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Category Archives: Mathematics

All Hail the distinguished achievement professor!

Mr. Quomodocumque is probably too modest to mention it himself, so let me be the first mathematics blogger to congratulate Jordan Ellenberg on becoming a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor! Which hopefully comes with a lot of free time to visit Switzerland…

The many ways of affineness

Last Saturday, the OED Word of the Day was affineur. Now, I know very well what an affineur is (my favorite is Jean d’Alos, and I especially like his renowned Tome de Bordeaux, the excellence of which can probably be confirmed by Mr. Quomodocumque), but for a few seconds I had in mind the picture […]


Here are two forthcoming conferences that I am co-organizing with Philippe Michel this year: (1) Quite soon, the traditional Number Theory Days (the eleventh edition of this yearly two-day meeting that alternates between EPF Zürich and ETH Lausanne), will be held in Zürich on March 7 and 8; the web page is available, with the […]

Three little things I learnt recently

In no particular order, and with no relevance whatsoever to the beginning of the year, here are three mathematical facts I learnt in recent months which might belong to the “I should have known this” category: (1) Which finite fields have the property that there is a “square root” homomorphism i.e., a group homomorphism such […]

Reflections on reading the Polymath8(a) paper

Earlier today, I finished reviewing the Polymath8 paper (except for the last section, which is a discussion of possible improvements to some of the results in the paper; this is now a bit obsolete, and will probably be deleted). Since the discussion on the project (and on the paper in particular) is almost entirely available […]