Happy new (Jewish) year everybody.
Amazing scientific partnership between Jordan, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey
SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) is a “third-generation” synchrotron light source that was officially opened in Allan (Jordan) on 16 May 2017. It is the Middle East’s first major international research center. It is very nice to see scientific cooperation between countries which otherwise do have some difficulties in their relationships.
Narrowing on Israel and Iran, there are many personal scientific friendships and collaborations between Israeli and Iranian scientists and it will certainly be nice to see in the future visits of Israeli scientists to Iran and of Iranian scientists to Israel.
Marina, Maryam and Maths Friendships
Last July, Marina Ratner and Maryam Mirzakhani, two eminent mathematicians working in the area of dynamics passed away. Maryam was the first woman to win the Fields Medal, and Marina was, for a short time, a faculty member at my department and a close friend of the Hebrew University ever since. Many of my colleagues knew both Marina and Maryam very well, and were great admirers of their personalities as much as their mathematics. Amie Wilkinson wrote a beautiful NYT article about Marina and Maryam’s mathematics: With Snowflakes and Unicorns, Marina Ratner and Maryam Mirzakhani Explored a Universe in Motion. (See also this HUJI memorial page, this post on Terry Tao’s blog, and this post on GLL.)
Amir Asghari had a nice idea to open a site dedicated to maths friendships in memory of Maryam Mirzakhani. Let me also mention that there is a well known Israeli Facebook group for “digging into mathematics” that dedicated its profile picture to Maryam.