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1 lostlakehiker  Aug 13, 2014 2:08:41pm

“For those of us less versed in the uppermost echelons of mathematics and geometry than Mirzakhani, it’s mind-twisting to understand the abstract accomplishments that got her field’s highest recognition.”

Actually, these are amazing achievements even from the perspective of a research mathematician. That’s why they merit the Fields medal. Edward Witten has a Nobel prize in physics, and she’s advanced the math related to what he was doing.

This is a big day for women. There had been, til now, no woman to score at the uttermost top in any of the cluster of realms of human endeavor such as chess, bridge, mathematics, go…

and of those, mathematics was the Everest.

Way to go.

2 FemNaziBitch  Aug 13, 2014 2:30:17pm

re: #1 lostlakehiker

“For those of us less versed in the uppermost echelons of mathematics and geometry than Mirzakhani, it’s mind-twisting to understand the abstract accomplishments that got her field’s highest recognition.”

Actually, these are amazing achievements even from the perspective of a research mathematician. That’s why they merit the Fields medal. Edward Witten has a Nobel prize in physics, and she’s advanced the math related to what he was doing.

This is a big day for women. There had been, til now, no woman to score at the uttermost top in any of the cluster of realms of human endeavor such as chess, bridge, mathematics, go…

and of those, mathematics was the Everest.

Way to go.

I have to wonder how many women did achieve such things, only to have to have credit given to their husbands, or stolen by male academics.

3 lostlakehiker  Aug 13, 2014 3:51:34pm

The thing to keep in mind is that true genius is just inimitable.

Probably none. Marie Curie’s accomplishments were not stolen by her husband. And it’s not possible, really, for academics to steal work of this quality. Suppose they were to submit it under their own name? There would inevitably be some imperfections in the original submission, and revision would be required. And the thief would be stymied.

Plus, the thief or thieves would have a hard time explaining what led them to the result. They would not be able to explain their work at conferences.

When a strong mathematician steals the work of a lesser light, something that is rare but not entirely unheard of, they may not have had the insight or done the work, but they at least can understand it once they’ve seen the key clue. At the top, it’s different.

We can also reason by analogy. What happened to Ramanujan? It would have been the simplest thing to just not acknowledge receipt of the letter, and set to work deriving the conclusions on one’s own. Who would have known? Ramanujan, an obscure nobody in India, would have had no chance to vindicate his claim of first discovery. Assuming, of course, that a stellar mathematician like Hardy would have been up to unpacking Ramanujan’s discoveries. (Which he wasn’t. Genius being inimitable.)

What happened? Hardy invited him to Britain and lavished praise and credit on him. The war, (WW1) unfortunately, meant that praise and credit could not feed the body, and Ramanujan contracted TB, couldn’t fight it off, and eventually died of the disease. But he wasn’t robbed.

4 1Peter G1  Aug 13, 2014 4:00:39pm

Now that’s way cool.

5 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Aug 14, 2014 3:59:01am

re: #3 lostlakehiker

The thing to keep in mind is that true genius is just inimitable.

Probably none. Marie Curie’s accomplishments were not stolen by her husband. And it’s not possible, really, for academics to steal work of this quality.

Watson and Crick.

6 FemNaziBitch  Aug 14, 2014 4:18:05am

re: #5 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

Watson and Crick.

checkmate

7 lostlakehiker  Aug 14, 2014 9:32:47am

re: #6 FemNaziBitch

checkmate

Oh?

What about this? (From the Wikipedia article on Francis Crick)

Crick described what he saw as the failure of Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin to cooperate and work towards finding a molecular model of DNA as a major reason why he and Watson eventually made a second attempt to do so. They asked for, and received, permission to do so from both William Lawrence Bragg and Wilkins. In order to construct their model of DNA, Watson and Crick made use of information from unpublished X-ray diffraction images of Franklin’s (shown at meetings and freely shared by Wilkins), including preliminary accounts of Franklin’s results/photographs of the X-ray images that were included in a written progress report for the King’s College laboratory of Sir John Randall from late 1952.

It is a matter of debate whether Watson and Crick should have had access to Franklin’s results without her knowledge or permission, and before she had a chance to formally publish the results of her detailed analysis of her X-ray diffraction data which were included in the progress report. However, Watson and Crick found fault in her steadfast assertion that, according to her data, a helical structure was not the only possible shape for DNA—so they had a dilemma. In an effort to clarify this issue, Max Ferdinand Perutz later published what had been in the progress report,[36] and suggested that nothing was in the report that Franklin herself had not said in her talk (attended by Watson) in late 1951. Further, Perutz explained that the report was to a Medical Research Council (MRC) committee that had been created in order to “establish contact between the different groups of people working for the Council”. Randall’s and Perutz’s laboratories were both funded by the MRC.

It is also not clear how important Franklin’s unpublished results from the progress report actually were for the model-building done by Watson and Crick. After the first crude X-ray diffraction images of DNA were collected in the 1930s, William Astbury had talked about stacks of nucleotides spaced at 3.4 angström (0.34 nanometre) intervals in DNA. A citation to Astbury’s earlier X-ray diffraction work was one of only eight references in Franklin’s first paper on DNA.[37] Analysis of Astbury’s published DNA results and the better X-ray diffraction images collected by Wilkins and Franklin revealed the helical nature of DNA. It was possible to predict the number of bases stacked within a single turn of the DNA helix (10 per turn; a full turn of the helix is 27 angströms [2.7 nm] in the compact A form, 34 angströms [3.4 nm] in the wetter B form). Wilkins shared this information about the B form of DNA with Crick and Watson. Crick did not see Franklin’s B form X-ray images (Photo 51) until after the DNA double helix model was published.[38]

She did not herself come up with the Watson-and-Crick double helix.

Just because Watson was politically incorrect doesn’t mean that he had nothing to do with the discovery of the double helix. Much less that Crick had nothing to do with it either, and that the real work was done by Franklin.

8 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Aug 14, 2014 9:42:40am

re: #7 lostlakehiker

Just because Watson was politically incorrect doesn’t mean that he had nothing to do with the discovery of the double helix. Much less that Crick had nothing to do with it either, and that the real work was done by Franklin.

Dude, they still stole her stuff and didn’t give her credit.

The history of scientific, and especially technological, discovery is full of scoops of each other. It’s a regular occurrence, both at the low and the high level, and I have no fucking clue why you think it wouldn’t be.

Can you explain?

9 KerFuFFler  Aug 14, 2014 11:35:09am

re: #1 lostlakehiker

This is a big day for women. There had been, til now, no woman to score at the uttermost top in any of the cluster of realms of human endeavor such as chess, bridge, mathematics, go…

You must not have heard about Judit Polgár, the youngest ever (at the time) chess Grandmaster. Her highest ranking was #8 in the world which is definitely playing in the very highest tier. “Polgár is the only woman to have won a game from a reigning world number one player, and has defeated ten current or former world champions in either rapid or classical chess: Magnus Carlsen, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Boris Spassky, Vasily Smyslov, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Khalifman, and Rustam Kasimdzhanov.” She retired from competitive chess just yesterday!

10 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Aug 14, 2014 11:48:57am

re: #9 KerFuFFler

You must not have heard about Judit Polgár, the youngest ever (at the time) chess Grandmaster. Her highest ranking was #8 in the world which is definitely playing in the very highest tier. “Polgár is the only woman to have won a game from a reigning world number one player, and has defeated ten current or former world champions in either rapid or classical chess: Magnus Carlsen, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Boris Spassky, Vasily Smyslov, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Alexander Khalifman, and Rustam Kasimdzhanov.” She retired from competitive chess just yesterday!

Shit, I overlooked that idiotic quote of LLH.

I mean, depending on how stupid you want to be with ‘score’, it’s a more or less mendacious comment, but it sure is wrong.

11 FemNaziBitch  Aug 14, 2014 1:11:06pm

12 lostlakehiker  Aug 14, 2014 10:44:20pm

re: #10 Fairly Sure I’m Still Obdicut

She was not WORLD CHAMPION. What part of “uttermost pinnacle” is unclear? I know about her. It’s cases like that that give hope that a woman will one day actually reach the pinnacle of chess. But it’s not happened yet. Whereas, with the Fields Medal, it’s ne plus ultra. It IS the uttermost pinnacle.

There was no intent to mislead. Quite the opposite. Very specific wording, so it would be completely clear what I was saying, and what I was NOT saying. NOT saying that no woman has ever ranked in the top ten at chess, for instance.


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