Personal News
On 28 August 2016 I was presented with the Bloody Stupid Johnson Award for Innovative Uses of Mathematics, at the Gala Dinner of the 2016 Discworld Convention at the Chesford Grange, Kenilworth.
Bloody Stupid Johnson is Discworld's analogue of Capability Brown—without the capability. His inchhigh Collossus of Morpork is typical of his work. 
Bloody Stupid Johnson Award
The recipient is required to deliver a short speech to acknowledge the award. To read mine, click here. 
new from Profile
September 2016 
An uptotheminute guide to the cosmos. Describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies, stars and planets form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it’s all going to end. Parallel universes, finetuning of the cosmos for life, what forms alien life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid. Explains the fundamentals of gravity, relativity, quantum theory, and how they relate to each other—including the problems many cosmologists prefer not to tell you about.

Chance, the latest New Scientist collection from Profile Books, is now in print. Two of my articles are included: one on randomness, and the other (with Jack Cohen) on coincidences. A painless introduction to probability theory and its uses, as well as the deeper philosophical aspects of uncertainty.

In Aliens, edited by Jim AlKhalili, twenty leading scientists discuss every aspect of alien life, from exoplanets to abductions, from astrobiology to science fiction. The definitive guide to Life Out There: as we know it, or not.
Published November 2016 by Profile 
Namibian Fairy Circles
Patterned terrain, photographed on a recent trip to Namibia to see prehistoric rock art and animals. The origin of these patterns has been controversial for decades. Most theories assume that whatever causes each circle is some local disturbance, presumably at its centre: termite nest, dead (poisonous) Euphorbia bush, but experiments seem inconsistent with these. The mathematics of pattern formation suggests a very different type of explanation: the circles are a selforganised system effect arising when several species of grass compete for scarce resources. Michael Cramer and Nicole Barger discussed this in detail in 2013, concluding that 'fairy circles are likely a climatedependent emergent phenomenon.' In 2014 Karna Gowda, Hermann Riecke, and Mary Silber analysed a model based on symmetric bifurcation theory. When you observe a circle, don't assume the cause lies at its centre.
Patterned terrain, photographed on a recent trip to Namibia to see prehistoric rock art and animals. The origin of these patterns has been controversial for decades. Most theories assume that whatever causes each circle is some local disturbance, presumably at its centre: termite nest, dead (poisonous) Euphorbia bush, but experiments seem inconsistent with these. The mathematics of pattern formation suggests a very different type of explanation: the circles are a selforganised system effect arising when several species of grass compete for scarce resources. Michael Cramer and Nicole Barger discussed this in detail in 2013, concluding that 'fairy circles are likely a climatedependent emergent phenomenon.' In 2014 Karna Gowda, Hermann Riecke, and Mary Silber analysed a model based on symmetric bifurcation theory. When you observe a circle, don't assume the cause lies at its centre.
Uninhabitable Zone
My latest SF short story, in Nature's 'Futures' section. Read it here free. You can read all the others too. I’ve never been comfortable with the idea that Earth is the perfect habitat for life, that it may be the only inhabited planet in a universe with gazillions of planets, not to mention exomoons, that life must be based on water, carbon, DNA and proteins, and that the only places where life could possibly occur are planets orbiting in the ‘habitable zone’ of a main sequence star. Life adapts to its environment, so what’s needed is an environment that allows sufficiently complex processes to occur. Astrobiologists call coldloving organisms extremophiles. I hate that word. It assumes we’re normal and everything else is extreme. It lumps bacteria that live under ice in the Antarctic with ones that live in boiling pools in Yellowstone Park, for heaven’s sake. To the Yellowstone bacteria, we are extremophiles. 
Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics
Hot off the press! "The most authoritative and accessible singlevolume reference book on applied mathematics. Featuring numerous entries by leading experts and organized thematically, it introduces applied mathematics and its uses; explains key concepts; describes important equations, laws, and functions; looks at exciting areas of research; covers modeling and simulation; explores areas of application; and more." 
Incredible Numbers iPad app listed among Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2015 by American Association of School Librarians. They say:
Professor Ian Stewart guides students through an amazing variety of mathematical concepts and topics. Included are 23 articles and 71 interactive demonstrations that bring mathematics to life. Students will learn about fascinating topics such as breaking codes, the mystery of Pi, and how numbers work in nature. Tip: Use Incredible Numbers to enrich math learning as students work to complete on of Professor Ian Stewart's famous puzzles. 
A new 4th edition of Galois Theory is now available, in both book and kindle eBook formats. This edition is an updated and slightly extended version of the 3rd edition. All known errors are corrected and several proofs are improved. The main changes are:
• Proof of Fundamental Theorem of Algebra is based on real analysis • Rulerandcompass constructions are analysed by identifying the Euclidean plane with the complex numbers • Recent advances on Euclidean quadratic fields • New chapter revisits the history to discuss what Galois actually proved, and what he might have known about the simple group A5 
Steve Strogatz and I were jointly awarded the 2015 Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science by Rockefeller University on 30 March, with Alan Alda presiding over a conversation with the two of us. The University has now posted 200 photos of the event, and an hourlong video—look out for the mixup early on (we didn't rehearse).

Second edition of Stewart and Tall's 1977 undergraduate textbook The Foundations of Mathematics. Style and format updated, with new chapters on infinitesimals and complex numbers. With an appendix on 'Selfexplanation' as a way to understand proofs, by Lara Alcock, Mark Hodds, and Matthew Inglis.

SF eBook
JACK OF ALL TRADES now on Kindle Select in the USA, as well as in the UK store and others worldwide. 
American paperback edition of Taming the Infinite now published by Quercus. Unlike the UK paperback edition, which was reset in a simpler format, this edition retains all of the images and layout of the original hardback version.

Professor Stewart's
INCREDIBLE NUMBERS The inspiration behind the awardwinning app in a largeformat paperback edition 
I, Mathematician now available from the Mathematical Association of America. "The editors asked two dozen prominent mathematicians (and one spouse thereof) to ruminate on what makes us different. The answers they got are thoughtful, interesting and thoughtprovoking."

PROFESSOR STEWART'S CASEBOOK OF MATHEMATICAL MYSTERIES
NOW IN PAPERBACK Featuring Hemlock Soames and Dr Watsup Completes the CABINET and HOARD trilogy 