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I am celebrating a special, personal anniversary: On this day, thirty years ago, I was awarded my Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics.

This was the result of three lovely years at Oxford University, during which I did more Mathematics than I have ever done in my entire life… Upon completion of the course that led to my obtaining the degree, I remember experiencing a feeling that at last I knew what Mathematics really was about.

I was impressed by the traditional degree ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and I still remember the Vice Chancellor’s words in Latin: “Ego admitum vobis ad gradum Bacalaurum in Artibus…”, with which he literally admitted us to the degree.

After the degree, I delved into a different domain, that of Computer Science. This was followed by a long career in Software Engineering. At the moment, I am in the middle of a transition, going from Software Engineering back to Mathematics and its teaching.

Looking back on those thirty years, I am happy to note that my experiences in Software Engineering have had a constructive effect on the way I view some of the concepts of Mathematics. I can now apply the insight gained to my teaching and readily say that I have got the best of both worlds…

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A mini Dunkirk-style evacuation took place tonight in Eastern Attica, in the greater Athens area, Greece.

People who became stranded at the seaside due to ravaging fires in the adjoining forests were ferried to safety by some 100 boats, mainly fishing boats and some coast-guard vessels.

The fires are still raging and the battle to put them out will continue tomorrow morning at dawn, once the airborne forces have enough light to be able to ascend.

I think of myself as being very fortunate for having had the opportunity to see Stephen Hawking deliver a lecture on Cosmology, many years ago in a lecture theatre at Oxford University.

I am thinking of a pair of scales. One pan holds his brilliant career in Physics, the other his physical condition. I think that he achieved a perfect balance and that this must be deemed as a part of his legacy.

It so happens that I do not agree with his negation of an afterlife, so I will wish him the very best in that.

 

The sentence “I need a placebo” is not exactly a contradiction in terms, but you get the idea…

… That magic moment when they realised that, at last, they were free.-

… Εκείνη η μαγική στιγμή που κατάλαβαν πως, επιτέλους, ήταν ελεύθεροι.-

 

The memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in the city of Drama, Macedonia, Greece Το μνημείο των θυμάτων του Ολοκαυτώματος στην πόλη της Δράμας, Μακεδονία, Ελλάδα

The memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in the city of Drama, Macedonia, Greece
Το μνημείο των θυμάτων του Ολοκαυτώματος στην πόλη της Δράμας, Μακεδονία, Ελλάδα

 

 

Today is the anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill. This here is a favourite video of mine, which pays this grand gentleman a tribute:

https://youtu.be/87Xkr8z3lEo

The recent film “Darkest Hour” also does this. It is well worth seeing, very well done and Gary Oldman gives a truly fantastic performance as Churchill himself.

I was going to limit my post to this, but I stumbled upon a certain article in the Guardian, which is just as important, in that it reminds us of the true face of war; a face, which we like to forget when thinking of heroes and leaders, such as Churchill. However, we have to take this aspect into account as well and look at it head on. Then, we might have a chance to understand that we carry within us the very elements that we see in our enemies…

This is the article, but I must warn you that the photographs inside it are disturbing:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2006/apr/03/uk.freedomofinformation

I cordially wish you every bit of good fortune for the new year, which will be here in a while.

Besides the important and valuable possession of health, I wish that new roads will be opened to you, which will lead you in directions that are necessary for a substantial improvement. At the same time, if you happen to be in a rut, I wish that you will come out of it quickly through the appearance of such roads. Furthermore, I wish that you will have inexhaustible strength and endurance so as to present them before any clowns that are appropriating the current scene, by uttering hollow words that have been said again and again.

Of course, I wish the same to me…

Happy New Year to all!

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