...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 6, 2015

Weekly Selections


Some of the stuff I've been reading this week:

ADDENDUM:  After posting all of the below this morning, discovered this new piece on Terry Tao  that is just too, too good to hold over 'til next week!:
http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/terence-tao-the-mozart-of-maths-20150306-13fwcv.html

1)  Cedric Villani and his new volume, "Birth of a Theorem," covered in The Guardian:
http://tinyurl.com/n7m57z4

2)  Something for the musically-inclined:
http://tinyurl.com/knz2tvr

3)  Yet another interesting interview with Ed Frenkel, this time on mathematics and our financial system (and crises):
http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2015/03/02/how-math-will-shape-wall-streets-future?page_all=1
And I learned from the piece that Dr. Frenkel now has his own website:
http://www.edwardfrenkel.com/

4)  Andrew Gelman voices a contrarian viewpoint because "A key part of science is to learn what we don’t know" and we ought "embrace" variation and uncertainty:
http://andrewgelman.com/2015/03/02/what-hypothesis-testing-is-all-about-hint-its-not-what-you-think/

5)  I got my undergraduate college alumni magazine in the mail this week and it included a brief piece by 'inspiringly stubborn' math professor Ami Radunskaya on "How To Become a Role Model For Women In Math":
http://magazine.pomona.edu/2015/spring/how-to-become-a-role-model-for-women-in-math/

6)  I just knew, with ~95% confidence level ;-), that Wm. Briggs would be beside himself with joy at recent news that the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology was dropping p-values or the “null hypothesis significance testing procedure” from its articles: 
http://wmbriggs.com/post/15465/
Meanwhile, Deborah Mayo covered the same development here:
http://errorstatistics.com/2015/03/05/a-puzzle-about-the-latest-test-ban-or-dont-ask-dont-tell/

7)  Another review of Michael Harris's book, "Mathematics Without Apologies" (which I reviewed HERE) is in SIAM News:
http://sinews.siam.org/DetailsPage/tabid/607/ArticleID/415/Last-Bastion-of-Purity-in-a-Corrupt-World.aspx
...and Harris responds to it here at his own new blog:
https://mathematicswithoutapologies.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/how-to-read-a-bad-review/#respond
(h/t to Jordan Ellenberg for these)

8)  A new, packed "Math Teachers At Play" blog carnival here:
https://cavmaths.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/maths-teachers-at-play-83rd-edition/

9)  Fawn Nguyen as insightful/instructive as always with her 6th graders (where were the Fawn Nguyens when I was in 6th grade!):
http://fawnnguyen.com/reversing-the-question/

10)  Ian Stewart's latest book, "Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers," should be showing up in bookstores any day now:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Professor-Stewarts-Incredible-Numbers-Stewart/dp/1781254109/

11)  Just noticed (and haven't had a chance to listen myself) that the very latest (today) NPR TEDRadioHour is all math-related (looks good):
http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/388518439/solve-for-x

12)  And hey, it's March Madness time (in USA) so have to include this article (chance of a perfect bracket):
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-march-madness-probability-met-20150303-story.html 

13)  Mike Lawler has been busy as always:  https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/


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

1)  First bonus from last week was just a great repeat segment from NPR's TEDRadioHour on "dirty jobs" -- about jobs and happiness (not what one might think):
http://www.npr.org/2013/11/01/240780579/are-people-with-dirty-jobs-the-most-successful

2)  And, off my usual beaten track, but for all the animal lovers out there (me included), this feel-good story from the week, to end with:
https://www.thedodo.com/puppy-and-kitten-rescued-1023829384.html


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