Various items that may be of interest:
- Robbert Dijkgraaf was sworn in a few days ago as Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the Dutch government. Unclear who if anyone is director of the IAS at the moment, but David Nirenberg will take on this position February 1. Nirenberg is currently a professor of medieval theology and director of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. This will be the first time in thirty-five years that the IAS director has not been a mathematician or physicist (although some might argue that medieval theology and theoretical physics have seen a convergence in recent years…).
- Lieven Le Bruyn has a posting about Huawei’s new research center in Paris (and adds more here), which seems to have attracted multiple Fields medalists, with Laurent Lafforgue’s affiliation recently changing from IHES to Huawei. Lafforgue held the Huawei chair in algebraic geometry at the IHES, which now is in the market for a new Huawei chair in algebraic geometry. The head of Huawei has recently emphasized the importance to the company of “bringing in talent with ‘tall noses'”.
- An interesting way to keep track of hot topics in US theoretical HEP might be to watch the “white papers” starting to appear as part of the Snowmass 2021/2 exercise. Two examples now on the arXiv are a seven-author white paper on the Emergence of Spacetime and a three-author one on Celestial Holography. There will be a program on Celestial Holography at the PCTS in Princeton in a couple weeks.
- On the Mochizuki/abc front, Jordan Ellenberg on Twitter points to this recent preprint from Kirti Joshi. Joshi claims inspiration from the IUT papers, but writes in a much more conventional mathematical language, and makes no claims to prove abc or any other major new results in number theory. One might optimistically hope that his work would clarify the true significance of Mochizuki’s IUT work.
Update: A very recent relevant paper from Joshi is this. It contains a detailed comparison of his point of view with Mochizuki’s, but avoids taking any position on the controversial Corollary 3.12 claimed by Mochizuki.
Update: To clarify the above. In this paper (Theorem 10.1.1) Joshi proves his version of Mochizuki’s Corollary 3.12. But importantly (in that paper): Along with Theorem 10.1.1, there is a discussion of why Joshi’s version of Corollary 3.12 is different from Mochizuki’s version and notably why his version does not imply Mochizuki’s version (according to Joshi, the two versions work with two different ambient sets to compute the theta-values locus–Joshi’s version uses a natural ambient set his theory provides–and it is deeply tied to Fargues-Fontaine Theory).