...a companion blog to "Math-Frolic," specifically for interviews, book reviews, weekly-linkfests, and longer posts or commentary than usually found at the Math-Frolic site.

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"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty – a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show." ---Bertrand Russell (1907) Rob Gluck

"I have come to believe, though very reluctantly, that it [mathematics] consists of tautologies. I fear that, to a mind of sufficient intellectual power, the whole of mathematics would appear trivial, as trivial as the statement that a four-legged animal is an animal." ---Bertrand Russell (1957)

******************************************************************** Rob Gluck

Friday, March 7, 2014

End-of-Week Potpourri


another end-of-week mix of miscellaneous mathy-ness from the Web:


1) io9 reported on incomprehensibly large numbers here:

http://tinyurl.com/oshab8a

2) Fawn Nguyen talks classroom management here (and she knows whereof she speaks!):

http://fawnnguyen.com/2014/03/02/20140222.aspx

3) the debate over math education crosses the US border into Canada:

http://tinyurl.com/mjhtwen

4) Yet another interesting piece on math (twin-primes) celebrity Yitang Zhang, from his place of employment:

http://unhmagazine.unh.edu/f13/yitang-zhang.html

5) this piece is almost 2 months old, but I only ran across it last week… Dr. John Ioannidis again re-iterating his cynicism over the quality of "science-based" research:

http://tinyurl.com/qeyymwc

6) and here, another piece bashing p-values, this time from Nature:

http://www.nature.com/news/scientific-method-statistical-errors-1.14700

7) a little different take on statistical matters here:

http://errorstatistics.com/2014/03/03/capitalizing-on-chance-2/

8) Elsevier (you may have heard of them ;-) are making math journal articles up to 2009 available for free on the Web:

http://tinyurl.com/n5opr9b

9) and for something a bit different, RJ Lipton asks, "Can Plants Do Arithmetic?":

http://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/can-plants-do-arithmetic/

10) Lastly, no math here, and it's an old (2000) article, but I'll justify including it because it showed up in my math twitter feed this week and includes reference to Martin Gardner... AND, it's simply fascinating that the topic of mirror reflection might still be getting debated:

http://linguafranca.mirror.theinfo.org/print/0011/hypoth_lookingglass.html

Here, by the way, is the always-watchable Richard Feynman essentially offering the standard answer Gardner, and others, have posited (as to why mirrors reverse left and right, but not up and down):






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