Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It is finished

My adviser, A. Schilling, has just finished a paper extending my first result, proving my conjecture on the matter and thereby tying up the last loose end left by my thesis.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

E8, AIM, and PR

I was very happy to hear the voice of M. Vazirani, who served on my dissertation committee (see the evidence below) on last week's episode of KQED's California Report. It's a great little piece, accessible to all. You can download it, or stream it from the page linked above.

In some sense it seems perfectly natural for a radio station whose call letters are a common mathematical initialism (or is it a physical one?) to report on mathematical news. As I mentioned before, this story in particular is catching a lot of attention. At a conference I attended last week, the topic of E8 and its broad media exposure arose; I attributed this phenomenon to the fact that this is one of the first major milestones to be reached by an AIM-sponsored project, and that AIM puts a much greater (and much needed) emphasis on public relations than do other mathematical research institutions.

In the meantime, I found another connection between my own work and the E8 project. The big character table calculation was carried out on SAGE, a multi-processor AMD Opteron machine built by Western Scientific, who also built my multi-processor AMD Opteron machine, frost. Hopefully some adaptation of the adage on great minds thinking alike can be applied to these systems.