Tag Archives: group theory

In her own words: honouring Hanna Neumann

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Hanna Neumann (1914-1971, born Johanna von Caemmerer) was a German-born UK and Australian group theorist. She was the first woman Chair of Pure Mathematics in Australia. She had a fascinaging life story. With her husband Bernhard Neumann, they had five children, four of whom became mathematicians.

A new page on Facebook follows her story told in her own words, like a scrapbook of letters, documents and images – great use of facebook as a platform for telling oral history!

https://www.facebook.com/IHOWNeumann/posts/1103790999712245:0

if you are on Twitter, you can also follow this #NatSciWk, told in her own words (hashtags: #InHerOwnWords #AussieScientist).

The project is created by Women in Science Australia, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS), the NFSA, and The National Museum of Australia.

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Group theory in simple English

Are you sick of academese? Or maybe your field really is so hard that the thought of explaining your research to your grandma has never even crossed your mind? Now you have a chance to explain a hard idea (e.g., your research topic) in simple words – in fact, with only the 1,000 most used words! A friend who is a group theorist has just made group theory sound awesomely simple: 

A group is a set of things with a way of putting two things together to get another thing. One type of group is all the ways of moving three things in space to a different place, and in fact if space was “bigger” we could get a bigger group by having more things to move. If we only do some but not all of these moves we can get a smaller group, but sometimes this will only be a little bit smaller than the group that we started with. I am interested in trying to find all of these slightly smaller groups in the situation where we are trying to move ten add six or ten add seven things.

And here is a longer explanation of Hilbert’s Hotel:

The House of Mr Hilbert:
Suppose that you are a person who has a big house where other people can give you money in order to come and live in a room for a short time. (click here to read the rest) …

Try it out here and post the results in the comments!

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