- The Stacks Project (see an earlier post here) had a very successful workshop in Ann Arbor earlier this month. This is a remarkable effort pioneered by Johan de Jong to produce a high quality open source reference for the field of algebraic geometry. It now is over 6000 pages, with an increasingly large number of papers citing it (according to data from Pieter Belmans, 85 citations in the arXiv so far in 2017 alone). During the workshop plans were discussed for the future of the project, with work on a new version of the project infrastructure underway (see slides and a blog post from Belmans).
- The latest AMS Notices has a wonderful article by my Barnard/Columbia colleague Dusa McDuff about her remarkable family history and reflecting on her equally remarkable mathematical career. A post earlier this year discussed a Quanta article about her recent work with Katrin Wehrheim on technical issues in the foundations of symplectic topology. Kenji Fukaya has recently written something for the Simons Center website (see here) explaining his take on this story.
- The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a new entry about the fine-tuning problem, by Simon Friedrich.
- The LHC operators have run into some difficulty in recent weeks (reflected in the accumulated luminosity plots here and here), with problems centered around an unknown source of gas in the beam pipe at a specific location, leading to losses of the beam. Some information about this is available here. The past few days they seem to be having success running the machine with around 1500 bunches, much less than the 2500 or so of earlier in the summer. The target for the year is 40 inverse fb which may still be achieved, while more optimistic numbers that looked plausible earlier now seem less likely.
Update: Joe Polchinski has put on the arXiv a long autobiographical document, with a detailed discussion of his scientific career.
Update: As mentioned in the comments, Go Yamashita has posted a long document surveying Mochizuki’s claimed proof of the abc conjecture. Experts may find that this makes it more possible to understand and check the claimed proof, we’ll see.
Update: Also at the Simons Center website, there’s an interview with Michael Green. It’s interesting to see that in recent years his research interests have led him to getting closer to mathematics and to an appreciation of what mathematicians do. As for his claim about string theory that
I don’t think there is a substantial antagonism to it among those who have studied it, other than a few individuals who enjoy publicizing their views.
I think he’s quite wrong if you properly take “it” to refer to the aspect of string theory there is widespread antagonism to among physicists, the overhyped claims about a unified theory based on string theory.