User:Charles Matthews/About me

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General questions should be written on my Talk page, not here

Wikimania 2008[edit]


Wikimania 2007 party - who's the over-friendly Wikia guy?

I attended Wikimania 2007 in Taipei - a blast. Also some perspective on 'free culture' and so on. Working on enWP remains central for me. Another angle with stroopwaffels. Another photo, and another. And sneaking out of a talk.


At the Kampala YMCA. Thursday 15 June I talked on Wikipedia and its future at the Grand Imperial Hotel, Kampala, 5 - 7 pm, to around 100 people.

They wanted PowerPoint, I wanted an OHP! Old-style lecturer in action.

Mostly I was in Uganda to teach go.

Kampala June 2006

I decided to stand for the WMF Board 2006 Board Elections (debate was at meta:User:Charles Matthews/WMF Board Election 2006). I came 7th, with about 380 votes.

An essay: User:Charles Matthews/Conflict of interest, from October 2006 when it was a hot potato. The policy at WP:COI has assumed greater and greater importance as time has passed.

Some other meetups to which I made it[edit]

Going completely wild at the Birmingham meet-up, 2006

Attendee at the meet-up in London June 5, 2004, the London meet-up December 3, 2004, London 11 September 2005, and Birmingham January 21 2006, and London September 13 2008.

A bit about me[edit]

My main interest was go (board game) for about a decade. For which see my writing at Sensei's Library and at [3]. This is what took me to Uganda in 2003 and 2006.

Wikipedians who have also played me at go include Matthew Woodcraft, Jitse Niesen, Alex Hermes, William Connolley=William Connolley and Peter Jackson; I've also met Paul Erdös, Frank Adams, Richard Borcherds, Elwyn Berlekamp, Robert M. Solovay, Richard A. Parker and Ross Anderson over the board.

Before that, I had a time working on the theoretical end of functional programming. I'm supposed to be writing about something quite else, at present.

From my past[edit]

You say:

My current interest is go (board game), but I've been adding material here from a previous existence as a mathematician, on a hobby basis.

What previous existence as a mathematician? Are you interested in providing details?

I wrote a Ph.D. on Gauss sums in 1978 under Cassels in Cambridge, worked at IHES, Cambridge, Harvard, Cambridge again as a lecturer and Fellow of Queens' College. That took me up to 1988; I haven't worked as a mathematician since.

Charles Matthews 18:36 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

You don't consider that you're still working as a mathematician at the moment?? Sorry, I just get frustrated at the mathematics community that takes the position that "working as a mathematician" is synonymous with "doing a lifetime of mathematical research" (proving theorems, writing papers, attending conferences, etc.), as if educators, people who choose to work in industry, or people who write an occasional paper for fun and try to explain math to ordinary people, are somehow are less important than the (relative minority) who devote their lives to proving theorems. It's a strange profession that holds up an ideal for what it means to "belong", yet that ideal is only attained by a fraction of people. Revolver 20:23, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Actually I took a big break from mathematics - had enough of it, let's say - ten years ago; and it's only posting to WP that has really brought it all back for me (did do some sci.math a while ago). It worked out that I spent a decade on go, in various ways - and now I'm a bit saturated with it. Call me fickle ... anyway, wiki editing is something novel, and suits me as 'practice' for other writing, also. Let's not get into 'the mathematics community', here and now. It's a wholely remarkable subject, run in a profligate way in terms of talent. Charles Matthews 20:34, 15 Apr 2004 (UTC)

There's nothing wrong with being fickle! I hope you didn't take my comments personally, they weren't meant to express frustration with you in particular. I simply wanted to point out that math is strange in attaching such importance to research and academic tenure as part of the identity of being a mathematician -- biologists or chemists who work for drug companies are still considered biologists or chemists, and so on...but agreed about not getting into a discussion on this topic in general...maybe some other time. Revolver 00:14, 16 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Game theory[edit]

Are you the same Charles Matthews who wrote an excellent (yet agonizingly brief) article on progress in combinatorial game theory entitled "CGT Becomes Hard Currency"?

Do you know of any well-written, thorough reviews of moderate length on combinatorial game theory published on the internet? I pinpointed an excellent review of game theory by Don Ross but its scope is too general to target my needs as I invent only perfect-information games (i.e., chess variants). All I can find are either entire books or short articles machine-gun-riddled with links.

-Derek Nalls

The same. The CGT people aren't great at getting the message out, in my semi-informed opinion. You could look at, which is work in progress, leading up to applications to go but not restricted to those. Are you aware of the theory about Konane? That's the most chess-like thing to come to mind (not a chess variant).

Charles Matthews 08:38, 8 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I enjoyed the many math articles, many of which i found your involvement. Xah Lee 10:45, 2005 Apr 6 (UTC)