...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.

"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, October 24, 2014

Some Weekly Picks

Another jumble of links from the week gone by:

1)  Okay, he may not be Martin Gardner, but Mike Lawler has been compiling quite a body of digital work week after week after week (both written and video). I'm astounded by his output, and don't even have time to catch it all, but here's one contribution from last week (...and seriously, if you're a math teacher or a parent you ought be FOLLOWING Mike's stuff regularly) :

His general blog here: http://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/
and his video channel here:  http://tinyurl.com/kftdekb
[and if you missed it, I interviewed him earlier this year here:
http://mathtango.blogspot.com/2014/04/mike-lawler-of-mikesmathpage.html ]

2)  Several folks have pointed out this Terry Tao story problem from the beginning of week:

3)  Agree or disagree with him, Gregory Chaitin has been putting out provocative, intriguing ideas for a long time now. "Mathematics Rising" briefly discusses some of them in this post touching on information theory, biology, consciousness, and the brain (includes some great quotes from Chaitin):

4)  h/t to Cathy O'Neil for calling attention to this interesting (and longish) interview with computer scientist Michael Jordan about big data, computing, and artificial intelligence (he sees a "big data winter" ahead):
Jordan wasn't entirely happy though with the interview presentation, and wrote a followup here, for clarification:

5)  Paul Lockhart's "mathematical lament" continues (deservedly) to make the rounds:

6)  Plenty of variety at the 79th "Math Teachers At Play" Carnival here:

7)  A few recent problems from Futility Closet if you missed them:

a) http://www.futilitycloset.com/2014/10/23/a-dice-puzzle/
b) http://www.futilitycloset.com/2014/10/22/presto-5/
c) http://www.futilitycloset.com/2014/10/13/stretch-goals/ 

8)  Jo Boaler on 'number sense' here:

9)  A general article on mathematical modelling and epidemiology (in the day of Ebola):

10)  Another interesting piece in the popular press (Forbes) on Common Core, focusing on the cognitive or developmental arguments:

11) Will just note, in closing, that one of my favorite fun mathematical reads, Simon Singh's "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets" is newly-out in paperback. Another great possible stocking stuffer for any math fans on your Xmas list (...if there's even anyone left who hasn't already read it).

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