...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, April 18, 2014

Big Helping of Friday Potpourri


ICYM them, quite a mishmash of varied links from the past week (something for everyone perhaps):

1) Martin Gardner's more philosophical writings here:
http://martin-gardner.org/Philosophy.html

2) Who knew there was so much to know about the arrangement of dice? Tanya Khovanova filled us in on what she learned from John Conway:
http://blog.tanyakhovanova.com/?p=489

3) Just in case you've been living under a rock for the last year and don't know of "Ed Frenkel," another magazine article will inform you:
http://tinyurl.com/np3qlhf

4) Can't pass a week without some statistics-bashing (this time from Tom Siegfried, 2 posts):
bit.ly/1bVlpBr 
bit.ly/1epNmxG

5) What you see is too often, what someone wants you to see… an important post about misrepresentation in data graphs/visualizations:
http://data.heapanalytics.com/how-to-lie-with-data-visualization/

6) Presh Talwalkar has posted the seemingly simple "Cognitive Reflection Test" on YouTube with some interesting information about it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZal6R895VM&feature=youtu.be

7) Psychology Today piece on U.S. math achievement (and computation vs. conceptual understanding):
http://tinyurl.com/c3ty3kp

8) Darren Burris is curating math Common Core commentary from the Web:
http://www.scoop.it/t/common-core-mathematics

9) Memorizing multiplication tables… good/bad? the debate continues:
http://tapintoteenminds.com/2014/04/13/memorizing-multiplication-tables-hurt-help/

10) And if you missed Ben Orlin's take on math anxiety, as perceived by others, you may want take an amusing gander at it:
http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2014/04/14/anxiety-mathematics-and-words-of-kindness/

11) The April monthly math digest from AMS links to LOTS of good reading:
http://www.ams.org/news/math-in-the-media/mathdigest-index#201403-dyson

12) This news got a lot of play on social media, but in case you missed it, "mathematician" came out on top of a list of "best jobs of 2014"!! Hooray, and up 17 places from last year's list! (we can probably owe 13 of those places to Ed Frenkel alone ;-) Some of the factors in the high designation were: pleasant work environment, good job prospects, high income, and low stress. All you math-phobes out there take heed:
http://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/best-jobs-2014

13) A nice little round-up of some April Math Awareness fun-and-games from Colm Mulcahy here:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2014/04/16/a-month-of-math-magic-and-mystery/

14) I recently retweeted the below @RodBogart tweet, and much to my surprise it became one of the most RE-tweeted tweets I've ever done; it's an interesting li'l visual (hand-crafted) example of solid geometry, but I honestly don't quite understand its full popularity:


15) If you missed my thumbs-up review of Jason Rosenhouse's  "Four Lives: A Celebration of Raymond Smullyan," it's the post just prior to the one you're reading.

16) Lastly, I like math and I enjoyed painter Bob Ross, but have to admit I think this posting (from FiveThirtyEight), mixing the two, is overdoing it a bit:
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-statistical-analysis-of-the-work-of-bob-ross/

The very last line of the piece: “'The majority of people who watch Bob Ross have no interest in painting,' she said. 'Mostly it’s his calming voice.' "
And so, to close, for all the Bob Ross (or, ASMR) fans out there ;-):





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