons Foundation in midtown, attending a symposium on Evidence in the Natural Sciences. Of the scientific program talks, I got the most out of the one by Thomas Hales on the question of … Continue reading

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