Author Archives: valuevar

About valuevar

I am a number theorist with side interests in combinatorics and group theory.

Rio, al-, Ł and the machine

I am now in Rio, hosted by a very fine Brazilian mathematician who, in good Brazilian-football fashion, is universally known by his nickname. Portuguese has a way of coming across to Spanish speakers as being a very offbeat way of … Continue reading

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La chartreuse de Parme and f(p), briefly

These last few weeks I’ve gone to some public lectures that are impossible to mention without name-dropping. Habermas’s talk last week had some good points, but could have been shorter; since he was not using a board, what was the … Continue reading

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How to deal with intransitivity if you are a young vampire

A question at a talk in Bordeaux made me realise that a lemma I considered to be trivial and universally known may be neither. A vampire movie I saw last weekend convinced me that this was a matter of broader … Continue reading

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Andromaque and extrema

I’ve just read Racine’s Andromaque – I intend to see it soon at the Comédie Française, and I thought I should prepare. I am curious. Upon reaching the last lines of Hermione while reading the text alone, could you suppress … Continue reading

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Number theory, machines and Racine

While editing the new number theory page at Wikipedia, I realised that (a) the page needed more pictures; (b) it isn’t trivial to come up with relevant pictures for all areas of number theory. What would be a natural physical … Continue reading

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Replacing Wikipedia’s number theory page

As some of you are aware, I’ve done some work on a possible replacement for Wikipedia’s Number Theory page (which is arguably fairly dreadful at the moment, for a variety of reasons). I think the time has come to put … Continue reading

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Locro, adapted to French circumstances

Note: I am not claiming this is the only or the best possible solution. What follows is just the description of a solution that proved itself successful last evening. Locro (Peruvian/Ecuatorian, i.e., “nature”, pas “à la viande”) serves 1 person … Continue reading

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Purity

Using the modularity of elliptic curves is fine, and, if anything, makes a diophantine result more interesting. However, using the Classification of Finite Simple Groups leaves me feeling slightly dirty. Discuss.

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Hungary, Poland, and thought in dreams

I recently came back from a trip to Hungary and Poland. The Hungarian part centred on a large and well-organised conference in Budapest, where I saw many old friends. Such conferences inevitably devolve into something very similar to what I … Continue reading

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The diameter of permutation groups

Ákos Seress and I have recently uploaded to the arxiv our new preprint, “On the diameter of permutation groups”. In it we prove that the diameter of the symmetric group is always small, irrespectively of the set of generators. By … Continue reading

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