...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, February 27, 2015

This Week's Serving of Potpourri


Some things that caught my eye this week (when my power was on!):

1)  Evelyn Lamb with some wonderful math history in a few telling letters betwixt Gauss and Sophie Germain:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/2015/02/13/gauss-and-germain-on-pleasure-and-passion/

2)  Having some fun with Wolfram/Alpha:
http://tinyurl.com/jwqb52n
https://twitter.com/wacnt

3)  Entertaining podcast interview (40 mins.) with Jordan Ellenberg:
http://www.maureenanderson.com/images/stories/audio/013115hour1.mp3

4)  A bit of number-fun from Gary Davis and Ben Vitale:
http://www.blog.republicofmath.com/the-number-3608528850368400786036725/

5)   Andrew Gelman notes the problem of press releases and mathematical hype in this quick post:
http://andrewgelman.com/2015/02/22/academics-made-accountable-exaggerations-press-releases-work/

6)  Wow! I see from Princeton University Press's Spring catalogue that an 800+ page "comprehensive" biography of Euler (by Ronald Calinger) is on the way... for ~$50.
Now, how about a bio of Riemann next! ;-)

7)  Math podcasts are "burgeoning," and the key is to "tell a story"... read all about it:
http://blogs.ams.org/blogonmathblogs/2015/02/23/math-for-your-ears/#sthash.EOnYonKv.dpbs

8)  An interview with Ken Ono, mostly on his study of Ramanujan's work, with some update on the upcoming movie about Ramanujan's life:
http://gonitsora.com/in-conversation-with-prof-ken-ono/

9)  A research journal (in social psychology!) has banned the reporting of p-values (h/t to Jordan Ellenberg for this one):
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/01973533.2015.1012991

10)   This site has made an interactive version of Newcomb's Paradox (and is researching responses to the classic conundrum):
http://www.philosophyexperiments.com/newcomb/
(h/t to Colm Mulcahy for this one)

11)  A bunch of mathy links associated with the Cambridge Science Festival, given here:
http://plus.maths.org/content/maths-cambridge-science-festival

12)  Hannah Fry reviews Cedric Villani's "Birth of a Theorem" for The Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/25/birth-of-a-theorem-mathematical-adventure-cedric-villani-review

13)  Mike Lawlers' place on the Web:  https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/

....and on Sunday I'll have another new interview up here, so y'all come back now!

Potpourri BONUS! (extra NON-mathematical links of interest):

1)  Last week's NPR TEDRadioHour ("The Unknown Brain") started off with what may still be my all-time favorite TED Talk, neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor's remarkable viral 2008 story of experiencing her own stroke:
http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/384949524/the-unknown-brain
If somehow you've missed it, listen to at least her first segment on the show, but the whole hour is great.

2)  And a couple of interesting reads from Aeon magazine (also, neuroscience-related):
a)  the tendency of fiction to 'trump fact' on the Web:
http://aeon.co/magazine/culture/should-you-fact-check-your-grandmas-facebook-posts/
and,
b)  human brain elasticity:
http://aeon.co/magazine/psychology/can-i-make-my-brain-as-plastic-as-a-childs/

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