Plus Magazine

June 2008

We are proud to present the winners of the Plus New Writers Award 2008. The winners were chosen by our three judges: Michael Blastland, writer and broadcaster formerly of BBC Radio 4's More or less, Robert Hunt, deputy director of the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge and executive editor of Plus, and Ian Stewart, mathematician, science writer and science fiction writer.

Secondary school category
For this category students were asked to explore the life and work of any mathematician, dead or alive.

Winner

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Neil Pieprzak tells the fascinating story of Andrew Wiles who, with intense devotion and in secret, proved a deceptively simple-looking conjecture that had defeated mathematicians for almost 400 years.


Runner-up

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Alan Turing is the father of computer science and contributed significantly to the WW2 effort, but his life came to a tragic end. Stefan Kopieczek explores his story.


University category

Winner

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Phil Trinh discovers how maths helps solve the mysteries of flight and love.


Runner-up

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Liz Newton finds that having a small brain doesn't stop you doing great things.


General public category

Winner

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José-Manuel Rey revisits a scene of the film A beautiful Mind.


Joint runner-up I

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Peter Macgregor explores the beautiful world of the infinite.


Joint runner-up II

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Josefina Alvarez describes the workings of the most famous search engine of them all. You'll need some linear algebra for this one, but it's worth the while!


Plus would like to thank the London Mathematical Society and the Maths, Stats and Operational Research Network, as well as the journal Nature for their kind support of this competition.

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