Many Gazette readers will, no doubt, have experienced the `culture of numbers’ that has resulted from the growing reliance on quantitative methods to measure the quality of academic research. In this issue we are very pleased to include a report from the International Mathematics Union on citation statistics, a considered response from those who “professionally ‘deal with numbers'” on the use of numerical measures in research assessment. Let’s hope it will trigger some constructive discussions both within the mathematical community and in the broader academic world.
Also in this issue, we are sad to report that this is the last installment of the excellent Style Files series written by Tony Roberts. Tony’s column has proved to be an invaluable resource not only for improving writing styles but for also passing these skills on to students. We have published all the columns together in a stand-alone series for download on the Gazette website so this resource remains easily accessible for all our readers.
Finally, we are always looking for contributions to our Maths@work and Classroom Notes series. If you are working on mathematics in government, industry or business, or you have something to contribute on mathematics education, we’d be very interested to hear from you.
We hope you enjoy this issue.
Birgit, Rachel and Eileen