Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach

Snapshots of modern mathematics from Oberwolfach, ISSN 2626-1995, explain mathematical problems and ideas of present relevance in an accessible and understandable way. They provide exciting insights into current topics of the mathematical community for everyone who is interested in modern mathematics, although varying in difficulty.

The snapshots are written by participants of the scientific program at the MFO, who volunteer to explain an important aspect of their research. A team of editors selects the manuscripts that are most suitable for a broad readership and assists the authors in communicating complicated matters to a broad audience. In some cases, the authors are asked to submit their manuscript to a journal for more advanced readers. The MFO publishes the snapshots for free download under a Creative Commons license here and on the IMAGINARY platform.

The snapshot project is designed to promote the understanding and appreciation of modern mathematics and mathematical research in the interested public world-wide. The targeted readership consists of mathematics teachers, science journalists, undergraduate and advanced high school students. If you are interested in writing a snapshot, please contact the organizers of the program in which you are participating. We ask all interested authors to carefully read the guidelines for snapshots, which also provide information on our editorial process and our editorial policy.

Editors' choice

No. 13/2022: Closed geodesics on surfaces

by Benjamin Dozier

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We consider surfaces of three types: the sphere, the torus, and many-holed tori. These surfaces naturally admit geometries of positive, zero, and negative curvature, respectively. It is interesting to study straight line paths, known as geodesics, in these geometries. We discuss the issue of counting closed geodesics; this is particularly rich for hyperbolic (negatively curved) surfaces.

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