Who Subsumes the Subsumers?

At a conference like the HLF—bringing together researchers from across diverse fields—you’re bound to run into a few turf wars.

Mathematician vs. computer scientist.

Mathematician vs. physicist.

Even—in one delicious exchange on September 20 —mathematician vs. mathematician.

In his morning talk, Sir Andrew Wiles emphasized a fundamental change in his field of number theory over the last half-century: its move from abelian to non-abelian realms.

DSC_0450

Afterwards, Michael Atiyah—fellow mathematician and fellow Sir—rose to comment. After praising a “brilliant talk,” he started to redraw the intellectual boundaries.

“The whole idea of doing non-abelian theory permeates not just number theory,” Atiyah said, “but physics and geometry and vast parts of mathematics. What we’re really looking for is an overall unification in some distant future.”

Wiles mostly agreed, then laughed: “We’ve had this discussion before.”

“When I gave a lecture, probably 25 years ago,” Wiles said, “Michael told me that the future of number theory was to be subsumed by physics.”

DSC_0451

Wiles smiled at the memory. “I was a little taken aback by this. It wasn’t what I planned for my future.”

But Wiles got the last laugh. “[Physicist] Cumrun Vafa came up to me afterwards,” Wiles explained, “and said, ‘Don’t worry about it. It’s the other way around.’”

DSC_0452

You can stream Sir Andrew Wiles’ lecture here or watch it on YouTube.

Posted by

Ben Orlin blogs at Math with Bad Drawings. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Business Insider, the Chicago Tribune, and the Huffington Post. He teaches secondary school mathematics in Birmingham, England."

14 comments Write a comment

  1. Ben Orlin wrote (10. October 2016):
    > Mathematician vs. computer scientist.
    > Mathematician vs. physicist.
    > Even […] mathematician vs. mathematician.

    And not least …

    > You can stream Sir Andrew Wile’s lecture […]

    … Who’s grossed out by grocers’ apostrophes vs. who isn’t.

    p.s.
    Thanks for your transcript of the comments following the lecture by Sir Andrew Wiles. Will there be transcripts made available of the lecture itself, too?

    • All apologies for the extreme delay in responding, and transcripts of the lectures will not be made available.

  2. Lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks!, how did i do that?
    The 3 Week Diet is an extreme rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks! Get your customized diet plan from our official website and find out which foods you should be eating if you want to burn your belly fat away fast! Created by acclaimed personal trainer and nutritionist Brian Flatt, The 3 Week Diet is 100% guaranteed to deliver results!
    look great? dont waste your time! lets do this, join with us and bet back your beautiful body at here:

    http://34.gs/hls5

    Thank you

  3. Имеется такая услуга – добровольное медицинское обслуживание .
    Она предполагает, что пациент вносит небольшую сумму за то, что посещает врачей в течение года не платя за каждый прием.
    Однако соцопросы показывают, что лишь 4% жителей Санкт-Петербурга знают о такой программе.
    По какой причине?
    Да потому что клиникам выгоднее сдирать с людей деньги за каждое посещение.
    А если честный врач попытается посоветовать добровольное медицинское обслуживание клиенту – это сулит ему увольнением.
    Эта информация уже спровоцировала множество скандалов, сразу после того как информацию об этом распространил один врач.
    Его уволили , после того, как он посоветовал ДМО своему пациенту.
    Самое ужасное, что официальные положения по ДМО есть в открытом доступе, просто натыкались на эту информацию единицы.
    Как отстоять свои права?
    О правилах предоставления такой услуги и обязанностях частных клиник можно узнать, сделав запрос в Яндексе: “добровольное медицинское обслуживание”.
    Обязательно обслуживание, а не страхование.

    34j5c6h86

  4. How does this medication work? What will it do for the benefit of me? Sildenafil belongs to a team of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors. It is tempered to for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (man’s impotency). It helps to achieve and keep an buy viagra sample adequate for activity.

  5. How does this medication work? What will it do for the benefit of me? Sildenafil belongs to a team of medications called phosphodiesterase breed 5 inhibitors. It is tempered to in support of the treatment of erectile dysfunction (male ineffectualness). It helps to carry out and hoard up an get free sample viagra adequate to go to activity.

Leave a Reply




Bitte ausrechnen und die Zahl (Ziffern) eingeben

E-Mail-Benachrichtigung bei weiteren Kommentaren.
-- Auch möglich: Abo ohne Kommentar. +