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Sending out an SOS

April 28, 2011 Leave a comment

SOS Morse code

I know that no one reads this blog, but I feel obligated to inform all who might help, at least by signing the petition, that the situation at VU University Amsterdam’s Mathematical department isn’t very bright, as one can read in Tilman Bauer’s post on MathOverflow – Geometry section is about to be closed.

I haven’t signed the petition – I would feel too uncomfortable having my name and laughable title next to all the professors listed there.

I am sure many applied mathematicians share my opinion – both applied and pure mathematics have their place in the spectrum. Cutting the budget for pure mathematics (I can already hear the arguments: they are not productive, useful, blahblahblah) means shortsightedness.

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Arsenic is the new Phosporus

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, NASA did surprise me with a nice discovery. James Elser might feel depressed now: paragraphs and sentences in the textbooks need to be rewritten – and phosphorus might not be as indispensable in all living creatures as stated before.

I won’t say anything about possible consequences concerning extraterrestrial life search – I just want to say that I’m happy to hear that the essence of life is much more universal and generic than we thought.

Carl, I wish you could see us today.

Categories: Science in general

NASA Sets News Conference on Astrobiology Discovery; Science Journal Has Embargoed Details Until 2 p.m. EST On Dec. 2

November 30, 2010 2 comments

... but I won't get a proof on Thursday, will I?

What a lovely and intriguing title. Mathematicians should learn from the astrophysicists and other astropeople at NASA when it comes to advertisement. Surely, nothing revolutionary  is going to be announced at the NASA HQ (at least that is my experience with NASA announcements), but they made people ask questions, speculate and wonder. I guess it’s not the language they use when announcing their conferences, it’s the great expectations people have when it comes to space and NASA…

Pardon my scepticism.

P.S. You can enjoy the speculations on redditPhil Plait refuses to speculate, but he gives an interesting insight to it, both on his blog and reddit.

Categories: Science in general