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Some weekend reading

Terence Tao (one of the Fields Medal winners this year) has started blogging. He has a detailed discussion on the Navier-Stokes equations here. It's long but definitely worth reading - particularly because of the wide range of ideas that he talks about.

Gary North gives us the libertarian view on higher education in Misunderstanding Higher Education. He essentially says that a good public library is all that is needed to get an education and licensing agencies such as universities are unnecessary. I would like to know what your opinions are regarding that point of view.





Andrew Norris's picture

Biswajit - thanks for the interesting link. Its not my area of expertise but its fascinating to see that Terence Tao has such an active blog.

It also reminds me of another Fields medalist who is attracted to this problem: Charles Fefferman. Let me back up, as the story concerns the late Rich Pelz (1957-2002). Rich, like many others I suppose, was engrossed by the Navier-Stokes blow-up question: is there a singularity in finite time?. After many years toying at the edges he seemed to be gaining significant insight into the problem, when he died in 2002. (I am only familiar with the topic through the good luck of being in the same department as Rich, and hearing of it from him - see here for a competent summary of his work.) After his untimely death it was decided to have an annual Rich Pelz Memorial Colloquium in the MAE department at Rutgers - an event that has become a traditional high point in the department seminar series.

The first Rich Pelz Memorial Colloquium was given by Charles Fefferman - an earlier Fields medalist who had the same PhD advisor as Terence Tao.  The topic of the talk was the blow-up problem, with considerable reference to the work of Rich.  I remember Fefferman emphasizing how little was really known mathematically about the solution to the blow-up question, which probably accounts for its fascination among mathematicians.


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