22 June 2011

(Some of the) funny aspects of the Academy of Athens, I

A recent article by D. Gousetis criticized the Greek Academicians:
There is an institution whose members are supposed to be the leading intellectuals [of the country]. This is the Academy of Athens [i.e. the Greek Academy of Sciences]. According to its founding principles, the Academy of Athens aims, inter alia, at the scientific research and study of the national economy and the preparation of guidelines and suggestions for the benefit of state institutions and authorities. This is precisely what the country needs today. Instead, however, [the Academy of Athens] remains blissfully silent. The worst of all is that its members receive a salary as high as that of a member of the parliament, in [sharp] contrast to the academicians of rich countries, like USA or France, whose title is honorary, without salary. Their silence was not disturbed even when it was revealed that their former chairman [of the Academy] was a plagiarist: [the Academy] continues to sell the product of plagiarism [his book] in its bookstore.
Indeed, it is very true that the high-profile mathematician Nikolaos Artemiadis wrote a book on the history of mathematics in 2000 which was, in 2004, translated and published by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) under the title "History of Mathematics: From a Mathematician's Vantage Point". It was soon proven that the book is an ineptly plagiarized version of Morris Kline’s Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times. See the letter of Seth Braver, Univ. of Montana, to the AMS for explanation (page 718). On page 719, there is a reply by John Ewing, Executive Director of the AMS, stating that the AMS discontinues the publication of Artemiadis' book forever:
The American Mathematical Society views plagiarism with the utmost seriousness. When Braver brought this matter to our attention, we immediately ceased all sales of the book, reviewed the evidence he had presented, and gathered further evidence of our own. Based on that review, we decided to discontinue publication of the book permanently.
However, the Academy of Athens still continues to sell Artemiadis' book, not caring about the fact that it is plagiarized. As I wrote earlier, the German minister, Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg, resigned when it was revealed that parts of his PhD thesis had been copied from the Internet (without citations). But in Greece, at least one academician (I am being told he's not the only one) remains in his highly paid position, without any repercussions for stealing from another book.

Meanwhile, Greeks keep protesting about the financial crisis and some of them expect solutions... From whom?


  1. #Εχουμε ξεφτυλιστει διεθνως.
    # Να εξεταστει πως εγιναν ακαδημαικοι οι Αθ. Φωκας και Γ. Ρουσσας( βλ. επιστολη Rao στην AMS και προηγουμενο τραπεζωμα αυτου στην Ελλαδα).

  2. Anonymous: It would be appreciated if
    1) you wrote in English and
    2) you gave some evidence to your claims. I don't know what you mean by Rao's letter to AMS (what does AMS stand for?), neither how to search for it.

  3. Dear Takis,
    see e.g.
    1. Seth Braver :Notices of AMS,vol. 52, No7. p.717.
    2.M.M. Rao:Notices of AMS ,vol.52,No 10,10.p.1174.
    3. In Zentralblatt( ?)...( I am in USA, Lochheed Center).I will back to Greece end of September. I have ( in Athens) much more information in details.
    4.Read the preface o Artemiadis book.Many names of greek mathematicians,living in USA with prizes from Athens Academy!...Coincidence!...

  4. Thanks. It's good to have the references! If you wish to send me information by email, please do so; you are welcome to use the email found on my web page under http://www.blogger.com/profile/14675216467783238403

    When you say "coincidence" you're probably being cynical. And I agree.

  5. Dear Takis,
    a.See in Google:
    N. Artemiadis,plagiarist.
    b.Rao has written Klein( the well known greatest German math. : Felix Klein) instead of the correct such one Kline ( in Princeton Univ.) !...
    Important Remark: If I remember good, the Kline' s book is out of stock since 1972(?).

  6. Thanks for the pointers.

    The fact that a book is out of stock or print does, of course, not justify plagiarism. Artemiadis remains a thief (of intellectual property--this is what we mean by plagiarism), the people who helped him publish his book are also culprits, and the Academy of Athens which continues to sell a product of theft is, essentially, selling a stolen item.

    But, as I pointed out in these two posts, I am not surprised.

  7. Dear Takis,
    I want to clarify my last notice.
    When the books of Kline were out of stock- so not known to many mathematicians,in particular in Greece- Artemiadis had translated from English to Greek in one volume!....The official advertiser was the Greek Math. Society.After some years, Artemiadis decided to re-translate this book( in one Volume) from Greek to English.

  8. Very interesting point. Thank you. Nevertheless, the Academy of Athens is still selling his book: http://www.academyofathens.gr/ecportal.asp?id=357&nt=18&lang=1



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant