Terence Tao

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Managed to finally see "Gifted" on the plane. A key plot point of the movie was that there was an extraordinarily talented female mathematician, and mother of a small daughter, who died at a far too early age, which made the movie especially poignant for me in view of recent events. In any event I found the film surprisingly moving (though one could tell that it was deliberately written and produced to evoke these emotions), and the actor portraying the gifted girl (McKenna Grace) was particularly remarkable.

Another plot point involved an attempt to solve the Navier-Stokes equations (!). I became intensely curious when some mathematical details to this attempt became (briefly) visible in the movie, and was rather surprised to see some calculations that I recognised, including some of my own! I had forgotten that I had actually been contacted by the movie producers about two years ago and had supplied them with some sample mathematical material from various sources. The movie also featured a surprise cameo by a mathematician friend of mine which I also enjoyed. The actual mathematics was of course mostly a MacGuffin-type plot device, but still I appreciate that the filmmakers went to some effort to make it authentic.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4481414/

Another plot point involved an attempt to solve the Navier-Stokes equations (!). I became intensely curious when some mathematical details to this attempt became (briefly) visible in the movie, and was rather surprised to see some calculations that I recognised, including some of my own! I had forgotten that I had actually been contacted by the movie producers about two years ago and had supplied them with some sample mathematical material from various sources. The movie also featured a surprise cameo by a mathematician friend of mine which I also enjoyed. The actual mathematics was of course mostly a MacGuffin-type plot device, but still I appreciate that the filmmakers went to some effort to make it authentic.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4481414/

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Apparently a mode of reasoning impervious to mathematical logic has been discovered.

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Sad news. I only met Ratner briefly on one occasion. Her theorems classifying the orbits and invariant measures of unipotent flows are quite remarkable, influential, and useful (for instance, Ben Green, Tamar Ziegler, and I used a simpler variant of these results in our work on linear equations in primes and related topics). They also directly inspired a similarly remarkable analogue of these theorems for moduli spaces by Eskin-Mirzakhani and their coauthors.

Marina Ratner unexpectedly passed away on Friday.

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A race between two teams of five, in which the team who has the runner that places fifth wins. What is a good team strategy for this game?

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69.4% of the vote!

Congratulations to Cédric Villani, who has been elected to the National Assembly of France.

http://www.lefigaro.fr/elections/legislatives/2017/06/18/38001-20170618ARTFIG00260-resultat-des-legislatives-cedric-villani-une-star-des-maths-au-palais-bourbon.php

http://www.lefigaro.fr/elections/legislatives/2017/06/18/38001-20170618ARTFIG00260-resultat-des-legislatives-cedric-villani-une-star-des-maths-au-palais-bourbon.php

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Ingrid Daubechies, Fourier analysis superhero. (From the "Amazing Mathematics" exhibit at the National Science Museum in Daejong.)

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While talking to a mathematician in Korea, I learned that there is a Korean drama about a fictional maths prodigy, whose final episode involves a talk on Ramsey theory (with what appears to be genuine theorems from the subject!).

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An isometry (from one Hilbert space to another) can be described geometrically as a linear transformation that maps unit vectors to unit vectors. A co-isometry, by definition, is the dual of an isometry, but I only now figured out the geometric interpretation: a co-isometry is a linear transformation that maps the unit ball onto the unit ball! (A good example of a co-isometry to keep in mind is the orthogonal projection map from a Hilbert space H to a closed subspace H'.)

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A few years ago, I posted a puzzle at https://terrytao.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/an-airport-inspired-puzzle/ concerned with, amongst other things, whether one should spend one's energy on sprinting on a moving walkway as opposed to on the stationary ground, when trying to get from one place to another as quickly as possible. It turns out that when there is a lot of congestion on the walkway (or, in this case, an escalator), the answer to this question is quite counterintuitive (at least when viewed as a collective action problem rather than as an individual action problem).

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Nominations for the Breakthrough Prize and New Horizons Prize are now open.

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