...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, March 20, 2015

More March Mathiness....


This week's BIG, bouncing collection of mathy goodness:

1)  You're likely all sick of hearing about pi by now, but I feel bad that so many of the best pi posts came out too late for my last Fri. potpourri, so will note a few of the plenitude:

a)  Steven Strogatz's New Yorker article on pi:

b)  from The Aperiodical:

c)  Alex Bellos interviewing the bloke who memorized 111,000+ digits of pi (...yeah, you read that right):

d)  a take from Doron Zeilberger, with pi as 'an equivalence class of many... algorithms':
http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~zeilberg/Opinion142.html

 e)  and if that STILL isn't enough servings of pi for you, Evelyn Lamb rounded up a bunch more pi helpings here:
http://tinyurl.com/kh594jc

2)  Another New Yorker math piece, by Alec Wilkinson, launching from pi to the mystery of prime numbers: 

3)  "Playing With Math: Stories from Math Circles, Homeschoolers, and Passionate Teachers" edited by Sue VanHattum is ready for order:

4)  The traveling vacationer problem... so-to-speak:
http://tinyurl.com/llxehjq
And relatedly, from Futility Closet, a problem that at first seems very difficult, but with a lovely, simple answer:
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/03/19/end-state/

5)  Bill Gasarch asks, "Has anything interesting ever come out of a claimed proof that P=NP or P ≠ NP?":
http://blog.computationalcomplexity.org/2015/03/has-anything-interesting-every-come-out.html


6)  Cathy O'Neil announced the launch of "Data Justice Blog" early in the week -- in a time of big (and personal) data, the importance of eternal vigilance has probably never been greater:
http://mathbabe.org/2015/03/16/data-justice-launches/


7)  Robert Talbert encourages those interested in IBL or flipped classrooms to attend the annual "Legacy of R.L. Moore and IBL Conference" in Austin, TX. this coming June:

http://tinyurl.com/l25nlnn

8)  DataGenetics
graphically goes over "Simpson's Paradox" (...no, not Homer or Bart):
http://datagenetics.com/blog/march22015/index.html


9) 
Not to belabor the whole p-value bashing topic too much, but there is a lengthy discussion going on in the comments section of Deborah Mayo's site (among a few participants), following a guest-post that became the most highly-trafficked posting she's ever had:
http://errorstatistics.com/2015/03/16/stephen-senn-the-pathetic-p-value-guest-post/

and in related news, we're told that, lo-and-behold, "scientists unknowingly tweak experiments":
http://phys.org/news/2015-03-scientists-unknowingly-tweak.html


10) 
One thing good about the NY State Regents Exams in mathematics -- it keeps giving Patrick Honner more good material for his blog:
http://mrhonner.com/archives/14706


11) 
A lengthy discussion of PARCC testing was cross-posted by "mathbabe" and others:
http://mathbabe.org/2015/03/19/guest-post-a-discussion-on-parcc-testing/ 

12)  Of course, Mike Lawler worked through more interesting problems this week:  https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/

13) 
Not really math, but h/t to Sean Carroll for pointing out this interesting piece arguing that there may be TOO MANY science studies currently being published:
http://www.vox.com/2015/3/17/8231395/too-many-studies

14)  ICYMI, I interviewed fantastic physics writer Natalie Wolchover last week at MathTango:
http://mathtango.blogspot.com/2015/03/natalie-wolchover-from-tiger-zoologist.html 
(...p.s., this upcoming Sunday will have ANOTHER new interview here... and for the first time, back-to-back females... stay tuned).

15)  And if you need still more math links for your weekend reading, the 120th "Carnival of Mathematics" is up here:
http://mathmisery.com/wp/2015/03/16/carnival-of-mathematics-120/


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

1)  Lovely profile of one of my (everybody's?) favorites, Jane Goodall:

2)  Per usual, another fascinating episode of NPR's RadioLab, this time covering some little-known history of America, Japan, and World War II:
http://www.radiolab.org/story/fu-go/



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