A few mathematics items:
- David Ben-Zvi’s overview talk about Representation Theory as Gauge Theory given last month at the Clay conference in Oxford that I attended is now available online, as slides and video. Other talks from the conference are here.
- My fantasy that I might try and understand arithmetic algebraic geometry by reading Tate’s collected papers keeps getting delayed as the AMS puts off publication (now scheduled for January 18 of next year). While the books are not available, at least Milne’s review is.
- A couple weeks ago there was a Beyond Endoscopy conference at the IAS, at the same time I gather functioning as an 80th birthday celebration for Langlands. There’s a write-up by Langlands of his talk here. I think it can be described as the current Langlands take on “Geometric Langlands”.
- No recent news I’m aware of concerning Mochizuki and the the abc conjecture, but Inference magazine has just published a long article by Ivan Fesenko giving his take on “Inter-universal Teichmuller Theory”.
- The Breakthrough Prize symposium this year is scheduled for December 5 at UCSF, so I guess that means the prizes will likely be announced and awards ceremony held December 4, if things go like in recent years. I have no idea who will get the $3 million math prize since it’s a relatively new prize and there is a whole world of accomplished mathematicians who would make good candidates. One can be pretty sure though who won’t get it, arguably the most accomplished young mathematician around, Peter Scholze (since he turned down the junior version last year).
I have a modest proposal for whoever is awarded the prize: if you’re financially pretty well set already, how about doing the math community a huge favor? Donate the money to your university to endow a faculty position, then use the influence and moral high ground this will buy you to try and convince the Breakthrough Prize people to make this a policy. In the future, the winner gets a $3 million check made out to their institution to endow a position in their name. Then they could even try again with Scholze and perhaps get him to accept.
At the same time, there will also be a $3 million physics award. For a while these things were going pretty uniformly to string theorists, then they turned around and started giving them to experimentalists. I have no idea what they’ll do this year.