## ICM

We're at the massive conference dinner, talking to Alex Bellos, author of best-selling popular maths book Alex's adventures in numberland, mathematician Colva Roney-Dougal, other delegates and ourselves.

Statistics can mislead, and who'd know this better than mathematicians? It's ironic, then, that mathematics itself has fallen victim to the seductive lure of crude numbers. Mathematicians' work is being measured, ranked and judged on the basis of a single measurement: the

number of times research papers are cited by others. And mathematicians are not happy about it.

Why do people become mathematicians? What's it like being one and what are the perks of a job in academia? We talk to young mathematicians at the International Congress of Mathematicians, as well as to established research mathematician Larry Guth to find out.

Why do people become mathematicians? What's it like being one and what are the perks of a job in academia? We talk to young mathematicians at the International Congress of Mathematicians, as well as to established research mathematician Larry Guth, to find out.

What's the point of the Fields Medal and other maths prizes? Who decides who gets one? And when will we have the first female medallist? Rachel talks to László Lovász, current president of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), Martin Grötschel, the IMU's secretary, and Ragni Piene, the new chair of the Abel Prize committee about all this and more.

We talk to Brendan Mackay, who spoke at the ICM, about how he debunked the bible codes.

Simon Singh, the well-known physicist-turned science and maths communicator, has been awarded the Leelavati Prize for outstanding contributions to public outreach in mathematics by an individual.

We were lucky enough to interview Stas Smirnov at the ICM in Hyderabad, India. As well as being very pleased at winning the Fields Medal and being recognised by his colleagues, Stas reminded us that mathematicians don't do research to win medals. They do it because of curiosity and he personally can't wait to get back to his theorems.