Author Archives: woit

Final Fourier Analysis Notes

Our semester here at Columbia is finally over, and I’ve put the lecture notes on Fourier analysis that I wrote up in one document here. A previous blog posting explained the origin of the notes: they cover the second half … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Some Philosophy of Science

Defenders of certain failed speculative theories like to accuse those who point to their failure of being “Popperazzi”, relying on mistaken and naive notions about predictions and falsifiability due to Karl Popper. That’s never been the actual argument for failure, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Various and Sundry

If like most other people you’re stuck at home, and having trouble concentrating on the projects you thought the current situation would cause you to finally find the time to complete, one thing you could do is watch a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Why the Szpiro Conjecture is Still a Conjecture

There has been a remarkable discussion going on for the past couple weeks in the comment section of this blog posting, which gives a very clear picture of the problems with Mochizuki’s claimed proof of the Szpiro conjecture. These problems … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Lucien Szpiro 1941-2020

I’m very sorry to hear (via Michael Harris) of the death this morning in Paris of Lucien Szpiro, of heart failure. Szpiro was a faculty member here at Columbia for a few years, livening up the place at a time … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 5 Comments

Latest on abc

Davide Castelvecchi at Nature has the story this morning of a press conference held earlier today at Kyoto University to announce the publication by Publications of the Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences (RIMS) of Mochizuki’s purported proof of the abc … Continue reading

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Philip Anderson 1923-2020

I heard this morning about the death yesterday of Philip Anderson, at the age of 96. It’s not hard to make the case that Anderson was the most important condensed matter theorist of the twentieth century, with a huge influence … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 12 Comments

This Week’s Hype

Maybe it’s because people are at home with nothing else to do, but somehow the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be having the side-effect of generating new infections of “test of string theory” hype, a disease common many years back that … Continue reading

Posted in Swampland, This Week's Hype | 8 Comments

Fourier Analysis Notes

This semester I’ve been teaching a course on Fourier Analysis, which has, like just about everything, been seriously disrupted by the COVID-19 situation. Several class sessions have been canceled, and future ones are supposed to resume online next week. To … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

This Week’s Hype

In this disturbing time of pandemic, it’s reassuring to see that some activities continue as usual. On the string theory hype front, yesterday NASA put out a press release announcing that Chandra Data Tests ‘Theory of Everything’, which starts by … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype | 3 Comments