Issues of Public Interest
TAKING SIDES: Geombinatorics' Response to the War and Boycotts, Alexander Soifer, Publisher, Geombinatorics
We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. – Elie Wiesel, 1986 Peace Nobel Prize Laureate1 March 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally invades and annexes Ukrainian Crimea. Putin also dramatically amplifies the discontent in the Southwestern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, criminally sends there Russian military with tanks and artillery, and illegally establishes the separatist Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) and Luhansk Peoples Republic (LPR). At first glance Putin’s goal appears to prevent Ukraine from joining the European Union (EU) and NATO one way or another. He is willing to give DPR and LPR back to Ukraine if representatives of separatists in Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) would have a veto right. Otherwise he counts on Ukraine to not be admitted to EU and NATO because it does not have well defined borders due to the regions occupied by DPR and LPR.
“The detailed treatment of the plenary lectures” promised but not delivered: Alexander Soifer’s Review in 7 movements of " Meeting under the Integral Sign? The Oslo Congress of Mathematicians on the Eve of the Second World War
by Christopher D. Hollings and Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze.
Is there a better visualization of Coulson's "15-colouring of 3-spaces omitting [monochromatic] distance one"? By John H. Conway, Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey, Jaan Parts, and Alexander Soifer
We have nothing to lose except everything - By Alexander Soifer
Springer editors came up with a novel idea of publishing a book about lives of mathematicians at the time of pandemic. This will result in a book “Math in the Time of Corona,” A. Wonders (ed.), Springer Nature, Switzerland. A shorter version of this essay will appear in this book as Chapter 27: Thoughts at the Time of an Epidemic. I wrote this essay on October 18, 2020 and choose to keep its immediacy and not to update it by new developments of the last two months.
Truth, Like Water, Finds Its Way Out – By Alexander Soifer
During 1959–1962, the Finnish Analyst Rolf Nevanlinna (1895–1980) served as the President of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), the highest organization in our profession. In 1981 IMU Executive Committee decided to create a Rolf Nevanlinna Prize for “Mathematical Aspects of Information Sciences,” i.e., Mathematical Aspects of Computer Science. A year later Helsinki University, Finland, offered to pay for the prize (a gold medal with Nevanlinna’s profile and cash to match the Field’s Medal, or ca. $15,000 total).
The Secretive Life of the International Mathematics Union
What is in common between the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, and IMU, the International Mathematics Union? Both are three-letter abbreviations, you would observe. True, but this is not the only commonality. To my disbelief, I discovered that secretiveness is their shared mode of conduct. I accept FBI secretiveness as a necessity of its investigative work. Why does the IMU Executive Committee dress their decisions and even the location and dates of their meetings in the shroud of secrecy?
Truth, like water, will find its way out: My Response to Günter Ziegler and the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung – By Alexander Soifer
A thought of responding to reviews of my works has never crossed my mind before. However, Günter M. Ziegler’s 9-page long text  that appeared in late 2014, six years (!) after the publication of The Mathematical Coloring Book , contains so many errors and misrepresentations that it merits a response to its criticism of my mathematics and my history. It also raises questions about the real subject of the review by Ziegler, the 2006–2008 President of the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung (DMV, German Mathematical Society).
Siegmund-Schultze Proposal of German Monopoly on the Third Reich History; by Alexander Soifer
I have recently ran in The Notices of the American Mathematical Society into a review of my new 2015 book “The Scholar and the State: In Search of van der Waerden,” Springer Birkhäuser, Basel, 2015. The reviewer, Professor Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze (henceforth S-S) states: “Soifer’s writings appeared initially in his own journal Geombinatorics, which was largely protected against professional historical criticism.”
The case of Dr. Danut Marcu
Danut Marcu … claims to have authored 378 scientific papers. Marcu is frequently accused of plagiarism. The editors of Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai, Informatica decided to ban Marcu from their journal for this reason, as did the editors of4OR: A Quarterly Journal of Operations Research [Springer]. The editors of Geometriae Dedicata state that they suspect Marcu of plagiarism, as he submitted a manuscript which is “more-or-less word for word the same” as a paper by Lindström. Grossman, Kageyama, Pettet, and anonymous reviewers have accused Marcu of plagiarism in MathSciNet reviews.
April’s Issue 1 of Volume XXVIII was a Special Issue with pioneering essays by Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey, who constructs the first ever 5-chromatic unit-distance graph; Marijn J.H. Heule, who sets 6 consecutive world records in reducing the size of such graphs; and Geoffrey Exoo and Dan Ismailescu, who are arming themselves – and us – with tools for the next big step.
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This is Exoo’s and Ismailescu’s triangle-free, 4 chromatic unit distance graph of order 17 – a World Record.
It comes from the essay “Small Order Triangle-Free 4 Chromatic Unit Distance Graphs” that appear in the October issue (2) of Volume XXVI.