A slice of Pi: VN’s new math magazine

December 20, 2016 - 10:45

A new printed monthly Vietnamese magazine specializing in mathematics will be published from January 2017.

Cover of the magazine’s first edition.
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A new printed monthly Vietnamese magazine specializing in mathematics will be published from January 2017.

A brain-child of noted math Prof Ngô Bảo Châu, the magazine will run items in a "user friendly" format accessible to school and college students.

“We made a hard decision but we determined to publish such a printed magazine because we hope that students will wait for the day each month to buy their favourite publication,” Châu said.

Châu used the US$15,000 cash prize he received with the 2010 Fields Medal, an international medal for outstanding discoveries in mathematics, as seed money for the magazine.

It took three years for him and his colleagues at the Việt Nam Mathematical Society to prepare the contents and complete the administrative procedures to publish the magazine.

Trần Nam Dũng, a lecturer at HCM City National University, has already an online version called Epsilon, 12 editions of which were  published in the past two years. The latest editions were downloaded more than 10,000 times.

Toán Học và Tuổi Trẻ (Math and Youth) was published over 50 years ago by the Education Publishing House.

The society has also run two magazines in English for researchers to publish their artciles.

At the launch ceremony of the PI magazine on Sunday, Prof Hà Huy Khoái, the publication’s editor-in-chief, said the target audience is broader than existing math magazines. Its audience will range from students, teachers, university lecturers, math-lovers to even people who don’t like math.

“It contains a main column introducing modern views on classical math notions or classical approaches to modern notions,” he said. “A column titled "Cùng Bạn Giải Toán" (Solving Math Problems with You) will guide readers how to solve concrete math problems. The "Thách Thức Toán Học" (Maths Challenge) column will be among the most anticipated column by people who like overcoming challenges.”

Prof Ngô Bảo Châu at the launching ceremony of the publication held in Hà Nội on Sunday. Photo xaluan.com

Columns like "Toán Học và Đời Sống" (Maths and Life), "Quán Toán" (Maths Shop) and "Toán của Bi" (Bi’s Maths) will bring fresh views on maths, which is generally considered a somewhat "dry" subject.

Prof Châu will act as deputy-editor-in-chief of the magazine, while the editorial board includes leading math teachers in Việt Nam, like Trần Văn Nhung, Trần Nam Dũng, Nguyễn Tiến Dũng and Phạm Huy Điển.

Prof Châu was born into a Vietnamese family of scholars in 1972. At the age of 15, he was admitted into a class in the Việt Nam National University High School specialising in mathematics.

Châu received gold medals at both the 29th and 30th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

He finished his undergraduate study in France and began to research the Langlands Program as a postgraduate. He then proved the Fundamental Lemma of the Langlands Program in 2008.

Châu’s proof of the Fundamental Lemma in the theory of automorphic forms through the introduction of new algebro-geometric methods has been listed as one of the top ten scientific discoveries of 2009 by Time magazine. — VNS