In May 2002, the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in an initiative to further the study of mathematics, allocated a $7m prize fund for the solution of seven Millennium Problems, 'focusing on important classic questions that have resisted solution over the years'. One of the $1m problems stands out for its massive practical importance: the solution of the Navier-Stokes equations (NSEs) for fluid flow.
March / April 2003
Proverbially, there is a Chinese curse that wishes 'may you live in interesting times'. For one company that specialises in Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), Labworks, the past couple of years have been interesting with a vengeance. It was taken over by a huge corporation, PerkinElmer, which itself promptly underwent a massive internal re-organisation.
Pure mathematicians sometimes look down snobbishly on applied mathematicians because they deal in practical matters rather than pure science. This has never worried Mary Wheeler, legendary professor at the University of Texas. In her 40-year career she has found a lot of interesting maths problems in the real world and, in any case, she has had another, more important battle to fight.
Since August 1997, Rule 21 CFR Part 11 has provided criteria under which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider electronic records to be the equivalent of paper records, and electronic signatures equivalent to traditional handwritten signatures. Requirements of this rule include the need to demonstrate the integrity of electronic records, validity and non-repudiation of electronic signatures, and auditing of changes to records.
Astronomers deal with enormous quantities of data. One night's telescope scan can keep a university astronomy team going for months. Reserving a time slot on a telescope and, more importantly, being able to use the slot, whether it be in the visible, infrared, X-ray or radio region, is a preoccupation of astronomers around the world. The data that they collect is normally the intellectual property of the individual researcher or group for a proprietary period - generally a year. After this time, the complex digital images are available to the wider astronomical community.