Last night's mathematics meetup

From: amk
Sent on: Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:47 AM
Thanks to everyone to who came to last night's meetup!  There were 9
of us (of 13 Yes RSVPs), which is a good attendance ratio.

Regarding future plans for the group:

Meetings
--------

The most popular choices in the poll were talks or lectures.  (If you
haven't yet voted in the what-should-we-do poll, it's still open at
http://www.meetup...­ .)

Several people were open to giving talks at a future meeting.  Some of
the possible topics that came up during discussion included:

* the Project Euler problem set, which several people have tackled.
* the ABC conjecture
* ancient (i.e. pre-Greek) mathematics
* Apollonius's "Conic Sections"
* SAGE, R, Maple, Mathematica, and mathematical software in general.
* theoretical computer science; complexity theory.

I'll start to look for a suitable venue that's fairly quiet and has a
projector and/or whiteboard.  If any members can point me to a venue
or can host at your office, please send me an e-mail.

I'm not going to schedule anything in December, because early December
is almost here and late December is full of holiday activities.  So
any talk won't occur until January.

Book club
---------

I'll also schedule a book-club meeting for mid- or late January.
(Date is TBA right now.)

The book will be: 

    "The Best Writing on Mathematics", ed. Mircea Pitici
    Foreward by Freeman Dyson.
    Princeton UP, 383pp, ISBN[masked]-5. 
    Book web page: http://press.prin...­
    Table of contents (PDF): http://press.prin...­

I handed it around, and people were interested by the table of
contents.  It's $14.16 on Amazon at the moment; abebooks.com has a few
used or remaindered copies for slightly less.  Caution: one of the
Amazon reviews for the Kindle edition claims that the equations are
mangled and difficult to read.

It may be too ambitious to have all ~400 pages read by late January;
maybe half the book is a more reasonable goal. I'll post a message in
early January to ask how everyone is doing with the book and then
we can decide.


Random ideas
------------

GWU and Georgetown have departmental talks that are open to the
public.  I may go through their lists and add some of them to the
meetup calendar.

Cryptography and the NSA came up a few times in our discussions.  In
the spring, perhaps we can make a group visit to the Cryptologic
Museum on a weekend.

--amk

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