Mathematics Summer School in Sirince in Turkey

Saturday 4 August 2007 at 11:15 am | In Articles | 2 Comments

Those of us involved in mathematics education often whinge about current standards, the lack of enthusiasm in students etc so it is refreshing to read Alexander Borovik’s reports Gold Sand in a Stream and Photos from Mathematical Village about a mathematics summer school for undergraduate students in Sirince in Turkey. The summer school was run by Professor Ali Nesin, who is  Chair of the Department of Mathematics of the Istanbul Bilgi University. Professor Borovik was enchanted not just by the beautiful setting but also by the ‘bright motivated students’.

The level of education was high including a crash course in reflection groups. One of the blackboards photographed includes the following mathematics:

If G is a group then the set \text{Aut}(G) of automorphisms of G forms a group under composition. If A is abelian then \text{Aut}(G)\subset \text{End}(A) .
\text{Aut}(\mathbb{Z})=\text{End}(\mathbb{Z}^*)\simeq \mathbb{Z}^*

Homework:
Find
\text{End}(\mathbb{Z}\times \mathbb{Z}), \ \text{Aut}(\mathbb{Z}\times \mathbb{Z})
\text{Aut}(Sym(3))
\text{Aut}(\mathbb{Q}),\ \text{End}(\mathbb{Q})
\text{Aut}(\mathbb{Q}^{>0}),\ \text{\text{End}}(\mathbb{Q}^{>0})
Show that if G\simeq H then \text{Aut}(G) \simeq \text{Aut}(H)  

But then the story goes sour. The authorities have closed the summer school – see A Blackboard under Arrest, A Blackboard under Arrest, II  - which is such a shame. There is a petition to save the school at Save Mathematical Summer School you may wish to support, but also, can I ask other bloggers, mathematical or otherwise, to spread the news in the hope that it will help find some way round the problem?

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