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Archive for March, 2007

the Riemann hypothesis was, on Monday, (apparently) disproved?

I confess I haven’t followed the argument through its long night of lemmas, and have no intention of doing so, but if yesterday my accountant and erstwhile bookmaker had pressed me “Yo, Berian, wanna lay down some large on the RH cutting sick long term?”, I would have said “And how.” There are plenty of results that use the Riemann hypothesis as a plank, and clearly the weight of opinion is that its proof is a matter of time.

Or not. The preprint’s author is Tribikram Pati, a retired professor of mathematics whose contributions to harmonic analysis I could only understate. If there isn’t a press release in the next few days, I hope some mathematician bloggers will get their funk out for the little people, by which I mean me.

[Thanks to Julia Haggis the Sheep for the heads up, though see above comment re: blogging this topic.]

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A few days ago I penned a wee diatribe on the use of net run rate (NRR) as a tiebreaker in cricket. Today I will outline a few alternatives and their justification. The punchline is the revised group score tables for the 2007 World Cup at the end of the post and the formulae used to compute them scattered throughout. There isn’t a single way forward that stands out, however there are plenty of simple ideas that are much more appealing than the status quo.

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In the British Isles, losing a game of cricket has been elevated to a fine art, so it’s surprising that no more sophisticated technique exists to measure these losses than the net run rate (NRR). Football is a far cruder game than cricket, yet the NRR is but a second’s thought away from goal difference; when points from victories are level, the NRR is used as a tiebreaker. Why has it been given this privileged status when its deficiencies are so readily flaunted, and with what can it be replaced?

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