## Drama Therapy: A Math Viewpoint

* What is drama therapy? *

Kathryn Farley obtained her PhD from Northwestern University in performance studies in 2007. After almost a decade working in that area, she has just started a Master’s program at New York University in a related field called drama therapy (DT).

Today, I thought I would talk about the math aspects of DT.

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## Happy Birthday Ken

* It was just Ken’s birthday *

Kenneth Regan’s birthday was just the other day.

I believe I join all in wishing him a wonder unbirthday today. Read more…

## A TSP Breakthrough

* A new approximation algorithm *

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Ola Svensson, Jakub Tarnawski, and László Végh have made a breakthrough in the area of approximation algorithms. Tarnawski is a student of Svensson at EPFL in Lausanne—they have another paper in FOCS on matchings to note—while Végh was a postdoc at Georgia Tech six years ago and is now at the London School of Economics.

Today Ken and I want to highlight their wonderful new result.

Svensson, Tarnawski, and Végh (STV) have created a constant-factor approximation algorithm for the asymmetric traveling salesman problem (ATSP). This solves a long-standing open problem and is a breakthrough of the first order. Read more…

## A Retirement Party for Joel Seiferas

* A gathering this Labor Day in Rochester *

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Joel Seiferas retired on December 31, 2016 and is now a *professor emeritus* in the University of Rochester Computer Science Department.

Today Ken and I wish to talk about his party happening this Labor Day—September 4th.

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## On the Edge of Eclipses and P=NP

* A topical look at Norbert Blum’s paper and wider thoughts. *

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Thales of Miletus may—or may not—have accurately predicted one or more total solar eclipses in the years 585 through 581 BCE.

Today we discuss the nature of science viewed from mathematics and computing. A serious claim of by Norbert Blum has shot in front of what we were planning to say about next Monday’s total solar eclipse in the US. **Update 9/2/17:** Blum has retracted his claim—see update at end.

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## Modeling Reality

*A surprising theorem about differential equations*

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Olivier Bournez and Amaury Pouly have proved an interesting theorem about modeling physical systems. They presented their paper at ICALP 2017 last month in Warsaw.

Today Ken and I wish to explain their theorem and its possible connections to complexity theory. Read more…