Short Items

  • Bill Thurston teams up with Issey Miyake for their fall ready-to-wear collection based on the Geometrization Conjecture (via Quomodocumque). Youtube video here.
  • Why String Theorists Should Switch Fields to Quantum Computing.
  • This month’s AMS Notices has an interview with last year’s Abel Prize winner, Mikhail Gromov. This year’s Abel prize will be announced March 24, see here for the committee making the choice. Also to be announced soon is the winner of another million dollar prize, the Templeton Prize.
  • Yet more string theory in popular culture.
  • From UT Austin, various interesting new lectures in their GRASP series. These include a nice expository talk by David Ben-Zvi on the Fundamental Lemma. Ngo is lecturing about this weekly here at Columbia. In the fall he will move to Chicago and take up a permanent position there.
  • This year’s Talbot workshop will be on one of my favorite topics, Twisted K-theory and Loop Groups. At MIT there’s a preparatory seminar here, and a page for the workshop here.
  • This has been mentioned here before, but one can’t stop marveling at the Math Overflow phenomenon.
  • There’s an interesting interview with Alan Sokal here.
  • Update: Some helpfully just pointed me to this review of a new novel by Ian McEwan in which

    characters mention M-theory, Nambu Lie 3-algebra and coincident M2-branes

    Looks like something I’ll have to read when it comes out here in a couple weeks.

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    8 Responses to Short Items

    1. Fabio says:

      I’m not sure why quantum computists would want to encourage string theorists to join them. Quantum computer theorists, like string theorists, seem to be a dime a dozen these days. That would just make them a nickel a dozen.

    2. harsha says:

      The Grasp video server seems to be down.

    3. Harsha – Thanks for the comment.. are you still having problems with the GRASP page? it seems to work on my computer (but depends on having Quicktime 7 I think)

      Peter – thanks for advertising the lecture! I hope it’s broadly accessible – it’s a fundamental piece of mathematics whose implications are widely advertised but not widely understood, but I think there are really beautiful (and simple!) new ideas in Ngo’s work that should have a lot of impact.

    4. Peter Woit says:


      Video is working now for me, on a Windows machine, after installing quicktime7 (not working on a linux machine, presumably because quicktime7 is not installed there).

      Thanks for helping to make the Fundamental Lemma story more accessible. The relationship to geometric Langlands is remarkable, and I think you’re right that this will lead to a lot more in the future. But the literature on the subject has been extremely difficult for non-specialists to follow.

    5. harsha says:

      I get a 10060 disconnected error with Quicktime 7.6, but since it works for you it is probably a network problem on my end.

    6. boreds says:

      I read a short story about the same character in the New Yorker, and liked it a lot:

    7. Hendrik says:

      A side issue you may find interesting, is that Garrett Lisi’s theory seems to be in trouble: see here or at the Arxive.

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