It's a prize for achievements in physics, but as we all know, physics is written in the language of maths. And this wasn't the only prize celebrating maths this year...
The Abel Prize 2012 — When did you first realise that you like numbers? Was it when you were first learning your times tables and saw all those number patterns and rhythms unfold in front of your eyes? If yes, then you'll be happy to hear that this year's Abel Prize, one of the highest honours in mathematics, has been awarded to a man whose most famous result answers a simple question related to those humble number sequences.
Prizes from the European Congress of Mathematics — At the beginning of July Plus went to the European Congress of Mathematics in Krakow! Around 1,000 mathematicians came together there for a week-long programme of talks and seminars. In this podcast we talked to Tom Sanders and Alessio Figalli, who were awarded prizes for their excellent contributions to maths, Arieh Iserles, a distinguished mathematician from the University of Cambridge, and a group of PhD students visiting their first big conference.
A Nobel Prize for quantum optics — The 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland for ground-breaking work in quantum optics. By probing the world at the smallest scales they've shed light on some of the biggest mysteries of physics and paved the way for quantum computers and super accurate clocks.
How to make a marriage stable — How do you best allocate students to universities, doctors to hospitals, or kidneys to transplant patients? It's a tough problem that has earned this year's Memorial Prize in Economics.
String Theory, Duality and Art: how the Higgs boson and Turner Prize collide — On the face of it, an artist and a theoretical physicist might seem an unlikely pairing. But Turner Prize-winning sculptor Grenville Davey and string theorist David Berman's collaboration is producing beautiful, thought-provoking work inspired by the fundamental structure of the Universe. Julia Hawkins interviewed them to find out more about how the Higgs boson and T-duality are giving rise to art.
MathsJams have spread across the UK and around the world. You can find your local pubmeet from the MathsJam website and if there's not one near by, why not start one yourself! And in the meantime you can follow MathsJam on Twitter. Now, where's my crochet hook...
We're happy to announce a competition for short popular maths articles, of 500 to 1500 words, open to Plus readers of all ages and backgrounds. The winning article (and possibly runners up) will be published in a forthcoming book provisionally named fifty, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 2014. All Entries will be judged by the IMA50 editorial team: Chris Budd, Alan Champneys, Marianne Freiberger, Paul Glendinning, Steve Humble, Rachel Thomas and Ahmer Wadee. Entries that don't make it into the book may be published on Plus.
Your article should appeal to any fan of popular science books, or just to the mathematically curious, and be aimed at an international audience. But at the same time the article should avoid the over-simplification that can frustrate those with mathematical training. Winning articles will be edited by the editorial team.
Roughly speaking the articles should fall into one of five categories:
The best maths of the last 50 years: including strange or interesting biography
Popular maths: sport, arts (prose, poetry and visual media), social science
Maths at work: medicine, finance, the environment, government
Quirky maths, humour, spoof and magic
Philosophy/psychology of maths, maths in education
Entries can be accepted in any reasonable file format. For those that are familiar with Latex, this is our preferred format.
This year we were lucky enough to see the Imaginary exhibition in Barcelona. It's an interactive mathematics exhibition that inspires the imagination with beautiful images. And what is more exciting it allows anyone to step into the world of maths! You can create and play with beautiful mathematical surfaces using the surfer software and explore the symmetry of tiling patterns with Ornamente.
The photos in this podcast are by Rachel Thomas for Plus and by Sebastian Xambo for Imaginary and the images of mathematical surfaces are by Herwig Hauser and Rachel Thomas using Surfer. For more information on Imaginary visit http://www.imaginary.org and you can read more on maths and art on Plus.
We love the Math/Maths podcast! It's a conversation about mathematics between the UK and USA from Pulse-Project.org. Peter Rowlett in Nottingham calls Samuel Hansen in Las Vegas to chat about the math and maths that has been in the news, that they've noticed and that has happened to them.
Plus investigating the mathematics of sound waves.
Plus is edited entirely by women who are happily disregarding gender stereotypes, so we're always happy to highlight women's achievements in maths. We've got lots of content by or about women mathematicians on Plus and here are some of our favourites. (And we'd like to ask all remaining dinosaurs to stop sending us emails starting "Dear Sirs"...)