- For an Oxford conference last week, Langlands contributed a one-hour video talk, filmed in his office. One hour was not enough, so hours two and three are also available, as well as a separate text, and some additional comments.
- The latest AMS Notices has a long section of excellent articles about Friedrich Hirzebruch and his mathematical work.
- Also in the AMS notices is a long defense of the NSA, written by a mathematician who worked there for 41 years. About the main recent controversy here, the Snowden revelation of an NSA backdoor in an NIST standard, all the author has to say is:
I have never heard of any proven weakness in a cryptographic
algorithm that’s linked to NSA; just innuendo.
This seems to me to exemplify pretty well the disturbing tactic of the US security establishment of claiming there is no problem while refusing to discuss anything problematic since it is classified.
- Bhargava, Skinner and my colleague Wei Zhang have a new paper out proving that better than 66% of elliptic curves satisfy the BSD conjecture. It seems not implausible that they or others might in the not too distant future get to 100%. One should note though that showing 100% of elliptic curves satisfy BSD wouldn’t be the same thing as showing all elliptic curves satisfy BSD, so wouldn’t be eligible for the $1 million Millennium prize.
- With the ICM less than a month away, I find it outrageous that no one has yet leaked to me the names of the Fields Medal winners. All I’ve heard is speculation, and the only name I’d bet any money on is Bhargava.
Update: For something both ICM and Langlands related, Michael Harris on his web site has his ICM contribution Automorphic Galois representations and the cohomology of Shimura varieties. Many of the ICM 2014 proceedings contributions are already available on arXiv, via this search.