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Last night's mathematics meetup

From: Andrew K.
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:


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; 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.


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