Month: August 2022

The insidious corruption of open access publishers

I get spam from MPDI on a regular bases. Here why one should not review for MPDI journals or submit to MPDI journals.

Igor Pak's blog

The evil can be innovative. Highly innovative, in fact. It has to be, to survive. We wouldn’t even notice it otherwise. This is the lesson one repeatedly learns from foreign politics, where authoritarian or outright dictatorial regimes keeps coming up with new and ingenuous uses of technology to further corrupt and impoverish their own people. But this post is about Mathematics, the flagship MDPI journal.

What is MDPI?

It’s a for profit publisher of online-only “open access” journals. Are they legitimate or predatory? That’s a good question. The academic world is a little perplexed on this issue, although maybe they shouldn’t be. It’s hard for me to give a broad answer given that it publishes over 200 journals, most of which have single word wonder titles like Data, Diseases, Diversity, DNA, etc.

If “MDPI” doesn’t register, you probably haven’t checked your spam folder…

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Bielefeld Buildings Conspiracy

The 28th edition of the Buildings conference is held in Ghent (where I am currently based) this September. [Note that this is unrelated to the actually buildings which you live and work in. The mathematical branch of building theory is abstract algebra. I have one post mentioning them.] Now I am not in the habit of announcing conferences here, so why this post? (It isn’t a good reason.) I just had a look at the list of invited speakers on the conference homepage (accessed on 24 August 2022, 22:04, Belgian time):

Only one “tba”. For the University of Bielefeld. Among all “silly” conspiracy theories, the Bielefeld conspiracy (in short: Bielefeld does not exist) might be the most popular one: Tom Scott made a video about it, Angela Merkel referenced it in a speech, people, who claim to be from Bielefeld, regularly express their frustration with it, and some people claim that it is no longer funny. (But it is a German joke, so maybe it never was funny.) Anyway: the “tba” should not surprise anyone.

Collecting Strongly Regular Graphs

Today I write about a recent hobby of mine: Collecting strongly regular graphs. It started three years ago. You can find my collection on my homepage. I collect many SRGs with known parameters. It started here. This is about size, not quantity, and tries to give an idea how a typical SRG with certain parameters might look like. By now my collection has grown so big that I should advertise and describe it.

At the time of writing, my collections splits into four parts. The first two parts are graphs generated with GM- or WQH-switching. The second two parts are graphs generated with what I call Kantor switching. All the data is provided in graph6 format in a compressed text file. In total something beyond 190 million.