Friday, January 2, 2015

Emory math ranks second in Discover Magazine's 'People's Choice' awards

The people have spoken: An Emory discovery, “Mother Lode of Mathematical Identities,” is Discover Magazine’s second most popular science story for 2014, based on readers’ votes.

Emory mathematician Ken Ono, working with Michael Griffin and Ole Warnaar, found a framework for the celebrated Rogers-Ramanujan identities and their arithmetic properties, yielding a treasure trove of algebraic numbers and formulas to access them. The editors of Discover had previously ranked the find 15th on their list of the 100 most important stories for 2014.

The editors opened up the top 16 stories to a “People’s Choice” contest, allowing people to pick their favorites through several rounds of voting. A social media campaign by the Emory community and others helped the math discovery garner second place, just behind a Harvard story about stem cell therapies.

“Michael, Ole and I were pleased just to be among the final 15,” Ono says. “All of these scientific breakthroughs were important. We were honored that so many people wanted to support math. We’re especially grateful to members of the Emory Community and the University of Chicago, my alma mater, for participating and spreading the word.”

Ono’s newest discovery, “Mathematicians prove the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture,” will be generating buzz in 2015. Ono will be presenting the proof of the conjecture, including the work of collaborators, on January 11 at the Joint Mathematics Meeting in San Antonio, the largest mathematics meeting in the world.

Mathematicians find algebraic gold
Mathematicians prove the Umbral Moonshine Conjecture

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