...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, January 9, 2015

Br-r-rimming-over Potpourri


Biggest potpourri I've yet done for your weekend catching-up, if you missed many of these:

1)  Nice extended (and fun) discussion of correlation and causation here:
http://statswithcats.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/how-to-tell-if-correlation-implies-causation/
(HT to Patrick Honner for this one, and a blog that was new to me)

2)  I suspect every long-time teacher out there has a story to tell similar to Fawn Nguyen's in "Let's Not." I just don't know if they can tell it as well as she does:
http://fawnnguyen.com/lets-not/
...and in another post she challenges her students to go beyond the book:
http://fawnnguyen.com/rigid-transformations/

3)  An interesting entry from Jeremy Kun looking at math authenticity in the entertainment industry... and thusly, finding for himself, a niche business opportunity!:
http://j2kun.svbtle.com/authenticity-of-background-math

4)  Interesting and fun first-of-year posting from "Gödel's Lost Letter" on the Breakthrough Prizes, a new book, and yearly predictions:
http://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/mathematics-its-about-the-future/

5)  No younguns (or video) in this one, as Mike Lawler explains how financial bonds can yield a surprisingly high return in a falling interest environment:
http://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/an-interesting-math-example-coming-from-finance/
(And as usual there is still more interesting stuff up at Mike's page from the week.)

6)  A basic introduction to prime numbers (with plenty of basic links) from "Solve My Maths" here:
http://solvemymaths.com/2015/01/04/complements-4-prime-numbers/

7)  Another (transcribed) Ed Frenkel interview, on AI, math education, and the future:
https://math.berkeley.edu/~frenkel/interview-VEJA.pdf

8)  John Baez has an interesting, if pessimistic, piece about Google giving up on their search for cheap renewable energy (the comments are as interesting as the post):
http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/why-google-gave-up/

9)  I've previously pointed out this long, rich Lior Pachter post on mathematics and biology, and was a bit surprised it didn't draw even more comments than the ~30+ it had at last check -- but perhaps it's so long and complex that it scared readers off!? Anyway, I did recently discover (h/t to Gerald Thurman) a lot of additional comments, or at least chatter, over at this aggregator site, for anyone wanting to peruse more discussion:
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8819811

10)  In his latest piece for Huffington Post, Keith Devlin asks, "How badly do we want 21st-century, relevant, first-class education for the nation's children?," and offers an update on what's happening with educational technology in K-12:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-keith-devlin/edtech-investment-is-at-record-levels_b_6405226.html
In the end he says that "revolutionizing K-12 education within a decade requires a transformative, national, public-private initiative, perhaps reminiscent of, but much less expensive than, the NASA Apollo Project to put a man on the Moon"!

11)  If you thought donuts were just for breakfast, you were wrong -- donuts are for math class (and fun blog posts):
http://lifethroughamathematicianseyes.wordpress.com/2015/01/06/donuts-make-it-better/
(...perhaps, best to read this with a nice hot cube of coffee!)

12)  Ben Orlin has started a series of posts addressing 'thinking in math class' -- the introductory one is here:
http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2015/01/07/how-to-avoid-thinking-in-math-class/

13)  "MathTechbook" from Discovery Education (for online math learning) is coming. Read about it here:
  http://tinyurl.com/menyjqt and http://tinyurl.com/mwxm9hw

14)  Dana Ernst on IBL (inquiry based learning)... must-reading if you're a teacher and not already familiar with IBL:
http://maamathedmatters.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-twin-pillars-of-ibl.html

15)  Another little geometry beauty from Futility Closet; and it falls under the equally-beautiful heading of "sangaku":
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/01/08/cutting-up/

16)  Interesting New Scientist update on frustrations surrounding Shinichi Mochizuki's "proof" of the ABC conjecture:
http://tinyurl.com/ofhv9br

17) Princeton University Press has put up a pdf of their current math-related offerings, including several forthcoming works:
http://press.princeton.edu/catalogs/math15.pdf

18)  Lastly, just this morning I've posted over at Math-Frolic James Tanton's first video offering in support of Common Core. Must-viewing for all involved in that debate.

Happy weekend everyone!

(as always, let me know of any broken or misdirected links ASAP)


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