187 – Timothy Gowers

November 2, 2011

Professor Gowers is a British mathematician, Fields medalist 1998. Besides his many interesting and significant results, Gowers has contributed to the mathematical community in several other valuable ways, for example, by prompting the creation and development of polymath projects, “massively collaborative mathematics“.

His blog is very interesting. Recently, he has been posting on topics that are quite close to the content of our course, starting with his Welcome to the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos. I recommend that you take a look at his recent postings (and their comments), as one of Gowers’s strengths is his clarity of exposition helping one understand how even complicated results can be naturally motivated and proved.

Here is a link to a lecture he gave at the Millennium Meeting on May 2000, On the importance of mathematics, also highly recommended. The lecture is split into a series of short videos and lasts about one hour. I hope you can find the time to watch it on its entirety. Here is a pdf transcript of the talk.

Here is the list of his recent postings on topics relevant to our course:

The subject of his next few postings will be one of our coming topics, and they all certainly come up in more advanced courses, so it may be useful to read these as well:


187 – Selected solutions from Chapter 3

November 2, 2011

Professor Warren Esty, has made available a list of partial solutions to some of the problems from Chapter 3. As before, please let him (or me) know if you find errors or typos, or if you have suggestions for alternative solutions or different approaches. Unfortunately, it is my understanding that no solutions will be provided for later chapters.

Solutions (Chapter 3)

Also, Joanna Thompson, our reader, has supplied solutions for last week’s homework.