...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, April 3, 2015

Good, Friday Potpourri


Here's part of the week that was, in math:

1)  April is "Mathematics Awareness Month" (I'd say Jan. thru Dec. pretty much qualify too, but whatever):
http://www.mathaware.org/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mathematics-Awareness-Month/160088737380286

2)  A new "Math Teachers At Play" blog carnival brought to us beautifully by John Golden:
http://mathhombre.blogspot.com/2015/03/math-teachers-at-play-84.html

3)
  Some pure coolness (by way of a "nerdy math wallet") from mathbabe.org this week:
http://mathbabe.org/2015/03/30/i-accept-mathematical-bribes/

4)  Evelyn Lamb continued her Cantoresque focus from last week, with a look at the 'Cantor function' this week:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/2015/03/31/cantor-function-weeping-angels/

5)  Ben Orlin offered a nice introduction to Newcomb's Paradox, that young people (AND adults) can argue over unendingly:
http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2015/04/01/humility-in-the-face-of-weirdness/

6)
  Mark Chu-Carroll discusses a paper that looks at the mathematics of the FedEx hub system for delivering packages:
http://www.goodmath.org/blog/2015/03/31/the-fedex-problem/

7) "Mathematics Rising" blogged on what the Chaitins say about creativity, both biological and mathematical:
http://mathrising.com/?p=1254

8)  Research replication as "a quiet crisis" in science, perhaps:
http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2015/03/19/science-irreproducible-research-quiet-crisis/xunxnfuzwdwYSpVjkx2iQN/story.html

9)  I've never been terribly keen for "Which one doesn't belong" type problems, but they've been in the blogosphere lately (in part due to one instructor's different approach), and I'll pass along this post on them:
https://easingthehurrysyndrome.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/which-one-doesnt-belong/

10)  A new, and once-again thought-provoking post from Keith Devlin... on computer science and mathematics... and, the reasoning that links them:
http://devlinsangle.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-importance-of-mathematics-courses.html

11)  From +plus Magazine, too late for Valentine's Day, but just in time for Easter and Passover :-/, "Sexual Statistics":
article here:  https://plus.maths.org/content/sexual-statistics
podcast here:  https://plus.maths.org/content/sexual-statistics-podcast?src=aop

12)  From Quanta, another nice interview with that unexpected math celebrity, Yitang Zhang:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/20150402-prime-proof-zhang-interview/

13)  From the NYTimes, 'The problem with math problems...' (good discussion and links):
http://tinyurl.com/opjwf4v

14)  Mike's math page usually does a bit of math during the week ;-):  https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/

15)  Who knew sandpiles were so interesting? Jordan Ellenberg did, as he explains for Nautilus Magazine:
http://nautil.us/issue/23/dominoes/the-amazing-autotuning-sandpile

And maybe we'll end the week with this little thought-exercise, also from Ellenberg:
http://tinyurl.com/k8jddfu


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

1) The amazing, blind Daniel Kish gives a recent TEDTalk explaining his use of personal sonar for navigating his dark world:
http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kish_how_i_use_sonar_to_navigate_the_world?share=113b50d987

2)  And in case you missed it, this viral feel-good story about parenting from the week:
http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/03/after_her_kids_misbehave_birmi.html


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