Monday, March 29, 2010

Shankar Balasubramanian

Chennai-born Shankar Balasubramanian of Cambridge University has been named Innovator of the Year by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Britain's leading agency for academic research and training in non-clinical life sciences.He has been awarded £10,000 in recognition of his work on Solexa sequencing, the high speed genome sequencing technology. The award, now in its second year, is meant to encourage research that has practical impact on quality of life.Professor Balasubramanian, whose parents moved to Britain a year after he was born, graduated in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and went on to do a PhD. He worked with David Klenerman of the department of chemistry, to invent low-cost and high-speed genome sequencing technology.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Perfect Rigor: A Genius And The Mathematical Breakthrough Of The Century By Masha Gessen,

This is the biography of one of the greatest living mathematicians, Grigory Perelman. The biography proceeds from a paradox: despite the fact that the subject is still alive, he has not been interviewed or spoken to. This peculiarity is not for the want of trying on the part of the biographer, Masha Gessen. It is totally to do with the personality of Perelman who, after he solved one of the toughest mathematical problems, became a recluse, refusing to meet anyone. He even refused the Fields Medal (the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for mathematics) and a prize of $1 million.In 2000, the Clay Mathematics Institute in Boston had announced a prize of a million dollars to anyone who could solve the seven great unsolved problems of mathematics. One of these problems is a classic of mathematical topology and is known as the Poincaré Conjecture. It is named after Henri Poincaré who formulated it in 1904. The Conjecture had been worked on by many famous mathematicians and had been the subject of many false proofs. It was finally solved in 2006 by Perelman.Gessen’s marvellous book on a difficult subject and a difficult person is based on very detailed research. She has spoken to almost everyone who knows or knew Perelman — his classmates, teachers, coaches, teammates and colleagues in Russia and the United States of America. She was aided in her research by her own background. She is herself a mathematical whiz raised in Russia.One great advantage of this book is that it demands no knowledge of maths, but an interest in it

No compulsory Punjabi in schools

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has refused to accept the Punjab government’s demand to make Punjabi language compulsory up to Class X in schools in Chandigarh and Punjab. The Board has said the language was optional and would remain so.
Recently, the Punjab government had sent a written communication to the CBSE at its regional centre in Panchkula, asking it to make the language compulsory.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

CBSE class X examination

As many as 9.25 lakh candidates will be appearing in CBSE class X examination beginning March 3 across the country under the new grading system.More than 6.99 lakh candidates will also take their class XII examination which start on the same day.According to CBSE, the number of students appearing for the class X examination is 8.65 per cent more than last year. Among the candidates, 5,33,715 are boys and 3,68,802 are girls.The examination will be held in 12,303 schools and centres across the country.The class XII examination will see a 8.80 per cent increase in number of students sitting for the examination.The Board has for the first time decided to provide class X question papers of Mathematics and Science for blind candidates.In Delhi, 2.47 students will sit for the class X examination, and 1.99 lakh will sit for the class XII examination. This is an increase of 6.32 per cent and 9.28 per cent respectively compared to last year.There would be 13,311 students appearing for the class X examination in 56 foreign centres and 8,596 candidates appearing for the class XII examination in 45 foreign centres.

Charles K. Megibben

Charles K. Megibben, who played a major role in developing the mathematics department of Vanderbilt University into a major research center, has died. He was 73 . Megibben, an internationally acknowledged leader in the theory of abelian groups, a major field of algebra, died March 2 in Nashville while undergoing heart surgery. He was a professor of mathematics, emeritus.Megibben became a professor of mathematics, emeritus, in 2005. Megibben was a popular professor among students, known for writing and distributing lecture notes to his classes instead of using published textbooks and spending time with students in his office answering math questions.