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*[Once again, some advertising on behalf of my department, following on a similar announcement in the previous three years.]*

*The program of study leads to a Masters degree in Mathematics in four years.*

*[Once again, some advertising on behalf of my department, following on a similar announcement in the previous two years.]*

*The program of study leads to a Masters degree in Mathematics in four years.*

*[Some advertising on behalf of my department. The inaugural 2009 scholarship was announced on this blog last year. – T.]*

The UCLA Math Undergraduate Merit Scholarship provides for full tuition, and a room and board allowance for 4 years. In addition, scholarship recipients follow an individualized accelerated program of study, as determined after consultation with UCLA faculty. *[For instance, this year’s scholarship recipient is currently taking my graduate real analysis class – T.] *The program of study leads to a Masters degree in Mathematics in four years.

This week I once again gave some public lectures on the cosmic distance ladder in astronomy, once at Stanford and once at UCLA. The slides I used were similar to the “version 3.0” slides I used for the same talk last year in Australia and elsewhere, but the images have been updated (and the permissions for copyrighted images secured), and some additional data has also been placed on them. I am placing these slides here on this blog, in Powerpoint format and also in PDF format. (Video for the UCLA talk should also be available on the UCLA web site at some point; I’ll add a link when it becomes available.)

These slides have evolved over a period of almost five years, particularly with regards to the imagery, but this is likely to be close to the final version. Here are some of the older iterations of the slides:

- (Version 1.0, 2006) A text-based version of the slides, together with accompanying figures.
- (Version 2.0, 2007) First conversion to Powerpoint format.
- (Version 3.0, 2009) Second conversion to Powerpoint format, with completely new imagery and a slightly different arrangement.
- (Version 4.0, 2010) Images updated from the previous version, with copyright permissions secured.
- (Version 4.1, 2010) The version used for the UCLA talk, with some additional data and calculations added.
- (Version 4.2, 2010) A slightly edited version, incorporating some corrections and feedback.

I have found that working on and polishing a single public lecture over a period of several years has been very rewarding and educational, especially given that I had very little public speaking experience at the beginning; there are several other mathematicians I know of who are also putting some effort into giving good talks that communicate mathematics and science to the general public, but I think there could potentially be many more such talks like this.

A note regarding copyright: I am happy to have the text or layout of these slides used as the basis for other presentations, so long as the source is acknowledged. However, some of the images in these slides are copyrighted by others, and permission by the copyright holders was granted only for the display of the slides in their current format. (The list of such images is given at the end of the slides.) So if you wish to adapt the slides for your own purposes, you may need to use slightly different imagery.

(*Update*, October 11: Version 4.2 uploaded, and notice on copyright added.)

(*Update*, October 20: Some photos from the UCLA talk are available here.)

(Update, October 25: Video from the talk is available on Youtube and on Itunes.)

*[A little bit of advertising on behalf of my maths dept. Unfortunately funding for this scholarship was secured only very recently, so the application deadline is extremely near, which is why I am publicising it here, in case someone here may know of a suitable applicant. – T.]*

UCLA Mathematics has launched a new scholarship to be granted to an entering freshman who has an exceptional background and promise in mathematics. The UCLA Math Undergraduate Merit Scholarship provides for full tuition, and a room and board allowance. To be considered for fall 2010, candidates must apply on or before November 30, 2009. Details and online application for the scholarship are available here.

### Eligibility Requirements:

- 12th grader applying to UCLA for admission in Fall of 2010.
- Outstanding academic record and standardized test scores.
- Evidence of exceptional background and promise in mathematics, such as: placing in the top 25% in the U.S.A. Mathematics Olympiad (USAMO) or comparable (International Mathematics Olympiad level) performance on a similar national competition.
- Strong preference will be given to International Mathematics Olympiad medalists.

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