Short News Items

Mathematician Jim Simons is retiring from the job of running the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies. Construction of the building for the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics is proceeding, with opening scheduled for next fall.

An Algerian physicist associated with the LHCb experiment at CERN has been arrested on charges of having associations with al-Qaeda. The media freak out and CERN issues a statement.

I. M. Gelfand died on Monday at the age of 96. For more about him, see here, here and here.

The fourth and latest installment of Oswaldo Zapata’s essay on the history of superstring theory is here.

In Geometric Langlands news, Dennis Gaitsgory is running a seminar at Harvard this fall, with notes and other materials on-line here.

Emanuel Kowalski points out that, morally, Princeton’s Peter Sarnak has a blog.

Update: One more.

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4 Responses to Short News Items

  1. Yatima says:

    Ah, terrorism!

    So said physicist is “under suspicion of links to terrorist organizations”. This could mean he once phoned a guy who has phoned a guy living next door to Bin Laden’s driver. On the other hand, the press release does not even mention persons of Middle Eastern origin at all.

    Could be it’s just a weird dadaist project to push Dan Brown’s latest book.

  2. zanzibar says:


    What’s your source for saying the arrestee is Algerian? According to all the sources I’ve seen he’s Algerian-born, but could have French citizenship. He probably holds dual citizenship.

    The AP release states he is a French citizen.

  3. Peter Woit says:


    I think you’ve probably looked at more sources about this than I have. By “Algerian” I just meant “from Algeria”, not his citizenship.

  4. anon. says:

    “I’d suggest shutting up and letting him initiate the conversation. He probably won’t do this the first night or the second night, but after five nights of silence, I bet he says something. If he doesn’t do it, then he doesn’t want to talk with you during dinner.”

    Thanks for the “update” link. Pity there is no mathematical proof to back up the advice from mathematicians.

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