Last Friday at the KITP there was a celebration of Stanley Mandelstam’s 80th birthday, with talks available here, and some messages from other physicists here. Geoffrey Chew recalls how Berkeley hired Mandelstam away from Columbia, where no one was very interested in what he was doing, in 1958. The next year the same thing happened with Steven Weinberg…
Recently I’ve noticed two books on a narrow topic not of general interest, but perhaps of interest to readers of this blog: histories of US math departments. They are:
Perhaps of even more esoteric interest, later this year Princeton University Press will publish Mathematicians: An outer view of the inner world, a book of photographs of mathematicians by Mariana Cook. Some of the photographs are available at her web-site here.
Via Ars Mathematica: Fulton’s Algebraic Curves is available for free online. It’s a good place to start if you’re looking for a challenging introduction to algebraic geometry at the (quite) advanced undergraduate level.
Some wonderful expository pieces about areas of mathematics:
The AMS Notices has an article about the current state of every mathematician’s favorite tool: TeX.
Les Houches this year will have a summer school devoted to lattice gauge theory.
For the latest on the question of whether the Tevatron will manage to see the Higgs or rule it out, see excellent postings by Tommaso Dorigo here and here. The bottom line is that by the time the LHC has enough data to start saying something about the Higgs, the Tevatron experiments will have over 10fb-1 of data to analyze, which may, if improvements in their analysis work out, give them a two-thirds chance of seeing the Higgs at 2 sigma level over the entire expected mass range, or a 50/50 chance of seeing it at 3 sigma level over a large range, including a small range just above the 114Gev LEP limit. The Tevatron may remain very competitive with the LHC for some signals far longer than people have been expecting. And, at least for the next 18 months, the US stimulus legislation may make Fermilab better funded than CERN for a change…
I fear I’ve been remiss about not reporting on the IHES Grothendieck conference that I attended a couple days of when I was in Paris last month. Luckily, there’s a new blog here with a report.
Protests and strikes in France over Sarkozy’s attacks on the French scientific research system continue, see an English language report here. Some people may have misunderstood my previous mention of this. While it’s not a topic I’m well-informed about, Sarkozy’s argument in favor of moving to something supposedly more American, featuring a market-based, no central government regulation ideology has an obvious problem if you’ve been reading the newspapers.
Update: Video of the IHES Grothendieck talks is available here.