What is the connectome? Networks are everywhere: the roads in cities, links in the web, and the neural pathways in our brains. The science of networks is a trending topic interfacing with many disciplines. Mathematics, as you would expect, plays a major role in understanding the properties, structure, and evolution of networks. The connectome is a network consisting of… Read More Algebraic topology and the brain
Popcorn and math As the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival is about to open in Toronto, I think back on the amazing movies I’ve seen there with mathematical themes. Mathematicians aren’t exactly a movie producer’s dream protagonist. We don’t blow things up, have superpowers, or save the world from invading aliens (or do we?). Movies rarely,… Read More Mathematics in the movies
Sisterhood of Mathematics My grade 11 Physics teacher was a nun. Thinking back, she reminded me of the famed mathematician Emmy Noether: she was big framed, wore simple clothes (no habit in class, however), and didn’t wear make-up. I think my classmates were frightened of her, but I wasn’t and she liked me. Maybe we were kindred spirits: my passion for… Read More Get thee to a nunnery… and study math
A proof of the abc conjecture? The abc conjecture is back in the news. Recently, there was yet another conference devoted to the proof of the conjecture claimed by Shinichi Mochizuki. This time, the conference was at the University of Kyoto, which is Mochizuki’s home institution. The meeting was a rare chance for face-to-face engagement with him, as he doesn’t travel… Read More The proof no one understands
There was sad news this week with the passing of Jonathan Borwein on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. Jon was a powerhouse mathematician and computer scientist who leaves behind a rich legacy. As a highly awarded scholar, his academic output was staggering: almost five hundred papers, twenty-eight books, and he supervised dozens of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. His work… Read More A life of mathematics and computation: Jon Borwein
Networks of characters My latest paper may be of interest to both authors and scientists. Using a mix of social network analysis and artificial intelligence algorithms, our research team analyzed the social networks found in fictional works. In a novel or film, there is social network with the nodes representing characters, and the edges corresponding to co-occurrence:… Read More Social networks in novels and films
You did it! You’ve arrived at an important milestone in your academic life: your first job interview for a tenure-track position. As you prepare, you may be fine tuning your research talk, or prepping your responses to potential questions about teaching large vs small classes. What strategies can make you shine brighter than the rest? How can you differentiate yourself from the… Read More You landed an academic job interview. Now what?