Milnor wins Abel Prize Mar23

Milnor wins Abel Prize...

As you may know, I’m a big fan of John Milnor, I posted about his video on D’Arcy Thompson. Well, today he won the Abel Prize. My own research has been greatly influenced by Milnor. His seminal work on the topology of complex hypersurface singularities is the foundation for the work in my PhD thesis. What is amazing is that he seems to have come into the subject in the late 60s, knocked out a book on the subject and then left the field to do something else groundbreaking. He was great at exposition. Really great. His early 60s book on Morse Theory has not been surpassed in the field for its clarity and choice of material. For me it’s one of the great books of the 20th century. It’s up there with Orwell’s 1984. As a postgraduate I read his book on the h-cobordism theorem when I was on holiday. How nerdy am I? (It’s also a great book but a bit more challenging shall we say.) More information about his achievements, certainly more than I can fit here, can be found at the official winner’s page:...

Milnor and D’Arcy Thompson...

I was hoping to post another video at the end of last week. Unfortunately, I caught a cold and, even though I am better, my voice hasn’t been good enough for the final voiceover. So instead I’ve got a bit of a treat for you. Yes I know I should have saved it for your Christmas present. If you are a fan of D’Arcy Thompson‘s classic On Shape and Form, then this really will be a treat for you. And if you are a fan of John Milnor, the author of the mathematical classic Morse Theory, then you will be in double treat heaven. This is a video of John Milnor talking about the ideas in Thompson’s book. If you have read the book, then you will probably remember his pictures of the morphing of fishes and other animals such as the following: And if you haven’t read the book, then get thee to a bookshop (online or physical!). The material may be a bit advanced for a general audience dealing as it does with conformal and projective transformations. The video is at http://video.ias.edu/milnor-80th....