MM70: Travel Grants for Students!

The registration to Menachem Magidor’s 70th Birthday Conference is still open!

If you happen to be a student and a member of the Association for Symbolic Logic, you can apply for an ASL travel award. For more information as to how, please see here. There’s just enough time to still submit your request!

If you happen to know students who are members of the ASL, please direct them to that address before January 10th.

And if you are in the throes of a dilemma about coming to the conference, let me save you the dilemma. Yes, you should come to the conference. So go ahead and register already!

Goodbye, Oren.

I recently heard the news that Oren Kolman passed away a couple of weeks ago.

Some of you may have known him through MathOverflow as “Avshalom” where he often appeared in the comments with generally useful references, and some of you may have known him in real life as a teacher or a colleague, or a student. Some of you may have even knew him as Eoin Coleman.

I met him on the outskirts of Pavilion C in Cambridge when I visited there a couple of months ago, and I immediately recognized him from his old MathOverflow avatar. I told him who I was and he immediately recognized my name. We had a lively chat for the better part of ten minutes, then we had to depart to different directions. That was pretty much my last interaction with him, even online.

Goodbye Oren, you’ll be missed.

See also on the ESTS website.

Michael, you’re awesome.

After so many terrible YouTube videos about math, about four months ago Michael Stevens made a really nice video about the Banach-Tarski (Banach-T-Rex) paradox. This video was made surprisingly well by someone who has little to none formal mathematical education, but certainly the desire and [at least basic] prowess to understand that perhaps things are not as simple in mathematics – especially when infinite objects are involved – and perhaps you can’t just drop something on your audience in hope they view you as a magician. Instead, Michael tried to educate the viewers, in a fairly reasonable way, about infinite objects and the preliminaries needed for the Banach-Tarski paradox.

You can find that video right here:

Earlier today Michael posted another 20-something minutes long video about supertasks. The first half might seem a bit off to a mathematician. Especially someone who may have spent a nontrivial number of hours writing answers to questions about Thompson’s Lamp, or other similar counterintuitive supertasks. But the second half is pretty damn good. The first half of the video is pretty fun, but the second half is just great.

And you can find that video right here:

And since I don’t have a Twitter account, if any of you tweet this blog post. Be sure to ping @tweetsauce and tell Michael that this is not the first time I felt he’s spot on awesome (and he should totally get in touch to talk about math). And that he’s doing a far far better service to mathematical “weirdness” than some channels ran by academicians.