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Norman Routledge: Inspirational teacher and mathematician

In recent times, academics tend to be valued, judged and honoured by their research achievements and the number and quality of papers they have had published in learned journals. Great teachers have not been appreciated, as they once were.

Paradise lust: the man who sexed up America

He had two continents named after himself and thrilled Europe with the salacious tales of what he saw there. But, 500 years on, can we trust Amerigo Vespucci's accounts? Peter Popham discovers the full story

Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

If there was a theme to Festival of the Spoken Nerd's mix of science and comedy tonight then it was pyrotechnics. From a tale of homemade napalm to a demonstration of a standing wave flame tube there were flashes and bangs aplenty, if no explosive end result.

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Professor Frank Bonsall: Leading mathematician of the post-war years

Frank Bonsall was a distinguished mathematician and a significant figure in the mathematical life of the United Kingdom in the post-war years. His particular interest was functional analysis, a subject that unifies different parts of mathematical analysis within a single more abstract framework, and he was instrumental in raising its profile, particularly in Scotland and the north of England. His research work was characterised by its aesthetic simplicity, and his ability to focus on key ideas and strip out unnecessary complications.