Miscellaneous matters

Michael Nielsen and I have written an Opinion Piece for Nature about the Polymath project and related matters. Thanks almost entirely to Ryan O’Donnell, a preprint at last exists that contains Polymath’s proof of the density Hales-Jewett theorem with all the details. It will be posted on the arXiv very soon and I will update this post when it is.

Update: it can be found here. Owing to a misunderstanding, it was posted before I had any input into it, but in any case, the full proof is here, even if the version that is submitted for publication will have some changes.

The Notices of the AMS have published five back-to-back reviews of the Princeton Companion to Mathematics. They are by Bryan Birch, Simon Donaldson, Gil Kalai, Richard Kenyon and Angus Macintyre.

From Quomodocumque I learned of a new website, Math Overflow, where you can ask and answer mathematical questions. It seems to be very active, with a lot of users, rating systems for comments and commenters, and the like. So in principle it could be another mechanism for pooling the resources of mathematicians with the help of the internet. For example, if you need a certain statement to be true and do not know whether it is known, then my guess is that you could find out pretty quickly if you post a question there. For more discussion, see a post over at the Secret Blogging Seminar.

One Response to “Miscellaneous matters”

  1. James Smith Says:

    Professor Gowers,

    apologies for the intrusion, but ‘Miscellaneous matters’ seems the ideal place to ask you to check your spam folder! Email from my domain has been blocked by university spam filters before, so I thought it best to let you know that the emails about the subject we discussed were sent over the weekend (in truth it’s Imperial that has been troublesome before, but I’m assuming Cambridge could be equally fussy).

    I look forward to your feedback with interest.

    Kind regards,


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