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My two-volume book, “Poincaré’s legacies: pages from year two of a mathematical blog“, which was based on the 2008 posts of this blog, has now been published by the American Mathematical Society.

[Update, Aug 3: Actually, only the first volume has been published so far.  The second volume of this book will be available on Aug 10.]

I have recently finished a draft version of my blog book “Poincaré’s legacies: pages from year two of a mathematical blog“, which covers all the mathematical posts from my blog in 2008, excluding those posts which primarily originated from other authors or speakers.

The draft is much longer – 694 pages – than the analogous draft from 2007 (which was 374 pages using the same style files).  This is largely because of the two series of course lecture notes which dominate the book (and inspired its title), namely on ergodic theory and on the Poincaré conjecture.  I am talking with the AMS staff about the possibility of splitting the book into two volumes, one focusing on ergodic theory, number theory, and combinatorics, and the other focusing on geometry, topology, and PDE (though there will certainly be miscellaneous sections that will basically be divided arbitrarily amongst the two volumes).

The draft probably also needs an index, which I will attend to at some point before publication.

As in the previous book, those comments and corrections from readers which were of a substantive and mathematical nature have been acknowledged in the text.  In many cases, I was only able to refer to commenters by their internet handles; please email me if you wish to be attributed differently (or not to be attributed at all).

Any other suggestions, corrections, etc. are, of course welcome.

I learned some technical tricks for HTML to LaTeX conversion which made the process significantly faster than last year’s, although still rather tedious and time consuming; I thought I might share them below as they may be of use to anyone else contemplating a similar conversion.

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mbk-tao-cov_0001The AMS has just notified me that the book version of the first year of my blog, now retitled “Structure and Randomness: pages from year one of a mathematical blog“, is now available.  An official web page for this book has also been set up here, though it is fairly empty at present.  A (2MB) high-resolution PDF file of the cover can be found here.

I plan to start on converting this year’s blog posts to book form in January, and hopefully the process should be a little faster this time.  Given that my lecture notes on ergodic theory and on the Poincaré conjecture will form the bulk of that book, I have chosen the working title for that book to be “Poincaré’s legacies: pages from year two of a mathematical blog“.

A few months ago, I announced that I was going to convert a significant fraction of my 2007 blog posts into a book format. For various reasons, this conversion took a little longer than I had anticipated, but I have finally completed a draft copy of this book, which I have uploaded here; note that this is a moderately large file (1.5MB 1.3MB 1.1MB), as the book is 374 pages 287 pages 270 pages long. There are still several formatting issues to resolve, but the content has all been converted.

It may be a while before I hear back from the editors at the American Mathematical Society as to the status of the book project, but in the meantime any comments on the book, ranging from typos to suggestions as to the format, are of course welcome.

[Update, April 21: New version uploaded, incorporating contributed corrections. The formatting has been changed for the internet version to significantly reduce the number of pages. As a consequence, note that the page numbering for the internet version of the book will differ substantially from that in the print version.]

[Update, April 21: As some readers may have noticed, I have placed paraphrased versions of some of the blog comments in the book, using the handles given in the blog comments to identify the authors. If any such commenters wish to change one’s handle (e.g. to one’s full name) or to otherwise modify or remove any comments I have placed in the book, you are welcome to contact me by email to do so.]

[Update, April 23: Another new version uploaded, incorporating contributed corrections and shrinking the page size a little further.]

[Update, May 8: A few additional corrections to the book.]

It’s now been almost a year since I moved my “What’s new?” page from my home page to this blog. Since then, I’ve been quite happy with the directions this blog has been headed in (most of which I had not anticipated when I started), and also with the level of feedback, some of which has been extremely informative to me (and, I hope, to other readers as well).

Anyway, after discussing things with some of my friends and colleagues, I have decided to convert some of the posts here from 2007 into a book format, in order to place some of the mathematical content here in a more formal and traditional context (with accurate citations and references, etc.). After some thought, I decided not to transcribe all of my posts from last year (there are 93 of them!), but instead to restrict attention to those articles which (a) have significant mathematical content, (b) are not announcements of material that will be published elsewhere, and (c) are not primarily based on a talk given by someone else. As it turns out, this still leaves about 33 articles from 2007, leading to a decent-sized book of a couple hundred pages in length. For various reasons (including legal reasons), I have decided not to incorporate the comments to each post directly into the book format, although corrections, mention of relevant references, etc. will be added with acknowledgments in the endnotes to each article.

I’ve converted a couple articles into a book format, and also created a table of contents, to see what it would look like. (The format comes from the American Mathematical Society, with whom I am planning to publish the book.) It looks like it will be relatively straightforward to convert the rest (at least compared to writing books from scratch, which I know from experience to be quite time-consuming!). I’ll of course post updates here on this blog when the book is closer to completion.

At present, the structure and content of the book is still rather flexible; like all things related to this blog, it is an experiment. As such, I am open to suggestions on these matters. (For instance, I do not have any particularly imaginative title for the book, other than “What’s new – 2007”. )

I’ve added some new pages to this blog. Firstly, I’ve moved my old page on my books to a new page on this blog, so that each book now has its own page for publication information, errata, etc., as well as its own comments section for feedback (including the inevitable reports of future errata).

I also added a new page to my advice page on writing and submitting papers, on “taking advantage of the English language“.

Finally, I added some links on the sidebar of this blog to some of the more popular of my older posts and articles, and reorganised the categories slightly. In particular, my expository articles were moved out of the “short story” category (they didn’t fit particularly well with the other wordpress articles in this category) and into the “expository” category. (Now that there are a number of wordpress blogs in research mathematics, it might eventually be worth trying to establish some standards for use of mathematical tags, but this is hardly an urgent concern.)

[Update, July 18: Added the arXiv math categories, as well as a parent Mathematics category.]