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PLUS-ANNOUNCE  April 2008

PLUS-ANNOUNCE April 2008

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Subject:

Latest news from Plus magazine! - http://plus.maths.org

From:

"M. Freiberger" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 9 Apr 2008 13:27:00 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (211 lines)

In this newsletter:

* Latest news
* Plus podcasts
* Mathematical moments
* Browse with Plus
* Live maths

**********
Latest news

* Abel for symmetry
Prestigious mathematics prize goes to group theorists
http://plus.maths.org/latestnews/jan-apr08/abel08/

* Celebrating an unusual life
Alexander Grothendiek turns 80
http://plus.maths.org/latestnews/jan-apr08/Grothendiek/

* One L of a discovery
The first 3rd degree transcendental L function
http://plus.maths.org/latestnews/jan-apr08/Lfunction/index.html

Plus... read more on the Plus blog
http://plus.maths.org/blog

**********

Plus podcasts

Biostatistics - From cradle to grave

Bacon sandwiches, drinking while pregnant, obesity - health risks are a 
favourite with the media. But behind the simple numbers quoted in the 
headlines lies a huge and sophisticated body of statistical research. We 
talk to Professor Sheila Bird of the Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge about 
her work in public health and its impact on policy, and discuss bias in 
pharmaceutical studies, as recently highlighted by the controversy around 
antidepressants.

http://plus.maths.org/podcasts/

**********

Mathematical moments

Emmy Amalie Noether
Born on the 23rd of March 1882 in Erlangen, Germany
Died on the 14th of April 1935 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA

When Emmy Noether, at the age of 18, unexpectedly decided to enter 
university, German public opinion had just about come round to the fact 
that some women might, possibly, benefit from higher education. Allowing 
women to obtain official degrees would have been a bit much of course, but 
with the professor's consent they were allowed to sit in on lectures. As 
Noether's father was an eminent professor of mathematics at Erlangen, the 
professors were family friends, so she was able to gain their consent.

In 1904, after four years of unofficial study, a relaxation in the rules 
finally allowed Noether to officially matriculate at Erlangen and she went 
on to complete a virtuoso doctorate in 1907. With typical earthy frankness 
she later went on to describe her thesis as "crap". Women were not allowed 
to fill academic posts, so Noether spent the next eight years working for 
the university without pay or position and helping her increasingly frail 
father with his teaching duties.

During a stay in Gottingen in 1903, Noether had met mathematical giants 
including David Hilbert and Felix Klein. After her doctorate Hilbert and 
Klein persuaded Noether to come to Gottingen and then embarked on a long 
campaign to have her appointed to a faculty position in spite of a 
Prussian law prohibiting this. Noether was refused a 
university position but permitted a compromise - she could lecture but only 
if the lecture was listed under Hilbert's name rather than her own.

Albert Einstein wrote to Felix Klein in 1918, "On receiving the new work 
from Fraulein Noether, I again find it a great injustice that she cannot 
lecture officially". Finally, in 1919, Noether was granted the lowest 
faculty rank of Privatdozent and, although still unpaid, began teaching 
that autumn. A few years later she was made a volunteer professor and 
eventually granted a tiny salary which was barely at subsistence level.

In 1921 Noether published what is generally known as her most 
important paper, "Theory of ideals in rings". It was of 
fundamental importance in the development of modern algebra. From a 
physicist's perspective her most important accomplishment came to be known 
as "Noether's theorem", which proves a relationship between symmetries in 
physics and conservation principles.

German mathematics, like much else in Germany, became highly politicised in 
the 1930s. Noether was one of the first six professors fired from Gottingen 
by the Nazis because she was both Jewish and politically liberal. Noether 
eventually found temporary positions at universities in the USA. Sadly, 
Noether died in exile of ovarian cancer. She was in her early fifties at 
the height of her creative powers.

Read more about Emmy Noether on Plus: 
http://plus.maths.org/issue12/features/noether/index.html

and on the MacTutor History of Maths site:
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Noether_Emmy.html


**********

Browse with Plus

Looking for small things

The biggest particle accelerator in the world, the LHC at CERN, will come 
into operation this year. But why would anyone want to accelerate really 
small things? YouTube has the answer. The Science and Technology Facilities 
Council has put clips from its "In search of giants" film series on the 
history of particle physics on its own YouTube channel. From the periodic 
table, via quantum mechanics to the Higgs boson, it's all there, presented 
and explained by Dr Brian Cox.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SciTechUK

**********

Live maths

The 19th Step - What can a mathematician bring to dance?

This is an opportunity to view early research for an exciting new 
collaborative work, "The 19th step" from composer Dorothy Ker and 
choreographer Carol Brown with artist Kate Allen and featuring celebrated 
mathematician Marcus du Sautoy. Performers include du Sautoy with an 
ensemble of three dancers and three musicians (Dylan Elmore, Marina Collard 
and Rosemary Martin with Sarah Bennington - flute, Richard Steggall - horn 
and Scott Wilson - percussion).

When: 12th of April, 7.30pm
Where: Studio Theatre, Laban Creekside, Deptford, London SE8 3DZ
Tickets: 5.00 / 3.00 advance bookings 020 8469 9500,
More information: http://www.laban.org/theatre/performances.phtml


Life on a balloon: An introduction to cosmology

Throughout history societies have questioned humanity's place in the 
universe and the origins of our existence. Today the scientific and 
mathematical pursuit of this knowledge forms the field of cosmology. We 
know an incredible amount about the universe's structure and how it evolved 
to be as we now observe it. But how have we obtained this knowledge? From 
the big bang to the fate of the universe in the distant future, this free 
lecture by Dr David Mulryne explains what we know about the universe, how 
we know it, and what there is left to discover.

When: 7th of May 2008, 5pm 
Where: Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 
0WA
How: Admission is free but you must obtain a ticket by emailing 
[log in to unmask]
More information: http://mmp.maths.org/events/eventlist.php


Cosmic Imagery: Key images in the history of science

We live in a visual age - an age of images - iconic, instant and 
influential. Certain key images have created our conception of the large, 
the small, and the complex - both of inner and outer space. Some, like 
Gresham Professor Robert Hooke's first microscope views of the world, arose 
because of our new technical capabilities. Others, like the first graph, 
were breathtakingly simple but perennially useful. The first stunning 
pictures of the Earth from space stimulated an environmental consciousness 
that has grown ever since. Many of these images have changed our view of 
ourselves and of the world around us. In this lecture, John D Barrow takes 
us on a tour through the most influential images of science.

When: 29th of April 2008, 6pm
Where: Barnard's Inn Hall, Gresham College, Holborn, London EC1N 2HH
How much: free
More information: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=748


Cancer can give you maths

Verbal reasoning alone cannot be used to understand the outcome of the 
complex interactions that typically comprise biological function, so more 
and more researchers are turning to mathematical and computational 
modelling to gain insights on experimental results. This lecture by Philip 
Maini will illustrate some approaches and advances concerning understanding 
the basic dynamics of solid tumour growth.

When: 1st of May, 1pm and 6pm
Where: Barnard's Inn Hall, Gresham College, Holborn, London EC1N 2HH
How much: free
More information: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=726


**********

Happy reading from the Plus team.


**********

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