Tag Archives: adventure

Michael Atiyah’s Birthday!

Heads up!  In  a couple of days (April 22nd) it is the 87th birthday of “Britain’s mathematical pope”, (not just Britain’s, either, IMO), otherwise known as my doctoral advisor, Professor Sir Michael Atiyah.   HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL!

To celebrate, his son David is assembling an online tribute – see http://www.atiyah.eu/mfa87/    Please consider sending a tribute message to david@atiyah.eu  Here’s what hes ays:

We are collecting messages of congratulations on the occasion of Michael Atiyah‘s 87th birthday Friday, April 22, 2016.

If you have the time, memory, and an inclination, please also include your favourite personal story about Britain’s Mathematical Pope*. I keep hearing every mathematician has one – it would be a shame not to collect and archive them for posterity.

Bonus points awarded for photographs, with prizes for the best MP4 video message we can share on the night.

Pls include:
– your name
– your current position, & location (if appropriate)
– when and where you first met Michael

We will keep it simple and hope to collate and publish submisssions in due course.

* = with thanks to Siobhan Roberts for the expression used in her recent biog of J H Conway – i have simply extended his Popedom from England to Britain.

If you haven’t seen it, here is a great article from Wired last week: Mathematical Matchmaker Atiyah Dreams of a Quantum Union.

 

Arches to North Dome

 

It had to be North Dome, really.

I first visited Yosemite in 1985. At that time I was not a climber. I had little idea what to expect, but the line on the map – ascend the Falls Trail, visit North Dome, descend Snow Creek – looked too tempting to resist.  My friend Liane thought this plan so foolish that she came along herself to make sure I didn’t get into trouble.  We were married the next year.  North Dome is a special place. Continue reading

Terrain d’aventure

Trip Report: 14 Feb 2004

The university campus at Luminy is right in the middle of the Calanques, a wild region of limestone cliffs and valleys and  deeply-incised coastline stretching from Marseille to Cassis.  For five days I have been trying to take in a full-time program of intense mathematical discussion. Now, however, an extra day has managed to find its way into my schedule.  Today is climbing day.  The sun has shone all week and my English distrust of the weather makes me sure it will rain today, but I’m wrong; blue skies and no wind.   I am sitting outside the Mathematics Institute at 8.30 in the morning awaiting the arrival of Papick. Continue reading