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I normally take the sub-ed’s side, but this …

3 May, 2012

… Apparent mix-up’s really quite remiss.

This afternoon I’ve been reading what I find an interesting article by Michael Cowling, purportedly on “The Future of Mathematical Publishing”, in the April 2012 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society. It makes a refreshing change, for this curmudgeon at least, from some rhetoric that I’ve seen deployed on the internet.

I should come back and blog at further length about this. (Yes, I know; how many times have I said this before and not followed through?) But that’s not the topic for this post. Rather, I was surprised to see, in the footnote matter, the following:

Michael G. Cowling is honorary senior research fellow at the University of Glasgow. His email address is

Why the surprise? Well, the Michael G. Cowling I know of is a professor at the University of New South Wales (having briefly spent time as a professor in Birmingham, UK). The NAMS article matches his writing style, which I’ve seen both in research articles and in some “advice for authors on submission of articles”, and the author refers to being “an editor of an Australian Mathematical Society journal”.

Some searching online shows me that there is a Michael Cowling who is an honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow … but in the Department of Engineering. (There appears to have been a professor Mike Cowling in the Marine Engineering department there, but the pages I could find looked out of date.)

I find it hard to believe that MGC has moved back across the globe, not even into a Mathematics department, taking a demotion, and dropping the middle initial that seems to be used in most of his official writing. So: NAMS sub-editors. What gives?

Update 2012-06-25: I’ve been slow to notice this, but the June issue of the Notices contains a correction of this footnote (which can be found, for those reading online, in the “Letters” pages).

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