User talk:Mathsci/Archive 18

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I would like to apologize to you about something. Ordinarily I might send this in email, but you requested a few months back that you did not want to receive email communications from me. So, I will leave this up to you at this point: Would you like me to (1) post the details publicly here on your talkpage, (2) send you an email, (3) send the apology via a third party, or (4) just drop it at "it's the thought that counts" and leave it at that? --Elonka 04:40, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for this message. Your question about email presumably refers to this diff [1], which I wrote after you sent unsolicited email about the forthcoming activities of the real life Elonka Dunin to my wikipedia-dedicated mail account, which is not public. Please go ahead and post here. Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 06:42, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


Mathsci, regarding the email that I sent to Orangemarlin a couple days ago, I would like to apologize to you for any misperception. In hindsight, I should not have sent the email at all, but I did want to clarify what I meant. I did not mean to imply that I have knowledge of you engaging in off-wiki criminal activities. Instead, my intent was to state that I feel that you do an inappropriate amount of research on people who you perceive as enemies, and that this research is apparently done both on- and off-wiki. However, I should not have written to Orangemarlin about you with the language that I did, and I apologize for this. I assure you that it will not happen again. --Elonka 07:23, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I do not accept this apology, in fact I find it even more offensive than your original email. Please try again. What you have written is a criticism of me and a self-justification, not an apology. Please go through one of the arbitrators to sort this out. Mathsci (talk) 07:26, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, this needs sorting out. I have just done a first draft of a mutual avoidance pact. How would the following do?
1. Elonka may post diffs concerning Mathsci at the Administrator's Noticeboard. Acting in her capacity as admin, she may make postings that are fair-minded and selective. They should adopt an appropriate and neutral tone, may express concern, but should not contain strong advocacy.
2. Elonka and Mathsci may post diffs about each other on pages related to dispute resolution, and in drafts directly related to dispute resolution.
3. Otherwise Elonka and Mathsci will avoid posting diffs relating to each other, and will avoid discussion threads where such diffs are posted that are not covered by the spirit of the first two points. They will avoid commenting on each other gratuitously in a hostile fashion, gratuitously or speculatively.
4. Mathsci has expressed a wish to edit articles freely in the areas of mathematics and French culture, over whatever areas he finds of interest, by following his nose on the site.
5. Elonka and Mathsci will avoid contact on each others’ talk pages, and by site mail, using preferably a third party to convey necessary messages. Such third parties should act as uninvolved go-betweens, not advocates.
6. Neither will use the other’s recent contributions as a starting point for editing. Where by chance they edit the same article in close succession, this should be and will be treated as coincidence.
Charles Matthews (talk) 10:22, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Redrafted, and logically #4 could now be merged into #6. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:58, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Thanks for this input. Most of this seems excellent. I'd make some comments:

  • There do not seem to have been any problems with my mainspace edits, within the normal way wikipedia functions. Odd users have taken exception to some edit summaries, but very rarely my edits.
  • You should probably remove (4) because I have never said this and I edit quite a lot of different articles, in the usual random way. I have not been able to access detailed statistics on my edits, despite having created an Editcounter subpage in various forms, In particular a year ago I redid the history section of Europe with User:Hemlock Martinis (and at the end User:FT2). I also have edited vvarious BLPs, various BDPs, various music articles (eg I created BWV 105), located translations of anglo-saxon for witchcraft, located translations of papal bulls in Latin, etc, etc.
  • I have already used Shell Kinney as a go-between with Elonka and she has been very helpful and friendly, although the outcome was not successful.
  • As for (6), I don't think there is a problem there on either side. Elonka did once quiz a caption on Marseille which touched her own interest in the Crusades and this resulted in sources being located by me and the link to commandry being found; likewise she noticed possibly by chance a BLP on Paul Mellars that I had expanded and was helpful in prompting me to locate biographical details on the database of the British Academy. I have no objection to Elonka editing any mainspace article that I happen to be editing, however she came across it. This is how wikipedia works and she is good at spotting things. Likewise I'm quite good at finding missing citations (even sometimes buying books to do so!). I think such interactions as mainspace editors are only beneficial and help to build mutual respect. All wikipedians perform a random walk on wikipedia: I enjoyed finding material for Joshua King (from your talk page), William Molyneux, William Musgrave and Tullio Levi-Civita by random encounters. Similarly I find out about the problems with Michael Atiyah's BLP as a result of noticing a message on Moreschi's talk page. The content on Etretat about Guy de Maupassant and the mummified hand, acquired from Swinburne, was similar happenstance. This seems to be the nature of wikipedia. However, as far as I understand it, consensus seems to suggest that Elonka should stay away from adjudicating fringe issues in science or ancient history: my interest there is solely about identifying recognised primary and secondary sources, as borne out by my mainspace editing history (eg the identification of the relevant passage in Herodotus VII.106 for the now deleted Siege of Doriskos, which could nevertheless still become an article on Doriscus). I have no wish to relinquish these interests, which I think help add balance and are always scholarly and well researched; nobody except Elonka has objected and she has only done so recently.
  • My main interest is in no longer being the subject of any further conspiracy theories or innuendos.
  • I would add a seventh point, related to the above. "That Elonka not involve herself in any dispute in which Mathsci might find himself." This seems to have been the main problem, where her interaction on-wiki and possibly off-wiki resulted in a needless escalation of sometimes fairly trivial and easily remedied problems. MastCell, Jehochman and others have been extremely skillful in de-escalating incidents which were no more than storms in teacups.

Best regards, Mathsci (talk) 12:29, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, #4 and #6 were motivated by things in emails. #4 is not mean to exclude editing outside those areas: I was just including it because I believed you'd communicated on that matter. Let's tweak the wording to include something about the browse-to-edit urge.
Otherwise, if Elonka will similarly comment, I believe we might get somewhere. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:23, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Enjoy your Sunday. Mathsci (talk) 13:33, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

You might want to ask Elonka directly as she seems to have disappeared. Mathsci (talk) 21:57, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
We're discussing it offline, to save further misunderstandings or worse. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:00, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
OK. Thanks for the update. Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 12:25, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Fernand Dol

Did you get a chance to see the Fernandol placard? Will you take the time to create the page on Fernand Dol or should we put it on the backburner?Zigzig20s (talk) 03:33, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I pass it quite often :) I couldn't quite work out why they've added "Hotel Cardinal" at the bottom. As you see I'm a bit occupied with Jean Sebastien Bach at the moment. But yes, I'd be pleased to help, when things quieten down. Ciao, Mathsci (talk) 03:39, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Okay. I can't sleep either :( .Zigzig20s (talk) 03:43, 19 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi! Please note that I have filed a request for appeal here. Comments welcome! Best regards PHG (talk) 16:18, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Mathsci, hi, there is discussion at User talk:Newyorkbrad#PHG appeal about whether or not this should be opened up to a wider case with more extensive evidence. If it does proceed to that point, would you be interested in providing more details about PHG's use of sources? It sounds like you might be one of the better people to provide that information, at least in some of the other topic areas than just medieval history. In either case, please feel free to comment at Newyorkbrad's talkpage with your thoughts on the matter, thanks. --Elonka 05:49, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Britain's Josef Fritzl

Plase take another look at the article, and let me know what you think on the AfD page.:) Sticky Parkin 22:23, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your message and comment, and offer of help. I'm having problems with the refs looking wierd, and have started on my glass of wine, so if you could just have a quick tinker with whatever is going wrong with how they look, that'd be great.:) Sticky Parkin 22:44, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Oooh thanks. I'm in the UK, but I'm a night owl. Cepes, do you mean mushrooms? Pretty much the only vegetables I eat are at Subway.:) Do you go on the French wiki? I've got engrossed here again, but went on the French wiki for a while and found the people there to be quite helpful considering my efforts were with babelfish. Sticky Parkin 23:48, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
De rien. I do have an account with the same name on the French wiki, but only use it on the rare occasion when I come accross real howlers. One of the things I do is to translate/expand French articles into English ones. I'd be less confident of going the other way. Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 06:55, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG

An Arbitration case involving you has been opened, and is located here. Please add any evidence you may wish the Arbitrators to consider to the evidence sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG/Evidence. Please submit your evidence within one week, if possible. You may also contribute to the case on the workshop sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG/Workshop.

On behalf of the Arbitration Committee, Daniel (talk) 23:06, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi Mathsci. I saw your comment [2]. This is just to say that I love to dig into little known facts of history, and that I happen to think that it is the beauty of Wikipedia... that we can go into incredible details on tiny but fascinating events. My first such experience was Indo-Greek kingdom: in the seldom instance while in school when the Indo-Greek kingdom was mentionned, if ever, it was simply dismissed with something like "an insignificant Hellenistic hybrid kingdom which quickly melted into India". Wikipedia gave me the opportunity to research on this mysterious entity, I did a lot of research on the subject (books on my User page), and the result was an article which I think is one of the best compilations on the subject, and which highlights a truely fascinating hsitorical entity. Other subjects like that would be French assistance to Nguyen Anh, or Franco-Mongol alliance. Regarding this last subject, I discovered it by chance about a year and a half ago reading a book by René Grousset. Now, I am fascinated by instances of cultural interractions and I thought "Wow, what is THIS thing?". I researched, bought many books, and tried to compile as detailed an account as possible on the subject. It turned out there were something like 50 years of interraction between the Mongols and the West, with exchange of letters, ambassadors, promises, and even several instances of military cooperation. Of course, the Franco-Mongol alliance was mostly just a failed attempt and brought nothing much of substance (appart from cultural and technological east-west exchanges?) but it is nonetheless quite significant and important, if little known (and yes, apparently counter-intuitive to the point of generating aggresive reactions in some). As you pointed out, one of the downsides is that I tend to create satellite articles around such subjects (people/ locations etc...) which might be unbalanced towards the central subject matter, but this is because I write them based on what I know at that point of time, and because I am confident that other Wikipedians with others interests will bring their own part of the puzzle (and this is, as Angus said, pretty much the way we work on Wikipedia). I hope this helps clarify a few things. Cheers. PHG (talk) 20:10, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi Mathsci. Thank you for your message. I am really only interested in military history as long as it relates to East-West or cross-cultural contacts, which is really my true area of interest. For example History of Buddhism is also an article I created and worked a lot on. I sure could work with a group such as the military history wikiproject, but I am clearly not a pure military buff, and I tend to focus my free time on creating content rather than dicussions on talk pages etc... (in 4 years my Main ratio is 80.02%![3]). I must say also that my English is essentially conventional and scolar, so that I feel much more confortable writing content than arguing or chatting around with native speakers (don't you feel the same way with French Wikipedia?). Cheers PHG (talk) 06:28, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Mathsci! You are probably right that a better Talk Page ratio would be a good idea, I'll just try not to fall in the other extreme in which some users spend most of their time on other places than the Main space! Regarding your comment about linking to French pages and not necessarily using their content: as you might know I am not supposed to use French-language sources for a while, in order to facilitate the checking of my sources by others. I am therefore supposed to restrict myself to English-language sources (except when I can get a special case-by-case agreement from User:Angusmclellan, who has been very kind in the process). Therefore I cannot use the French Wikipedia as a source (and Wikipedia not being a source I wouldn't do it anyway). Typically, I will use as a source the English material I own, the French material I own (provided I receive the specific title-by-title agreement of Angus), and Google Books English-language material, usually with direct links to Google Books so that everybody can check. This has shaped my contributions for the last 7-8 months. Often this will indeed mean rather-limited sourcing especially when dealing with French subject matters, where I could have used a lot of French-language online sources, but I can't help it for the time being. Hope this helps clarify a few things. Cheers PHG (talk) 18:26, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Mathsci. No, here's why I am not supposed to use French language sources for sometime: here, except with case-by-case approval from Angus. I suppose this will help you better understand some of the imperfections in my editing that you have pointed out. I would be gratefull if you could adjust your comments about me at Arbcom in light of this, if you wish of course :) Cheers PHG (talk) 22:09, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Mathsci. You write "Where these sources are freely available, and a host of other editors can easily check the translations of straightforward modern French, it seems clear that the restriction did not apply in this type of case.". That's not the way it works here unfortunately. As soon as a deviation from restrictions can be argued, someone will easily pursue you for a block. Even if the argument is highly inexact, you will be blocked (I was once blocked on a claim by Elonka that my France-Japan relations (19th century) article was "clearly related to Medieval history" and that there was "clearly a section on medieval history within the article", when all it did was mention events of the second half of the 16th century in introduction [4]. She even asked that I be permanently blocked in that case). Restrictions have to be followed strictly: even if precisely following them, some people will still try to misrepresent your actions to block you further. Please just be kind enough not to blame me for editing patterns (generally staying away from French-language sources except with case-by-case agreement by Angus) that are a side-effect of the application of these restrictions. I would love to use French sources extensively, but not right now :) Cheers PHG (talk) 06:04, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Mathsci. Unfortunately, the reason for the ban is that there were indeed cases where PHG was using unreliable French-language sources. You may wish to review the discussions at Talk:Laurent Dailliez and some related discussions in the archives at Talk:Franco-Mongol alliance. However, if there are reliable French-language sources which PHG wishes to use, all that is needed is for him to check with Angus, Angus to say "okay", and PHG can proceed. The mentorship arrangement just acts as a double-check on the types of sources that PHG wishes to use, to ensure that they are reliable ones. --Elonka 06:24, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
The supposed "very obscure and ultimately unreliable source" that Elonka used to obtain sources restrictions against me [5] is a French/Japanese book called Soie et lumières : l'âge d'or des échanges franco-japonais (des origines aux années 1950) by Christian Polak published by the French Chamber of Commerce in Japan [6]. Although it is probably hard to obtain in the US (due to language and subject matter), it is actually very easy to obtain in France and Japan. Laurent Dailliez is an extremely well-published and quite recognized history author in France, although he is not immune from criticism. He is not an obscure source, and I think calling him "unreliable" is a bit extreme (and frankly, when I used him, I didn't known his work could be challenged in some instance. He is a regular historian in French history libraries). Elonka, would you mind not jumping too much into other people's discussions? Cheers PHG (talk) 06:20, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Mathsci. Please understand I am not going to ask Angus 10 times a day if a given French source is OK. I bother him for important sources, such as books I would use regularly as a reference. This is why I usually rely on English-language sources in conformity with restrictions, that's all. Regarding Christian Polak's Soie et Lumieres, you can easily buy it from Librairie orientaliste Samuelian 51, rue Monsieur le Prince - 75006 Paris (Métro Luxembourg, Odéon) for example if you live in Paris. In Japan, you can easily buy it from a major bookstore like Kinokuniya (available at Kinokuniya online also [7]). It is also on under 絹と光―知られざる日仏交流一〇〇年の歴史 [8]. Really not so obscure, is it? I know it is a complicated situation, and it's hard to see through the web of accusations, but I would greatly appreciate if you could somehow refine your judgement in light of the information I have been trying to share. D'autant plus si tu es un quasi-compatriote! Cheers PHG (talk) 08:07, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I hope I can keep my independence, even as a fonctionnaire. I checked that the book can be consulted in Cambridge for those with library cards, so I assume this is true in many other comparable anglo-saxon universities. I'm not sure it's wise to push my allegiances too far: in Aix-en-Provence, although I am held personally responsible for any mild shower, I have started eating Aioli as if it been a childhood favourite; and I involuntarily salivate if I see 75 on a numberplate :) Is French your first language? Mathsci (talk) 09:07, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
It sure is :) By the way, being a fonctionnaire in Aix-en-Provence must be a pretty envied situation. Si j'ai bien retenu l'histoire de Bienvenu chez les Ch'tis, certains seraient prêts à tout pour être nommés dans le Sud... unfortunately I have to endure the 75 weather though :)) Cheers PHG (talk) 09:25, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for this information, which is extremely helpful. Bonne continuation ! Mathsci (talk) 09:31, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Great! Thanks for the improvements to Franco-Siamese War. Any more information is welcome! I hope this short article is not Wikipedia:UNDUE in anyway :)) it's always hard to find the perfect balance on a subject matter when building up an article and only having a partial knowledge of it at the same time! Cheers PHG (talk) 10:43, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Pavie missions

Hi Mathschi! I've added some information on the Pavie missions themselves, from "Aventuriers du Monde". Feel free to correct it as needed. Cheers! PHG (talk) 11:59, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Enjoy! It's an amazing book :) PHG (talk) 15:57, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Mathsci! From the book, it does not seem so sure that the map is by Pavie himself. It was in his papers all right, but may have been drawn by one of his geographers I guess, whose dates would be unknown. Also it is not sure this map has ever been published before... which renders the copyright problematic. What do you think? PHG (talk) 16:23, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Bishop-Keisler debacle

That was quite a mess indeed, and things have moved too quickly for me to respond. There is now an article Influence of non-standard analysis, started by User:Katzmik. Perhaps Criticism of nonstandard analysis should be merged there. But I suspect there will be resistance. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 14:27, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Silly rabbit. Thanks for the message. I have the feeling that very little going on here has anything to do with mathematics. That's WP for you. Mathsci (talk) 14:38, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Good manners

Hi, I appreciate your postponing the AfD nomination by 2 days, so I can participate in it in a timely fashion. Katzmik (talk) 09:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

See the remark above to silly rabbit. You made rather a fool of yourself, in case you hadn't realized. Mathsci (talk) 10:05, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
That makes for about 7 WP:SLURs by now. Do you think you have a convincing strategy for winning an argument? I recall we had some tensions in the context of Differential geometry of surfaces but in the end we cooperated to produce a splendid article (of course, mostly your work, with minor contributions by a number of editors including myself). Let's try to pursue similar cooperation in the matter of NSA. Katzmik (talk) 17:03, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I am not interested in "winning an argument". That is not why I edit wikipedia. I do it to create careful encyclopedic content. Sometimes I buy books. I did this for the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes (where I spent 1 1/2 days re-editing the lilypond file of BWV 654 to have the trills in the associated midi file in the article) and also Auguste Pavie. I ordered one Dover book (by Eisenhart) for Differential geometry of surfaces and also made a visit to the library in Jussieu to get a Chinese article on uniformization. I'll buy the new Peter Williams Bach organ book when I'm in Cambridge to write an article on the organ trio sonatas; and when I'm teaching there, I might even return to editing mathematics articles (amongst other things I'm teaching the easy case of the Selberg trace formula). I have decided that editing mathematics articles on wikipedia is a waste of my time; I am spending my time on one of my own research projects. I briefly looked at the NSA book of Albeverio and Hoegh-Krohn, mathematicians on whose work my first papers in Annals and Inventiones are based: their proof of the spectral theorem for compact self-adjoint operators made me feel physically sick. As I am a fan of Courant & Hilbert and Weyl, I think I must admit that as an analyst I have a limited interest in this tiny corner of mathematics. But may your forked articles multiply or perish!! Mathsci (talk) 17:32, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Mathsci, I admire the breadth of your interests, and certainly your expertise in analysis far surpasses anything I ever even had ambitions for. Both of us do have a bit of a sharp tongue; we could both make an effort to use it constructively. In the matter of NSA, I suppose in the end it is a matter of taste, as Halmos put it. I have not seen the paper you mentioned. At the elementary level, I find the non-standard proof of the extreme value theorem (see there) very elegant, and superior to the standard one. I would be curious to hear your reaction; if it, too, turns you off, then perhaps we will have to agree to disagree about NSA. Katzmik (talk) 17:44, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
As far as "tiny corner of mathematics" is concerned, here I think you are objectively wrong by Google Scholar standard. Katzmik (talk) 17:46, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
As a Directeur de Recherche in the CNRS, in real life I do not evaluate mathematics on the basis of google scholar. I would normally use mathscinet (with some care however) and my own reading of books like Albeverio and Hoegh-Krohn. Mathsci (talk) 17:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Now THIS is actually my favorite subject. Glad you mentioned it. You may be aware of the fact that in general, the ratio of google scholar to mathscinet is about 2:1, perhaps 3:1, it would be an exaggeration to say 4:1. Here is one of my favorite questions: Why, in the case of NSA, is the ratio over 20:1 ?? Katzmik (talk) 17:58, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh miserable creature, you dare to ask me, fount of all knowledge, high priest of the higher realms, this question? The answer is 43. Mathsci (talk) 18:14, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh font, but mightst thou please tell me, I beseech you, why, in this case, the ratio is not the usual 2,3, or 4, but rather a high of approximately 22.6512 ? Katzmik (talk) 18:18, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
43. My final offer, take it or leave it :) Happy Chanuka, Katzmik (has it already happened?). Regards, Mathsci (talk) 18:23, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
OK, well, around here we are a bit less Cartesian; you may be amused to find out that my university required ALL the departments to report the following data to the president: how many google scholar cites has each faculty member generated? I am not joking. Katzmik (talk) 18:27, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
OMG, from the sublime to the ridiculous ... that's just silly. I won't ask you about Bible codes ... Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 18:36, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I am not against discussing the subject but would prefer doing it via email if you are interested. And yes, chanuka started this evening. Katzmik (talk) 18:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Will do, if time permits! best wishes, Mathsci (talk) 19:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)


I appreciate your gesture. --CSTAR (talk) 03:00, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

De rien :) Bonnes fêtes, Mathsci (talk) 03:18, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


Please comment regarding my background information at the talk page of Criticism of non-standard analysis. Katzmik (talk) 14:14, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

No thanks. I am in transit in London on my way to California, so far too busy. I can give you Connes' email address later if you want it. Mathsci (talk) 19:15, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Goodness, I did see it and didn't quite realize that you had written it (it was unsigned). Unfortunately, you don't appear to have any mastery of the topic. Why do you insist on writing about things that seem to be completely beyond your expertise? Sigh. Mathsci (talk) 21:29, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
BTW I have no interest in discussing this further with you, as it seems to be a complete waste of my time (I sincerely hope that that was not your intention). Mathsci (talk) 21:34, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


Regarding your recent addition of evidence to the PHG case,[9] I am somewhat perplexed as to why you are bringing up diffs that are well over a year old, especially as the article Hethum II, King of Armenia is still tagged as needing cleanup in the list. Or in other words, I am in agreement with you that more work is needed there. I'd have to check the history of the situation, but as I recall, when I added the section that you were talking about, I was in the process of condensing the Franco-Mongol alliance article and moving some sections out of the main article into other articles where the information was more appropriate, and making a note that more attention would be needed later to tighten things up. If you would like to take on the task of continuing with article repairs, I have no objection, and would in fact be grateful for the help. --Elonka 07:23, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Good morning, Elonka. I have actually edited the article recently and looked at the sources. I have added something extra to the ArbCom evidence just now: my point is that is that it's very hard for wikipedia editors, with no training in medieval history, to write in an area where actual historians are critical of each other's works. There is no black and white. I think that what I just added makes that clear. Because of multiple sources and ongoing research by historians, this is not an easy area to write in (although fascinating!). Angus Stewart does not appear to spare his punches. Anyway, I have to rush down for an English breakfast before heading off to Heathrow and California. I hope my amplification was helpful. Bonnes fêtes, Mathsci (talk) 08:08, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, Happy Holidays, and have a safe trip! I may be on wiki-break when you return, as I'll be cruising in the Caribbean for my birthday next week (Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Netherlands Antilles and the French Collectivité de Saint-Martin). So Happy New Year, too. :) --Elonka 08:33, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Season's Greetings

Wishing you the very best for the season. Guettarda (talk) 01:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science

An Arbitration case in which you commented has been opened, and is located here. Please add any evidence you may wish the Arbitrators to consider to the evidence sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science/Evidence. Please submit your evidence within one week, if possible. You may also contribute to the case on the workshop sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Fringe science/Workshop.

On behalf of the Arbitration Committee, Daniel (talk) 01:02, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Grammar pedantry

Hello, sorry to bother you with such a trivial issue, but I'm wondering if I could pick your brain a little regarding this edit. I was operating on the basis of my (fallible) understanding of the Manual of Style, which reads in part

If an entire sentence is quoted in such a way that it becomes a grammatical part of the larger sentence, the first letter loses its capitalization

It's entirely possible that I've misinterpreted the guideline, but would you mind sharing your understanding of how this applies to the quote in the Stormfront article? Thanks, Skomorokh 14:48, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Janet said, "Would you like John to fetch a pale of water?" Um, this is just English grammar which, as far as I am aware, is not over-ridden by the wikipedia manual of style. I actually pruned the whole quote in which Doug Hanks said, "When Blacks start acting equally, only then will they enjoy the benefits of being treated equally. I treat a rabid dog differently from a healthy one. In fact, this gives me a terrific idea! Let's treat all the Blacks like the rabid beasts they are. 'Yeller! Here Boy!'" It would look strange if it started with a lower case "w" and then moved into capital letters. I don't think this is a really important point: far more important was the "they are" after "rabid beasts". I'm not quite sure why you have come to my talk page about this (it might be that English is not your native language).Mathsci (talk) 15:00, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, English is not my native language and I find the finer points difficult to grasp sometimes. Thanks for the thoughtful response. I agree that the 'drop the capitals' rule becomes problematic when new sentences are started (as in "Yeller! Here Boy!'") but this issue does not seem to arise in the quote as we are using it at the moment. Is your position that the Manual of Style is at odds with English grammar? If so, I may have to try to reform the MoS, as I hope to bring the article to featured status and MoS-compliance is a requirement. Thanks again for your time, and feel free not to respond to this, as it is as you say not a really important point. Regards, Skomorokh 15:07, 30 December 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for noticing the error, I was in a hurry (still am) and a bit too fast. Great that you noticied it, I've corrected it!JdeJ (talk) 17:18, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

AN/I comment re:Stormfront

Hello again Mathsci. I've replied to your comment (and request for explanation of my actions) at AN/I here and would appreciate a response. Thanks, Skomorokh 18:19, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

2009 time!

To a good 2008 and to an even better 2009. Happy New Year! Acalamari 23:40, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Fringe science case

Anyway I could convince you to change "religious zealots" to something a little more........ I dunno, less particular to religion? I (think) I know what you mean fanatics, but i'm personally uncomfortable with the comparison to religious zealotry - something that has comprised of abortion clinic bombings to soup kitchens and everything inbetween.

In case it needs to be said - this is my personal opinion completely outside of any hats I wear.--Tznkai (talk) 04:41, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

I had in fact noticed - and thank you for doing so, even if you felt the need to call it "political correctness." I will look into the account.--Tznkai (talk) 19:00, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi. I've responded to you on my talk page. --Wfaxon (talk) 18:31, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Happy New Year

Hi Mathsci! Happy New Year to you. All my best wishes! PHG (talk) 07:43, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi Mathsci! Hope you had great holidays! Could you enlighten me about what you think might be wrong with disputing content deletion on a Talk Page [10]? Best regards PHG (talk) 00:48, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

I looked at some of your "Mongol influence" contributions and think that you might be flogging a dead horse in wishing to resume editing in that area. Why not just accept that you are unlikely to be allowed back into that particular topic? My own view is that you are using circumstantial evidence to make inferences about history and that alas is original research. I can see that Elonka has strong personal feelings about you and therefore I would agree to any proposal that you made asking for her to avoid taking administrative actions against you. She does not seem to think clearly when dealing with you (e.g. her comments about France-Japan relations and the diff you cited on the workshop page). I hope this helps. Et j'ai presqu'oublié : bonne année ! Mathsci (talk) 00:59, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Hi Mathsci! Thank you for your answer! The statements I would make about a given subject (such as "Mongol influences") are quite precisely referenced from proper authors. As far as I know, I do not make "original research" inferences. Just because several editors can meet such information with disbelief does not in my view justify the interdiction of this information from Wikipedia: Wikipedia is supposed to be the "source of all knowledge" isn't it? Am I missing something? Cheers PHG (talk) 01:38, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Information might be verifiable but consensus might deem it unsuitable for the particular article in question, possibly because of WP:UNDUE. Your paragraphs on Mongol influences on Renaissance art might have been removed because of that; often these matters are subjective. I don't think I can be drawn further on this particular topic. Best regards, Mathsci (talk) 02:45, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I really wonder why the mention of Mongol influences on Renaissance Art would have to be improper for an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia. I don't think there is anything intrinsically improper to it, quite the contrary... of course a discussion can be had about where best to place it. By the way you are saying "PHG seems not yet to have understood the problems with his edits on relations between the Mongol empire and Crusader countries" here. Do you have anything specific in mind? Is it related to my challenging of referenced content deletion on a Talk Page here or something else? Cheers PHG (talk) 11:47, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
The appearance of Arabic script in Italian art does not really seem relevant to the article Franco-Mongol alliance, itself an unestablished fact. (The general topic of Mongol influences on the Renaissance has been treated in books like Jack Weatherford's Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, although not all reviews of the book have been favourable.). I am afraid that, if it is seen that you are persisting in pushing your own particular point of view against consensus, this will not help your case. Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 14:19, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Hi Mathsci! The specific case is about the appeareance of the Mongol script in Italian art ('Phags-pa), but I agree it could be better located than in the Franco-Mongol alliance article, no problem with that (Elonka has made a great suggestion about Mongol contributions to Medieval Europe, on the line of Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe). Personnally, I do not consider the Franco-Mongol alliance as just an "unestablished fact", but rather as something which is considered as fact by some authors (especially French), and only failed attempts by other authors (especially Anglo-Saxon). What do you think? Cheers PHG (talk) 14:33, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
As I said, not a great idea to persist with this on my talk page, if you can take the hint ... Mathsci (talk) 14:36, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
And I thought we lived in countries that guaranty free speech and freedom of opinion :))) Have a good week-end Mathsci! Cheers PHG (talk) 14:45, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Careless talk costs lives. :) Mathsci (talk) 14:50, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Don't worry about me Mathsci (merci!): the position of various historians on the subject is already well documented in the current (presumably consensual) version of the article: Franco-Mongol alliance#Dispute about the existence of the Franco-Mongol alliance. Cheers PHG (talk) 15:34, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

PHG ArbCom request

I've posted a request for possible additional evidence at Wikipedia talk:Requests for arbitration/PHG/Evidence. Cool Hand Luke 18:50, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you

Thank you so much Mathsci for your comments about the Paris Foreign Missions Society article! It's been quite a pet project of mine, spending many hours sur place and in the archives, photographing a lot of stuff, and retracing the amazing and so-little known history of this institution and its members. I truely appreciate your comments, they mean a lot to me! It is this kind of comments which I think help keep me contributing to Wikipedia despite all the hassle :)) Best regards PHG (talk) 20:21, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Ja settings

Hi Mathsci, for your information I have resolved the issue of the Japanese settings for Google Books: if a page is with Japanese settings, this will appear in the URL with the mention "=ja". Correcting this part of the URL with "=en" is sufficient to change the settings to English. For example this page is with Japanese settings, and this one is the same with English settings, just by correcting the URL. I am now doing this systematically. Thank you for the heads-up, as I was not aware this could be an issue. Best regards PHG (talk) 07:04, 10 January 2009 (UTC)


Hi Mathsci! Since your comments a long time ago about the sourcing of Siege of Bangkok, I have made sure that all exact sources were identified: when it is Smithies writing I just referenced "Smithies", when it is one of the three authors who participated to the event, I referenced either "De la Touche, in Smithies", "Desfarges, in Smithies" or "Vollant des Verquains, in Smithies". I am basing myself on Wikipedia's policy that "Primary sources that have been reliably published (for example, by a university press or mainstream newspaper) may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them." [11] I guess we can say they were reliably published by Smithies (Orchid Press) and as far as I know, I have only used them as reference to "descriptive claims". According to User:Angusmclellan, my mentor, this is acceptable: "I share Mathsci's concerns over the primary-sourciness of Siege of Bangkok, but some minor tweaking to make it clearer when it's a historian saying X or Desfarges, De la Touche, De Bèze who said it 300+ years ago is really all that's needed." [12], which is exactly what I have done. I did improve significantly the article since your comments back then, but what do you think? Are there still some improvements to make? Best regards PHG (talk) 20:11, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Smithies prepared translations of these contemporary eye-witness accounts, which remain primary sources. Mathsci (talk) 23:02, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Reliable sources noticeboard

Hi, I really respect your opinion as an editor, and so would very much appreciate your thoughts about the reliability of this sort of source if you have the time. Thanks. Alun (talk) 12:23, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

My first reaction is that almost all the sources are unreliable. Private companies that link genealogy with DNA might not necessarily have the interests of their clients at heart, only their bank accounts; the information they give is probably designed to flatter their clients and probably has no basis in science. I'm back teaching in the University of Cambridge this term, so that probably means a slight wikibreak, as happened last year. Happy New Year, Mathsci (talk) 08:02, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you

SpecialBarnstar.png The Special Barnstar
Mathsci, thanks for being so considerate! -- Levine2112 discuss 21:45, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

RfA thankspam

Admin mop.PNG
Thank you for your participation in my recent RfA, which failed with 90/38/3; whether you supported, opposed or remained neutral.

Special thanks go out to Moreschi, Dougweller and Frank for nominating me, and I will try to take everyone's comments on board.

Thanks again for your participation. I am currently concentrating my efforts on the Wikification WikiProject. It's fun! Please visit the project and wikify a few articles to help clear the backlog. If you can recruit some more participants, then even better.

Apologies if you don't like RfA thankspam, this message was delivered by a bot which can't tell whether you want it or not. Feel free to remove it. Itsmejudith (talk), 22:48, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Denbot (talk) 22:48, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


I have asked for the Elonka matter to be handled as a full case, and copied over all comments. Please strike any comments no longer relevant. Thank you, Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 20:42, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

P.S. Love the Doré print on your user page. I'm involved in a slow process to get as much of him on Wikipedia as possible. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 20:42, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I see this course of action was not successful and I am relieved. I am at present a little bit too preoccupied with other things in real life to give this much attention at the moment. Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 11:39, 26 January 2009 (UTC)


Hi Mathsci! I think I am leaving. Thank you for your support! Cheers PHG (talk) 14:09, 31 January 2009 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Meetup/Cambridge 2, 28 February proposed. Charles Matthews (talk) 18:58, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Now confirmed, this Saturday at CB2, from 3 pm. Charles Matthews (talk) 21:12, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/PHG

The above-linked Arbitration case has been closed and the final decision published.

PHG's mentorship and sourcing arrangement is both revised and extended; the full list of new conditions are available by clicking this link. Furthermore, the original topic ban on editing articles related to medieval or ancient history has been rescinded. PHG is prohibited from editing articles relating to the Mongol Empire, the Crusades, intersections between Crusader states and the Mongol Empire, and Hellenistic India—all broadly defined. This topic ban will last for a period of one year. He is permitted to make suggestions on talk pages, provided that he interacts with other editors in a civil fashion.

Any particular article may be added or removed from PHG's editing restriction at the discretion of his mentor; publicly logged to prevent confusion of the restriction's coverage. The mentor is encouraged to be responsive to feedback from editors in making and reconsidering such actions. Furthermore, the Committee noted that PHG has complied with the Committee's restrictions over the past ten months, and that PHG is encouraged to continue contributing to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. PHG should be permitted and encouraged by other editors to write well-sourced suggestions on talkpages, to contribute free-content images to Wikimedia Commons, and to build trust with the community.

For the Arbitration Committee,
Daniel (talk) 22:32, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Talk:Intelligent design

Hi. I found this to be insulting and inaccurate. I warned four editors who had restored copyrighted images to the article in violation of our policies. The warning was not a templated one. If someone has left the project in a huff as a result, then that's a shame. However the best way to avoid receiving warnings is to avoid breaking the rules. I strongly dislike your implication that I did not research the background to the dispute before becoming involved. I did. Finally, the talk page is for discussing improvements to the article. Comments like the one you made would be better addressed to me on my talk in future. Best wishes, --John (talk) 17:56, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello, John. Sorry - no insult was intended. Perhaps things are just happening a little too quickly at the moment. User:silly rabbit is an excellent and well-established mathematics editor who, like many scientists, probably feels he can add some balance to articles on fringe science. He was probably a little taken aback by your warning. The blanket veto on non-free images on WP is quite unambiguous, and is usually a policy where there is no room at all for argument. However, the image of the cover of the Panda book in the context of the ID article might be one very rare exception - a grey area. I expressed my (not very strong) opinion about the image on the talk page of the article, like David Eppstein. Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 20:24, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your apology, no hard feelings. As I said at the article talk I have experienced the frustration of having "my" non-free images removed or replaced by free ones of arguably inferior quality, so I know what it's like. However, the warning was given for the edit-warring; it may be that a new consensus can be forged on this issue (although I doubt it, and I don't currently see evidence of a consensus there at present); merely edit-warring (either by individuals or by a group of editors) to restore the non-free images is emphatically not the way to go and people need to be aware of that. Best wishes again, --John (talk) 22:06, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't think this issue is so important. I too am familiar with the problems of non-free images, which I now never use. Various editors, including some administrators like David Eppstein, have explained why the Panda book cover is particularly apt in this exceptional case. These users are not edit-warring and their comments cannot be dismissed so easily. Was this image present when ID became a featured article? Mathsci (talk) 03:22, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
No. --John (talk) 06:45, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that information. It doesn't help the case for non-free images. I've had to work quite hard to get free images of long dead mathematicians for BLPs (once this involved questioning the secretaries at Oberwolfach about their photo archive); I don't see now why there should be special short cuts in this case. Mathsci (talk) 11:27, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying at the article talk. I'd already taken your name off the list; it's inherently difficult to make a summary of such a complex argument and I thought making a summary of opinion was less disruptive than a straw poll (I hate straw polls). I'm sorry if you feel I was speaking for you; I would reassure you that I am trying to get to a conclusion here. Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, we don't want to still be discussing this in a year's time. So you're in Cambridge? I've had some great times in the English Cambridge, it's a beautiful city. Or do you mean the American one? --John (talk) 05:24, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
No problem. I'm in England, giving a graduate course at the University of Cambridge. Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 16:15, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Atiyah: Please take a look

at: Talk:Michael_Atiyah#Working_on_the_article_again. Your feedback will be great. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 01:40, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

FfD to delete Time cover image

Hi. As you were involved in some of the recent discussion and debate about the images in the article on Intelligent design, I thought you might like to know a separate proceeding was brought to try to remove the Time image by outright deletion from the wiki . It's at . If you are at all interested in the issue, it would be reasonable to post a "keep" or a "delete" at that page. . ... Kenosis (talk) 06:26, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


(I originally posted this message on User:Wayirans page, and followed three talkpages, until I could find someone who has been on Wikipedia recently, and is shares my interests, okay here is the question). I'm Amerana, and was wondering if you know how to contact User Ariobarza, I need to ask this user about were he got his idea's for the battle articles, thanks.--Amerana (talk) 06:26, 18 February 2009 (UTC)Amerana talk

Retrieved from "" (sorry forgot to sign) now I signed my post.--Amerana (talk) 06:40, 18 February 2009 (UTC)Amerana talk

Hello. I'm on a sort of wikibreak at the moment. Ariobarza is a female user who has effectively been banned from editing articles related to ancient Greek-Persian history. On the Greek side, the main sources for this period are the Historia of Herodotus. On the Persian side, the most reliable sources are epigraphic. Ariobarza has created articles about battles and sieges which are often not recorded in secondary sources, based on her own synthesis. As in the now deleted Siege of Doriskos, this has sometimes involved making up stories, citing obscure textbooks as sources. I actually went to the trouble of acquiring one of these textbooks (on Athenian history): it hardly mentioned Doriskos and did not contain any details about a claimed escape of the Persian governor of the garrison. Even the writings of Herodotus, much studied and with ample commentaries, were used inaccurately and misleadingly. This tactic of pushing a certain point of view by synthesising unrecorded or hypothetical events in history, partly by exploiting ambiguities between different sources, is not uncommon: however, I believe that, whatever the motivations of the writer, such articles usually do not survive scrutiny and are deleted. I think Doug Weller might also have given you information of a similar sort on this matter. The problems with the ancient Persian history articles were analysed at length by User:ChrisO on one of his subpages. I hope this helps. Mathsci (talk) 08:58, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Wow, thanks, that is a lot of information all at once. I totally understand now. I'll try my best not make articles like her, I joined Wikipedia on February 15, 2009, and have read all the guidelines, just check out my page. Though I am busy, I try to edit in military articles pertaining to Cyrus and Alexander, and currently in college for my degree in Classical Antiquity. I have dedicated myself to editing in my userspace, and when my article is completed then I will create it. I was just interested by Ariobarza's knowledge in this area, I guess she was not able to act responsibly, and that is why she is banned. If she had put in the real info in her articles they would just been fine, but now I can't contact her. Oh well, I well try my best on Wikipedia (even if I'm busy, I'll be on and off on occasion), so thanks for the intel anyways, and best of luck to Yah.--Amerana (talk) 12:54, 18 February 2009 (UTC)Amerana talk
I see now that you have been blocked as a sockpuppet of Ariobarza. I am hardly surprised. Mathsci (talk) 07:24, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Source credibility

Thanks. I really did not want to go back and do any more clean up. --KP Botany (talk) 22:32, 5 April 2009 (UTC) Well, I really did not check the format of the references. Thanks again. --KP Botany (talk) 22:51, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

re: Your Message

Hi Mathsci, I've left a response to your message on my talk page -- Marek.69 talk 06:17, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Another reply on my talk page -- Marek.69 talk 06:29, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Another reply -- Marek.69 talk 07:42, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Cambridge3 meetup

I'm proposing a lunchtime micro-do, Tuesday 28 April. Any immediate thoughts to my talk page: I'll post a meetup page when we have some suggestions on venue. Charles Matthews (talk) 12:44, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Doctoral student field in scientist infobox

Hi Mathsci, thanks for the recent message and pointing out the omission in my edit. The infobox documentation suggests listing only students who have wikipedia articles, and commenting others names out. Do you agree it's reasonable to follow that practise on Michael Atiyah's article? I think the list of doctoral students can be a useful navigational aid, and the criteria of having a wikipedia article seems sensible to me. Clearly having a wikipedia article isn't a requirement for notability, but hopefully this criteria causes no more offence than the presence (or lack thereof) of a wikipedia article does. Gareth Jones (talk) 15:44, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi thanks for this message. I think he had too many students to put in the box. George Lusztig was his student in name only. I think nobody would object if you chose Donaldson, Hitchin, Kirwan, Kronheimer and Segal.
I also had to significently modify the info box for Alexander Todd, where there was a similar problem with students. That article is still just a sort of stub, although I located sources. There are some interesting wartime anecdotes in his 1983 autobio that I have heard first hand more than once (marujiana-laced cigarettes for distribution amongst French prostitutes to debilitate German soldiers, mines activated by human urine, etc). There should be a way in the text to include Herchel Smith and other notable students (there must have been many!).
As far as Michael Atiyah concerned - who turns 80 tomorrow!! - why not ask User:R.e.b.? He has done a lot more work on the article and is also familiar with many of the people mentioned in it. Hope this helps. Mathsci (talk) 16:18, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Apologies for the slow response.
For Atiyah, the Mathematics Genealogy Project lists 21 students and I count 9 with Wikipedia articles (not counting Lusztig). Would you oppose adding Ruth Lawrence, Jack Morava, Jon Roe and David O. Tall to your list? Whilst I agree some sense must be used for prolific supervisors, here 9 seems reasonable.
As regards Todd, I added the link to reciprocate the link I added on Smith's page. I had hoped this would serve as a useful pointer or record for a later editor. Would I be right in saying you feel that this interim addition would give a misleading picture, so I should avoid such edits? Perhaps I could comment out the addition, but if this were my only change to the page my edit would look rather odd!
And thanks for the heads up on the Christ's honorary fellows, I need to spend some time populating that category. Gareth Jones (talk) 21:39, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think adding these names would be a good idea; the others I mentioned are uncontentious. As regards Lord Todd, I don't know how to find a list of his students. Could Mary Archer's book be helpful? In principle I can get the complete list of honorary fellows at Christ's, because as you might have gathered I have fairly close links with the College - I'm not sure if there is a consultable source, but I'll ask the archivist. The economist James Meade was also an honorary fellow. Mathsci (talk) 21:52, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
OK. Out of interest (and ignorance) why would those mentioned above be a contentious addition?
As regards Todd, I learned of his supervision of Smith on ODNB (I don't know if you've used the site before, you need to enter a UK library card number to gain access), but no other students are mentioned so that's rather a dead end.
A list of current fellows including honorary fellows is published in The Reporter, so that's a significant start. Looking in to this a little more, by the current organisation of Category:Fellows of Colleges of the University of Cambridge individuals such as David Glyndwr Tudor Williams who were fellows and are now honorary fellows violate the duplicate categorization rule. Any thoughts? Gareth Jones (talk) 22:18, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, the others are indisputably distinguished (they have all spoken at ICMs). I have come across David Tall in mathematics education (mostly with his writings on the teaching of non-standard analysis to calculus students). But here is the list of speakers at the current 80th birthday conference in Edinburgh:

   * Tom Bridgeland (Sheffield)
   * Robbert Dijkgraaf (Amsterdam)
   * Simon Donaldson (Imperial College, London)
   * Nigel Hitchin (Oxford)
   * Mike Hopkins (Harvard)
   * Frances Kirwan (Oxford)
   * Dusa McDuff (Stony Brook/Barnard)
   * Graeme Segal (Oxford)
   * Paul Seidel (MIT)
   * Cumrun Vafa (Harvard)
   * Edward Witten (IAS, Princeton)

The only students here are Donaldson, Hitchin, Segal and Kirwan. Kronheimer is of equal distinction - he was one of the four recent winners of the Veblen prize for his work with Tomasz Mrowka. Good luck with Christ's Hon Fellows (Tom Bridgeland above was a student at Christ's).Mathsci (talk) 22:36, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Meetup confirmed

The third Cambridge meetup is confirmed for the Free Press pub, 12.30 pm on Tuesday 28 April. Charles Matthews (talk) 13:14, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. See you there. Mathsci (talk) 15:01, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Abd and JzG

An Arbitration case in which you commented has been opened, and is located here. Please add any evidence you may wish the Arbitrators to consider to the evidence sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Abd and JzG/Evidence. Please submit your evidence within one week, if possible. You may also contribute to the case on the workshop sub-page, Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Abd and JzG/Workshop.

On behalf of the Arbitration Committee, Hersfold (t/a/c) 02:14, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Re: JzG & Abd

Dear Stephen. Please condense your "data" on the current ArbCom case and name the editor who supplied the diffs and the commentaries. At present what you have added seems biased, because of the commentaries. (Have you recused yourself?) What you have added is (a) too long and (b) has commentaries by an undisclosed wikipedian. This should be easy to correct. Please adhere to the normal rules for adding evidence. Many thanks. Mathsci (talk) 16:53, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Oops. It's now been pointed out that what I took to be commentaries were just JzG's edit summaries. Apologies for my stupid error. Mathsci (talk) 03:58, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
No worries. I actually copied and pasted just the lists of diffs, rather than linking to the section containing the diffs, in order to avoid the accompanying commentary. In the end I've actually replaced a link to the evidence section from the workshop proposal with links to a new tool I hacked together on the toolserver that shows a user's contributions just on a single article, that should be easier to read. --bainer (talk) 09:02, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Gosh, that must have been quite a bit of work! Cheers, Mathsci (talk) 09:07, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
An hour or two, it was mostly old code reused. It will surely save me more time than that in the future looking over evidence, so it's certainly time well spent :) --bainer (talk) 09:13, 4 May 2009 (UTC)


Theophilos was unavailable, so I decided to go for something more obtuse. ;) Harold Philby (talk) 03:00, 9 May 2009 (UTC)