...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, January 30, 2015

'nother Week, 'nother Potpourri

I collected these, so you wouldn't have to ;-):

1)  "Reflections on Paul Erdös" from AMS in this his centenary year:

2)   A film made based on the Twin Prime conjecture work of Subway sandwich maker, and mathematician ;-) Yitang Zhang:


also, another wonderful popular press piece (from the New Yorker) on the 59-year-old, sudden-celebrity Dr. Zhang and his work here:

3)  Still another commentary on the roiling that has followed Mochizuki's claimed ABC conjecture proof:

...and Mark Chu-Carroll attempts to explain the ABC conjecture to the rest of us... before concluding that "...mathematicians are crazy people!" ;-):

4)  Here's some fun with "deflategate," if you followed the sports story of the New England Patriots' deflated balls ;-):

5)  Need an introductory post on Cantor and infinity for some young person? Nice, longish one here (gets heavier as it goes along), including several videos:

6)  A really fun read, newly-posted at AMS blogs, from Evelyn Lamb, on some different aspects of 'sucking at math' (with links to A.K. Whitney's writings on "Mathochism" over at Medium that I need to further check out):

7)  A couple of tweeted lines this week from Steven Strogatz (who is doing one flipped classroom this term) that just seem worth repeating:

"The students are so alive and engaged in my flipped class (nonlinear dynamics & chaos)."
"My other class this term is not flipped. Feels flat, almost inhumane..."

8)  And an article on math educator Jo Boaler here:

9)  The increasing tension between U.S. mathematicians and the NSA gets some new coverage from Science Magazine:

10)  Meanwhile, for your funnybone, SolveMyMaths posted some Dave Gorman comedy about perfect, friendly, and sociable numbers:

11)  As always, MikesMathPage: http://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/

...NEW feature! (potpourri bonus): Last week's grab-bag ended with a side-note, recommending David Pogue's new "Pogue's Basics" book. I may now try to incorporate a "potpourri BONUS" each week, pointing to 1 or 2 non-math links I simply found especially interesting during the week.  Here are this week's selections:

a)  One of the most jaw-dropping science stories I've heard (out of SO MANY from NPR), about blindness, echolocation, expectations (the story of Daniel Kish)... an hour-long episode; if you haven't heard it try to make time for it and see if you find it as flabbergasting as I did:

b) ...I could probably fill these "bonuses" with just NPR programs!! Anyway, the 2nd selection is the first (21-min.) segment from last week's "This American Life" -- perhaps the most phenomenal (almost bizarre) story I've ever heard of a misogynist internet troll experiencing a change-of-heart:

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