# Monthly Archives: July 2018

# Largest known prime number discovered: Why it matters

*This article has been chosen from: https://anthonybonato.com*

Marin Mersenne. H Loeffel, Blaise Pascal, Basel: Birkhäuser 1987, CC BY-NC |

# Math is not Science!

Cartoon from the weblog Occupy the Math |

**Why do people think math is a science?**

*The link of the article: Math is not science!*

# Riemann Hypothesis

- Will Big Data solve the Riemann Hypothesis? (Posted by Eduardo Siman on February 11, 2016 in Data Science Central)
- The Riemann Hypothesis Explained (Posted by ToK maths on June 24, 2013 in IB Maths)

# History of Women Mathematicians

**Maryam Mirzakhani (May 3, 1977 – July 15, 2017)**was the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal, the highest award given in mathematics (comparable to a Nobel Prize). She was born in Tehran, Iran. During her high school years she won gold medals at the 1994 and 1995 International Mathematical Olympiads (with a perfect score on the 1995 exam), then earned her B.S. degree in mathematics in 1999 from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. In 2004 she received her Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University with a thesis in hyperbolic geometry entitled “Simple Geodesics on Hyperbolic Surfaces and Volume of the Moduli Space of Curves”. Her work solved several deep problems about hyperbolic surfaces and resulted in three papers published in the top journals of mathematics. Her adviser was Curtis McMullen, who won a Fields Medal in 1998.

**References:**

- A Tribute to Maryam Mirzakhani, American Mathematical Society
- Salerno, Adriana. “Remembering Maryam Mirzakhani,” AMS Blogs, posted July 24, 2017.
- Wilkinson, Amie. “With Snowflakes and Unicorns, Marina Ratner and Maryam Mirzakhani Explored a Universe in Motion,” New York Times, August 7, 2017.
- Lamb, Evelyn. “Mathematics World Mourns Maryam Mirzakhani, Only Woman to Win Fields Medal,”, Scientific American blog, posted July 17, 2017
- Myers, Andrew and Bjorn Carey. “Maryam Mirzakhani, Stanford mathematician and Fields Medal winner, dies”, Stanford University News, July 15, 2017.
- Klarreich, Erica. A Tenacious Explorer of Abstract Surfaces,, Quanta Magazine (a video produced by the Simons Foundation in which Mirzakhani discusses the mathematics problems she studies).
- Carey, Bjorn. “Stanford’s Maryam Mirzakhani wins Fields Medal”, Stanford Report, August 12, 2014.
- “The Work of Maryam Mirzakhani”, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Vol. 61, No. 9 (October 2014), 1079-1081. (Reprint of the IMU article above)
- McMullen, Curtis. “The work of Maryam Mirzakhani,” Laudatio delivered during the 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians.
- Svoboda, Elizabeth. “Maryam Mirzakhani“, PopSci’s Fourth Annual Brilliant 10, PopSci.com.
- MathSciNet [subscription required]
- Mathematics Genealogy Project

# Well-Ordering Property of N

# Talitha M. Washington

This article has been chosen from: Mathematically Gifted and Black

Dr. Talitha M. Washington is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Howard University in Washington, DC, and is currently on detail as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation. Prior to coming to Howard, she was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Evansville (2005-2011), an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at The College of New Rochelle (2003-2005), and a VIGRE Research Associate at Duke University (2001-2003). Dr. Washington holds a 2001 Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Connecticut with specialization in applied mathematics.

Dr. Washington grew up in Evansville, Indiana and appreciates the familial atmosphere of this community. While growing up, she enjoyed learning about all subjects. In high school, her favorite classes were AP Chemistry and an English course on classical plays. She graduated from Bosse High School a semester early and studied abroad in Costa Rica for six months on an exchange program with American Field Service. She then entered Spelman College as an engineering major simply because engineering is a popular field in Indiana. However, this major appeared to require too much work. Thus, she chose to major in math because of its connection to engineering, and it appeared to be the easier major because there was no laboratory component. Little did she know, she would fall in love with the subject and lead a long, distinguished career in mathematics.

As an undergraduate, she studied abroad at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Mexico where she took a proof-based linear algebra course and earned a 0 on her first assignment. Determined to succeed, she rallied her new classmates to study in the library. By the end of the semester, she earned 100’s on her assignments. This experience taught her that obstacles can be overcome by cultivating and building a community of learners. Upon returning from Mexico to Spelman, she researched the Black-Scholes option pricing model under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Ehme. After a summer internship at CIGNA in Hartford, Connecticut, she became interested in pursuing a career in actuarial science. Dr. Ehme encouraged her to apply to graduate school in addition to seeking positions in industry. From the support and assistance from Dr. Ehme and other members in the Spelman math department, she gained acceptance at the University of Connecticut and funding from the Packard Foundation. Thus, she declined an actuarial science position from CIGNA and began her graduate studies. Since she had secured no employment the summer before entering graduate school, she decided to backpack through southern Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala for two months – sola.

Dr. Washington faced many obstacles along the way but she met them with vigor, resilience, and determination. To her surprise, she entered a graduate program with students who already had earned advanced degrees from other universities. She met this challenge by actively seeking help and guidance from students and professors. Diligently, she worked night and day to learn the background material necessary for success. While she was in graduate school, she gave birth to her first child. She gained assistance with this transitional time in her life by securing a doula, a professional labor support person, and by participating in a network of mothers through La Leche League. She now has three vivacious STEM teenagers who are in pursuit of computer science, engineering, and biology.

While in graduate school, she enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere of working through mathematical problems and in particular, the many applications of math. With her advisor, Dr. Yung-Sze Choi, she researched a theoretical protein-protein interaction model. They also became involved with the National Resource for Cell Analysis and Modeling at University of Connecticut Health Center. Dr. Choi pushed Dr. Washington to further her work in mathematics by securing a postdoctoral position. Thus, after graduating, she headed down to Duke University where she researched a hormone secretion model with Dr. Michael Reed and Dr. Joseph Blum, in the mathematics and cell biology departments, respectively.

Recently, she has researched a fellow Evansville native, Dr. Elbert F. Cox, who is the first Black in the world to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. She has shared his story on radio and television stations, as well as in the *Notices of the American Mathematical Society*, easily the most visible journal to all mathematicians. With her applied background, she led various undergraduate and graduate research projects from modeling the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to modeling calcium homeostasis to the construction of nonstandard finite difference schemes. With her passion for education, she led a youth conference, Stepping Up, that encouraged youth to pursue viable careers through higher education. She also led a one-week research-based summer camp for middle schoolers to explore current trends in mathematics and the sciences.

Dr. Washington enjoys her work at Howard University, in the same mathematics department Elbert Cox once led. As a program officer at the National Science Foundation, she is responsible for shaping the nation’s science and engineering enterprise and ensuring that underrepresented groups and diverse institutions across all geographic regions are included in the scientific enterprise of the nation. In her spare time, she serves on a number of boards and shares motivational speeches on diversity and mathematics to a wide range of audiences. She balances stress by maintaining a rigorous exercise regimen with fitness guru Cathe Friedrich, that includes kickboxing, step aerobics, strength training, and yoga. During the warm seasons, you may even find her running down the Rock Creek Park trails in Washington, DC.