Monthly Archives: January 2011

The prime twins conjecture

Over the weekend, identical twin sisters Inez Harries and Venice Shaw both celebrated their 100th birthday in California. I heard about this on the TV news, where it was the human-interest teaser story. “What are the odds of that?” the anchorman … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, modern life | 6 Comments

When life gives you lemmas, make lemma-ade

Santa and alligators in the hotel lobby: This must be New Orleans. Laptoppers and iPhoners paying no attention whatever: This must be the Joint Mathematics Meeting. It was a good meeting. I learned stuff. My take-home impression: The world of … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics | 3 Comments

More on snow and balls

Here in New Orleans there’s nothing to make a snowball out of—not even a semisnowball—but I did hear several talks on snow and balls during the Joint Math Meetings. An invited address by Yuval Peres was followed by a session … Continue reading

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Floor e?

At most conferences, the sign above might provoke a moment of puzzlement. But this is the JMM, the Joint Mathematics Meetings, being held this year in New Orleans. As far as I can tell, the 5,400 mathematicians gathered here are … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics | 2 Comments

Snowballs

The first snow of the season is always a treat. When the flakes start flying, I want to go out and play. I even want to go out and shovel. Here in the Boston area our first storm left a particularly … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, physics | 3 Comments