MathAlive!

MathAlive! is coming to Atlanta

MathAlive! will open at the Warner Robins Museum of Aviation on May 21st and run through July 4th.  This exhibit aims to show kids unexpected ways that math appears in recreation as well as in working life, promising “unique, interactive experiences to transform math from its native form into the fascinating applied worlds of design,…

"Optimization in Microeconomics" by Christopher Curran and Skip Garibaldi

New edition of “Optimization in microeconomics”

The publisher is making a new edition of Optimization in microeconomics! This is a textbook for a senior-level capstone course in mathematical economics. It was developed for Math/Econ 425 at Emory University.  The text is a polishing of the extensive course notes that economist Chris Curran developed over the many years that he taught that…

Math and economics of Powerball

It’s fun to think about winning enormous lottery jackpot ($1.3 billion annuity, $806 million cash value), and that alone is a fine reason to buy some Powerball tickets for Wednesday’s drawing.  But does it make sense as a gamble?  Here are some answers. The main answer is “no”, it is a bad gamble because the expected…

Talking at JMM2016

Come see me Wednesday 1/6 at 9:30am in room 307/308 at JMM2016 in Seattle!  I’ll be talking about how mathematics professors can contribute to and participate in government advisory boards.

Two new papers on essential dimension

Updated June 10, 2016 I have two new papers out, both joint with Bob Guralnick: Spinors and essential dimension: We show that certain representations of the spin group Spinn are generically free for n > 14 and calculate the generic stabilizer for n ≤ 14, for all base fields. This shows that the formula for the…

New preprint on p-indexes of algebraic groups

New preprint out now: Tits p-indexes of algebraic groups, joint with Charles De Clercq. We give a `localized at a prime p‘ version of the results in Jacques Tits‘s classic 1966 paper Classification of semisimple algebraic groups. In that paper, he introduced the index of a semisimple group and classified all the possible values it…

Volume in honor of Alexander Merkurjev

Happy 60th birthday to Alexander Merkurjev! A special volume of Documenta Mathematica in honor of the occasion has just been published. I have known Sasha for my whole career and he was my mentor during my UCLA postdoc. I am delighted to have been an editor for this volume in his honor. If you order…

“Luck” paper published

My paper Some people have all the luck, giving the details about the mathematical analysis behind Lawrence Mower’s 2014 expose of the Florida Lottery, has appeared. (See also this description from MAA FOCUS.) Our analysis has since been applied to identify criminals in many other states. This paper was written with Richard Arratia (USC), Lawrence…

“Simple groups stabilizing polynomials” paper published

My paper “Simple groups stabilizing polynomials“, written with Bob Guralnick, has appeared in Forum of Mathematics Pi.  In it, we show that, if a simple algebraic group G stabilizes a polynomial function f on a vector space V, then with a very short list of exceptions G is actually the identity component of the stabilizer of f.  We give various concrete applications of…

New preprint on outer automorphisms of simple groups

New preprint out today: Outer automorphisms of algebraic groups and a Skolem-Noether theorem for Albert algebras, written with Holger P. Petersson.  In it, we study the question of existence of outer automorphisms of simple algebraic groups.  One knows that the *-action and the Tits class provide obstructions to the existence of outer automorphisms, and the question is…