Site now powered by Jekyll

I’ve converted this site from Wordpress to Jekyll. This should give it better stability and performance.

One significant change is that comments are no longer supported, since everything is static pages. So if you want to share feedback or commentary on this site, you’ll have to find somewhere else on the Internet (or contact me directly). However, this does mean you won’t see spam or other abusive content here.

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New Mathgen book: Galois Knot Theory

Just in time for the holidays, a new randomly-generated math textbook is available!

Galois Knot Theory: With Applications to Elementary Global K-Theory, by “J. Maruyama”.

galois-cover

US$5.00 from each copy sold will be donated to the American Mathematical Society. A perfect gift for any mathematician in your life!

Click here for more information.

Note: Textbooks are printed on demand and shipped directly from Lulu.com, so they take a few more days to deliver. Order early!

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An intriguing invitation from Advances in Pure Mathematics

Now here’s an offer that’s pretty hard to resist.

Invitation to Join Our Editorial Board

Advances in Pure Mathematics

ISSN Online: 2160-0384

Dear Dr. Nathaniel Eldredge,

The Advances in Pure Mathematics (APM, ISSN: 2160-0384 ), plans to recruit new members of the Editorial Board to serve an initial one-year term with renewal options. In view of your outstanding contributions in this area,

I am pleased to invite you to apply to be a member of the Editor Board. More information about it can be found at the following website: www.scirp.org/journal/apm.

Benefits of the position

•  Collaborating with an international editorial leadership team

•  Mentoring authors from all over the world

•  Receiving editorial reviewing resource materials

•  Participating in research projects to improve the editorial process

•  Acquiring knowledge on the latest innovations in qualitative inquiry

•  Gaining a valuable credential for tenure and promotion review

Relevant Information

Members of the board are expected to recommend papers for publication, help to review submitted manuscripts and provide suggestions to promote the journal. If you are interested or have any person to recommend, please feel free to send your questions or application (including your research areas of interest and CV) to Editorialmanagement@scirp.org

APM Editorial Office

Tempting… very tempting. I’d be in distinguished company, and it would be so rewarding to serve the scientific community as a part of APM’s rigorous peer-review process

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Mathgen book proceeds donated to AMS

Today I received the first check from Lulu with the proceeds from the first few months of Mathgen book sales: US$76.32. I’ve just dispatched a check for the same amount to the American Mathematical Society.

Thanks to all who bought the books! Not only do you now own a fantastic conversation piece, but you’ve helped support real (non-randomly generated) mathematics research! And for those who haven’t: you still can.

Update: In the interests of transparency, here is the receipt (PDF).

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Another Mathgen paper accepted

Stefan Friedl of the University of Cologne writes with the news that he has gotten a Mathgen paper accepted by Journal of Algebra and Number Theory Academia. (Yes, that’s really the name of the journal; it was nominated for Clunkiest New Journal Title of 2010.)

Friedl’s masterpiece is entitled “On the uniqueness of prime, Jacobi functors”; you can read the manuscript (PDF). Its abstract:

Let be arbitrary. Every student is aware that every factor is independent. We show that is co-trivial and extrinsic. In this context, the results of [32] are highly relevant. On the other hand, in [32], the authors address the reversibility of additive scalars under the additional assumption that there exists a compactly semi-Monge locally symmetric monodromy.

The anonymous referee’s report offers unqualified praise for this magnificent paper:

I have gone through the paper. It is a good paper. In my view the results obtained are original, new and interesting. This paper may trigger further research in the direction of work.

Clarity: This paper is well-written and well-presented.

Literature: The authors’ references to the literature seem adequate.

Interest: Readers of the journal will find this paper interesting.

Recommendation: I recommend that this paper be accepted for publication in the Journal for Algebra and Number Theory Academia.

Unlike Advances in Pure Mathematics, JANTA is not an open-access journal but is available only by subscription; current subscription rates are US$300 per year (6 issues). They do, however, require that the author pay an “article processing charge” of US$20 per page. Friedl also points out that JANTA is indexed by Zentralblatt, a well-respected review database.

Congratulations to Stefan for his successful work!

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Merry Christmas from Advances in Pure Mathematics!

Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2012 11:25:19
From: srp
To: Marcie Rathke
Subject: Dr.Marcie Rathke, Merry X’mas

Dear Marcie Rathke,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! On behalf of the SCIRP editorial staffs, I would like to extend my profound gratitude to you, for your consistent support to our journal.

It is our firm belief that with our joint efforts, the journals of SCIRP will make further progress in the next year.

Wishing you health and happiness in the Holiday Season and prosperity in the coming 2013.

My very best regards,

Scirp Editorial Office

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Radio interview about Powerball lottery

With the current large Powerball lottery jackpot, the media is pretty excited. I got interviewed this morning by Lee Rayburn of WHCU radio about the lottery, its odds, and so on. You can listen online or download as MP3.

Note: I just noticed they gave me a promotion; my title at Cornell is “Visting Assistant Professor”, not “Visiting Professor”.

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Fake airline email FAIL

I just got an email, nominally from Southwest Airlines, advising me of my upcoming itinerary:

2012-11-20
Depart SAN LEONARD CITY IL (SLC) at 6:30 PM on Southwest Airlines
Arrive in PHOENIX CA (PHX) at 2:19 PM

So apparently SLC is not Salt Lake City but a nonexistent city in Illinois, Phoenix is in California now, and flying between them takes negative 2 hours and 11 minutes (even after accounting for time zones).

Yep, seems legit!

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Gluttons for punishment

I just received the following email:

CALL FOR PAPERS

Advances in Pure Mathematics
ISSN Online: 2160-0384

Dear Dr. Nathaniel Eldredge,

I am writing to cordially invite you to submit or recommend papers to the Advances in Pure Mathematics (APM, ISSN: 2160-0384), an open access journal. For more about the Aims & Scope or other information, please visit the following website: www.scirp.org/journal/apm.

About Open Access
As an Open Access Journal, you will have full access to all the articles published online and be able to download them without any subscription fees. Moreover, the influence of your research will rapidly expand once you become an OA author.

[...]

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Juan de dios Pérez Jiménez

Editor in Chief
APM Editorial Office

Oh, really?

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On “provisional acceptance”

With regard to the Marcie Rathke affair, a number of readers have seized on the provisional nature of the acceptance letter from Advances in Pure Mathematics. Indeed, they did not accept it outright, for the referee says that certain revisions are needed: rewrite the abstract, explain the notation, include proofs of the main result and key lemmas. Some said that since these revisions would either be impossible or would result in a totally different (non-nonsensical) paper, that this lets APM off the hook. Others suggested that this sort of “acceptance” was actually a rejection intended to let the author down more gently.

If so, it would be completely at odds with the review practices that are usual in mathematics.

Normally, provisional acceptance means that the referee thinks the paper’s topic is interesting and significant enough to be worth publishing, and that any errors or deficiencies it may contain can most likely be fixed. The referee may point out mistakes or gaps in the paper’s logic, or places where something is not clearly explained, and ask the author to correct them before the paper is finally accepted. In the vast majority of cases, the author is indeed able to correct these errors (perhaps at the cost of adding extra assumptions, or weakening their result slightly), and the paper goes on to be published. Occasionally it may turn out that an error is more serious and actually invalidates the whole paper, but this is rare; if the referee could tell that the error was so fundamental, the paper would have been rejected outright.

Of course, in this case, the referee couldn’t really have thought the paper was interesting or significant, because it was utter garbage from beginning to end. He or she made no claim to understand it in the slightest, and suggested generic improvements that couldn’t possibly result in a genuinely publishable paper (but might have inflated the page count into a higher fee bracket).

The idea that provisional acceptance might be used as a “gentle” rejection is also implausible. Experienced reviewers know that if you receive a seriously deficient submission and recommend provisional acceptance after major revision, the author won’t interpret this as rejection but rather encouragement. You’ll soon receive a revised manuscript in which a few small changes have been made, but the paper is still unpublishable. This could be iterated indefinitely, wasting an arbitrary amount of everybody’s time, until you finally give up and reject the paper. So if you don’t seriously believe that the paper’s flaws can readily be fixed, you reject it at once.

Regarding the Rathke paper, my belief is that a few tweaks, the addition of a few more randomly generated definitions and proofs, and of course payment of the processing fee, would have led to the paper being accepted and published. As I’ve explained, for various reasons, I wasn’t really motivated to pursue it beyond the initial (provisional) acceptance, and so I suppose we’ll never really know what would have happened. But I think, and I think most of the mathematical community would agree, that the point has been made.

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