...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 14, 2014

End-of-Week Potpourri

(via Evan-Amos/WikimediaCommons)

The above will be my one-and-only indulgence to Pi Day hoopla  ;-)


Now onto this week's potpourri of math I didn't cover on my blogs:

1) Nice little introduction to the Langlands Program here:

http://thatsmaths.com/2014/03/13/the-langlands-program/

2) The 108th Carnival of Mathematics here:  http://mathhombre.blogspot.com/2014/03/carnival-of-mathematics-108.html

3) Short review (pluses and minuses) of a study of Khan Academy here:

http://blog.mathed.net/2014/03/results-from-sri-study-of-khan-academy.html

(the study itself is here: http://www.sri.com/work/publications/research-use-khan-academy-schools-research-brief )

4) If you're into the P vs. NP debate you should probably check out Scott Aaronson's long read:

http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=1720

5) From P vs. NP to the Riemann Hypothesis… someone has attempted to give a "Lucid Explanation of the Riemann Hypothesis" (…I know that sounds like an oxymoron), in barely a page:

http://blog.functionspace.org/news/lucid-explanation-of-the-riemann-hypothesis

6) and the ever-present Ed Frenkel likewise beautifully addresses the zeta function and Riemann Hypothesis via a Numberphile podcast:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6c6uIyieoo

7) nice discussion of parity paradox from "Mind Your Decisions" here:

http://tinyurl.com/ownycam

8)
Interesting to see that the UK now has a new initiative dedicated to teaching "maths numeracy" specifically to adults who lack it (do we need to attempt this in the U.S.?):

https://www.nnchallenge.org.uk/home/index.html

9) This "brussel sprouts" game from Numberphile (based on more Euler math) made it around several places last week:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAss481FfAQ

10) In a tweet, Clifford Pickover informs folks that in randomly played games of tic-tac-toe "the probability that the first mover wins is 737/1260 or 0.584920" (maybe worth knowing)

and another tweet I'll pass along is from Keith Devlin: "the thinking you use to do a Sudoku puzzle is 100% mathematical thinking. Ditto for KenKen (my favorite airplane time passer)"  -- I like it 'cuz KenKen is also MY favorite (also like Kakuro, though Sudoku has never really grabbed me)

11) The sometimes inscrutable Vi Hart has done some odd microwave-timer countdown videos of late… and, losing audience-share -- what's THAT all about? In a blog post, Robert Krulwich tries to figure it out:  http://tinyurl.com/ou3dxwm



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