Friday, October 3, 2008

Update on the field with one element

The paper "Fun with F_un" by Alain, Katia, and Matilde will appear soon in the Journal of Number Theory. An associated video abstract by Alain can be found at
Alain's video is a terrific example of what is possible with these video abstracts!
My best,


Anonymous said...

Funniest post ever! I seriously doubt a 4 minutes video can explain
a hard mathematical subject better than a written paragraph with
some good formulas and diagrams. I think it was the reason why
people invented languages and mathematical symbols at the first
place. Therefore, I still prefer to "read" Connes' papers and to
"watch" Shakira's videos :-))

Javier Lopez said...

A bit of shameless promotion regarding F_un:

Lieven Le Bruyn has started a group-blog project around the running seminar about F_un taking place at MPI and his own one at the University of Antwerp. You can find it at

Feel free to drop by and give any kind of feedback you feel like!

Anonymous said...

anonymous: I disagree. Thurston's paper "On proof and progress in mathematics" has parts devoted precisely to this issue (effectiveness of various modes of communication in mathematics), I highly recommend it:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, there are even some games to teach mathematics to kids. I
dream some day one can learn about the latest achievements in
mathematics by watching some videos. When this dream comes true the
only things we need to study new progresses in mathematics are a
cozy sofa, a slice of pizza and some beer.

I would also like to add the following comments:

1. I think we do agree that there is a huge difference between
"various modes of communication" and "talking in front of a camera
for a few minutes", don't we?

2. I've searched the word "people" in Thurston's paper. It was
repeated 63 times. So, I conclude his article is generally about
mathematics and people. But my comment was about advanced
mathematics and mathematicians.