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Occasionally, there has been a suggestion to start a meta question to collect information that might be of interest to the MO community. This is an attempt to start such a thread.

Is there any news that you think would be of wide interest to the MO community? Please exercise your discretion in any answers, and your judgement on the appropriateness or significance of any event.

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    $\begingroup$ As of now, four of five answers report someone's death -- is this almost the only type of "News of potential interest to the MO community"? I do not doubt that these reports are of interest, in particular the one of today -- but would it perhaps make sense to adjust the question accordingly, as for several months hardly any other news turned up here? $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: By all means add news that is more positive, if appropriate. I left the question deliberately open ended. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 4:42
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    $\begingroup$ I think reporting any important enough result or new development in mathematics would be fine as well, and at least equally interesting as news about who has died or who has got this-or-that award. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Jul 17, 2017 at 19:46
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    $\begingroup$ It seems that this is mainly an "Obituaries column", rather than general news. I sure hope there will be some good news posted here sometime soon... $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 12:57
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    $\begingroup$ @David: Having known about this for a few months now, this is not a surprise for me. I also complained that this is not exactly "MO News". I didn't see anyone congratulate me for winning the Newton International Fellowship (nor I expected that to happen, nor I wish it to have happened). I didn't see anyone congratulate any other user on their fancy grants or new positions. Yes, this is a happy news, as opposed to the whole dead people thing. But it's not something that I find as relevant news to the site. As much as I am happy that Joel will be closer now, which I am, let me assure you that. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented May 20, 2018 at 23:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf of course you would know :-) but it makes a change from "so-and-so died :-(..." $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 1:13
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: When I posted this question, I also flagged it myself so that the moderators can assess its suitability and asked them to delete it if they thought fit. By and large, this question and the answers have been uncontroversial -- the answers have been appropriate and respectful, and I see very few downvotes. I'm sure you or others may find something troubling about this -- I don't see it myself. In any case, surely there is room for differing viewpoints on this. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf Ah. I had deleted my comment after seeing the comments to the first answer. But on second thought I do stand by it: there is something about having voting arrows next to a series of obituaries that makes me deeply uncomfortable. Votes on a single answer are OK, but when there's several and the default sorting is by votes, it's much more complicated. I see the value in a noticeboard with those announcements, but this format has some awful features. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucia: I don't think it should be closed or deleted or anything. And I agree that it has some relevance here. Nevertheless, it still feels a bit odd, in part for the reasons that Emilio mentions. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 17:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucia (and is there a way to ping the mods?) is there a way to set the default answer sorting for this thread to newest first? $\endgroup$
    – none
    Commented Apr 12, 2020 at 9:41
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: I removed your edit, since I don't see its relevance to the question. I get the sense that you don't like the question or the answers, and that is certainly your prerogative. But it doesn't seem correct to me that the question should be edited with a comment aimed at discouraging answers. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: Thanks for your response! I'd prefer the question as it is. Of course as it is CommunityWiki, everyone has an equal right to edit it, and I don't insist upon my view. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson: Done, though this leaves me intensely curious about why you can't post answers on meta. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe there should be a separate thread for people dying. Or, at this point, one for people not dying. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 25, 2023 at 12:28
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    $\begingroup$ There seems to be a serial downvoter of obituary answers. It sounds puerile. $\endgroup$
    – YCor
    Commented Mar 19 at 12:27

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The following was posted to the Algebraic Topology mailing list by Eric Friedlander:

Andrei Suslin passed away today, July 10 2018 at the age of 67. Andrei has been one of the leading algebraists of the past 50 years, establishing many of the basic theorems in algebraic K-theory, instrumental in the development of motivic theories in algebraic geometry, and a powerful influence in the study of the cohomology of finite group schemes. His mathematics has always been elegant; his attitude has always been one of generosity.

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Kenneth Kunen passed away yesterday, August 14.

Kunen is best known for his work in set theory and set-theoretic topology.

https://www.math.wisc.edu/node/829

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh no! How did that happen? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 0:09
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have any sources that Wikipedia could cite? I started a discussion on the talk page $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Asaf. I don't have any details. I learned of it through one of his former students. Apparently he had heart problems. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 2:57
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    $\begingroup$ @David Hi David, I added a link. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Andrés thanks. I see there was some activity on WP back and forth, so it's good to be able to pin things down. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 21:31
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Jamie Haddock (Harvey Mudd), David Jekel (UCSD) and Christelle Vincent (U Vermont) are organizing an effort to reimburse early career mathematicians who lost funds to non-reimbursable travel expenses due to the cancellation of the JMM. Fill out this poll to be considered for support; contact [email protected] to contribute time or money.

I am not involved in organizing this effort, but am simply spreading the word. Relevant Twitter thread.

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  • $\begingroup$ JMM is the 2022 Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) originally scheduled to be held in Seattle, January 5-8. jointmathematicsmeetings.org//jmm $\endgroup$
    – coudy
    Commented Feb 25, 2022 at 15:37
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Èrnest Borisovich Vinberg passed away (“from coronavirus pneumonia”) on May 12, 2020.

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Logician Martin Davis, best known for his contribution to the solution of Hilbert’s 10th problem, and development of the DPLL satisfiability algorithm, died on 1 January, 2023 in Berkeley at the age of 94, followed shortly by his wife Virginia.

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  • $\begingroup$ I always appreciated his moderation of the Foundations of Mathematics e-mail list. My favorite memory of him is from Nov 7, 2000, a nighttime email exchange about some question of mine as a FOM participant, while both of us stayed up for more election results. RIP. $\endgroup$
    – user44143
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 15:00
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Jacques Neveu died on May 15, 2016 at the age of 83. A day in homage to the famous french probabilist will be held on may 23, 2017 at IHP. Registration is free yet mandatory.

https://journee-neveu.sciencesconf.org/

journee Jacques Neveu

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Raymond Hoobler died on April 29 (of covid-19). See the obituary.

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Sadly, we lost Jean-Pierre Demailly, who passed away yesterday (March 17, 2022) in Grenoble. SMF notice (in French)

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for letting us know. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 17:01
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I am reliably informed that C.S. Seshadri has passed away in Chennai (July 17, 2020).

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On November 10, 2020, we lost Harold Mortimer Edwards, one of the few modern mathematicians to understand pre-modern (Galois, Kronecker, Dedekind) algebra and to attempt the demanding task of exposing it for modern readers. Obituary.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for letting us know. I really liked his books on the zeta function, and on Fermat (pre-Wiles). $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 3:36
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André Haefliger, retired professor in Geneva, passed away on March 7, 2023, aged 93.

https://www.ihes.fr/en/tribute-to-andre-haefliger/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Haefliger

He had many PhD students, among which Vaughan Jones (1952-2020, Fields medal 1990).

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Here's a piece of good news for once: Claire Voisin has won the 2024 Crafoord Prize for Mathematics!

Here's a video on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE5-WGyS6h8

(Nota Bene: Prof Voisin is the first woman mathematician to win this prize)

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"Statement on scientific publications by three national Academies (Academie des sciences, Leopoldina, and Royal Society)"

https://www.leopoldina.org/uploads/tx_leopublication/2016_Joint_Statement_on_scientific_publications.pdf

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  • $\begingroup$ This is interesting, but at least for math journals the recommendations seem mostly superfluous. I would guess that most good journals follow similar practices, and the predatory ones are hardly likely to care. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 3:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Lucia I'm not saying that the statement is ideal or even that I agree with everything written there (though it is a step in the right direction, IMHO). I'm just saying that it is something I'd like to attract people's attention to. $\endgroup$
    – fedja
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ No complaints from me! $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Lucia: Why do you think that the recommendations seem superfluous for math journals? -- I don't think they are -- also in mathematics there appear to be more and more journals where the peer-review doesn't work as it should (arbitrary-chosen example), and also in mathematics it happens at times that referee's reports lack professionality (personal attacks on authors and the like). -- What I find objectionable in the statement is though the idea of per-article payments to 'fund' open-access -- it simply doesn't seem realistic to me to make (continued) -- $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ (cont.): such payments independent from the decision to accept an article. Also, who would pay possible article processing charges for authors based in low-income countries, or for authors who are not affilitated with an institution? -- In my opinion, it would be best to make scientific publications exempt from copyright altogether (just as any type of documents where the copyright protection serves the only purpose to feed a publisher, and the benefit for the author is typically equal to zero). $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: The example you linked seems to be from a nonsense journal. As I mentioned in my remark, good journals already follow practices similar to the ones mentioned, and the corrupt (strictly for profit) ones are unlikely to change in any meaningful way. APC's for open access is a complicated issue, but in the journals that I am aware of (or have been involved with), exceptions are always made to anyone who cannot afford them. Also, some countries seem to have negotiated good deals with publishers regarding open access, which may be a different way forward. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Stefan Kohl "Also, who would pay possible article processing charges for authors based in low-income countries, or for authors who are not affilitated with an institution?" My stance is much stronger: by sharing my knowledge by publishing I do a service to the community, so if somebody should be paid here at all, it is I. I can forfeit the reward, but that's where I draw the line. Arguments like the above sound to me like if the journal publishers asked that authors kiss their asses and the objection is that some people have back/knee problems, so it is hard for them to bend that low or kneel $\endgroup$
    – fedja
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 17:28
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    $\begingroup$ Worth a plug: freejournals.org fairopenaccess.org $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 22:38
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Sergey Natanzon (Сергей Миронович Натанзон), 1948-2020, passed away on December 7, 2020, in Moscow, from covid-19 complications. His main research was in Fuchsian groups and Riemann surfaces. More on his work is here.

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Today, May 24 2024, is the 100th birthday of Jacques Dixmier.

He appears in this video at College de France 4 years ago (talking about Bourbaki with J-P. Serre and A. Connes, in French).

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Peter Sarnak received the 2024 Shaw Prize in mathematics

for his development of the arithmetic theory of thin groups and the affine sieve, by bringing together number theory, analysis, combinatorics, dynamics, geometry and spectral theory.

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Anatoly Vershik (12.28.1933-02.14.2024) passed away.

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Sergei Novikov, 03.20.1938-06.06.2024, passed away on 6 June 2024. Novikov received Fields Medal in 1970 for his work in topology.

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If I am reading this chart from the AAAS correctly, on "Mathematical Sciences in the FY 2016 Budget," the funding for math in the U.S. went down by \$3 million dollars (rounded, without adjusting for inflation) from 2015 to 2016. I would be interested to learn the trend in other countries.

      Math Budget

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see where you got that figure from, even given your image. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 4:01
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    $\begingroup$ I think a more important question here is what the net value of the funding actually is -- i.e. after deducting reasonable wages for the time people spend on writing applications for these funds (both successful and unsuccessful ones) -- and how that changes over the years. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 10:26
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidRoberts: $(235+122+97)-(232+129+96) = -3$. LIkely more accurate than using the rounded numbers in each small category. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: I take your point, but the estimates you suggest using would be very difficult to calculate---time spent on writing; unsuccessful grants. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ Is there any kind of new figures for more recent times? (I hesitate to say "this year") $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 4:23
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    $\begingroup$ It seems the situation is quite unclear. Here is one article addressing the US 2018 budget: AMS link. $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2018 at 1:05
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H. Garth Dales, formerly of Leeds University and Lancaster University, died on October 08, 2022 at the age of 78.

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    $\begingroup$ As one of Garth's colleagues, I have taken the liberty of correcting the details. I had not thought to post anything on MathOverflow since I did not know if this was "news of potential interest to the MO community". $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 16:54
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Peter Aczel passed away on August 1st, 2023.

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Bernard Malgrange (born in 1928, PhD L. Schwartz 1955), passed away on January 5, 2024, aged 95.

SMF obituary (in French)

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Nicolas Bergeron (French Wikipedia, English Wikipedia) sadly passed away on February 15, 2024, aged 48, after battling illness.

The ENS-PSL obituary (in French).

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    $\begingroup$ The news about Bergeron came as a shock and it is always deeply saddening to hear of a young person's passing. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Mar 20 at 3:20
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Robert May, former UK chief scientist and chaos theory pioneer, dies aged 84. Obituary in The Guardian.

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Professor Ivo Babuška passed away on 12 April 2023 at the age of 97. Obituary

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Yesterday I wondered (after I remember a course that I've seen where they refer a mathematician who was awared with the Crafoord Prize) if it could be suitable edit this post with the List of mathematical awards that provides the online encyclopedia Wikipedia [1].

As you see/know the list is very complete, and I think that this could be a good post to celebrate these awards. If this isn't the best post about this subject or my post isn't suitable in this post thread feel free to add a comment that I can to delete my post as soon as I can.

References:

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mathematics_awards

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  • $\begingroup$ I emphasize my respect for this thread of posts. I add again that if some professor or moderator have a better idea to celebrate this list of mathematics awards I can to delete my post, many thanks. $\endgroup$
    – user142929
    Commented Mar 22, 2023 at 13:03
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