Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thursday Potpourri

1) I'm delighted to learn that Noson Yanofsky's "The Outer Limits of Reason" has won a PROSE Award in the "Popular Science and Popular Mathematics" category for 2013.

"The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in over 40 categories. Judged by peer publishers, librarians, and medical professionals since 1976, the PROSE Awards are extraordinary for their breadth and depth."

I LOVED this volume, calling it a "phenomenal book" in my review last November (indeed it is my FAVORITE book of the last couple decades, and I'm glad to see it get further acknowledgement!):

Congratulations to Dr. Yanofsky!

2) And in the 'suddenly-it-came-to-me' category, another nice story on the continuing saga of Yitang Zhang and his work on the twin-prime saga conjecture:

" 'There's nothing wrong with working at a Subway, but normally these proofs, these breakthroughs, are achieved by those that are working at Princeton, Harvard, these kind of really elite places,' Tony Padilla, a physics professor at the UK's University of Nottingham, says... 'And now we've got somebody who's literally come out of nowhere, that no one expected to produce this kind of results, and has done something impressive that many great minds were unable to do'...
"Zhang himself, a self-described 'shy person,' said in a UNH statement that the proof came to him during a vacation in Colorado, when he was feeling particularly relaxed. 'I didn't bring any notes, any books, any paper,' he said. 'And suddenly it came to me.' "
3) Last week I was writing about the age-old topic of math and beauty over at MathTango and now a new study points to a neuroscience substrate linking the two: 

4) Finally, h/t to Derek Smith of AMS blogs for pointing out a nice listing of interesting math-related documentaries available from this MathOverflow page:

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