...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, May 29, 2015

Quite A Week


First, In Memoriam....:



In honor of Sally Ride, who would've turned 64 a few days ago (born the same year as myself!) and Grant Wiggins, who's sudden death this week at ~65 stunned many educators who he touched and influenced (I didn't know him, but surely admired his passion... and passion for what you do in life is what it's all about isn't it!).



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....now on to this week's diverse assortment of links:

1)  On the 5-year anniversary of Martin Gardner's death, Colm Mulcahy paused to contemplate what he wishes he would've asked Martin, but never did (LOTS of links in this piece also):
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/colm-mulcahy/myles-from-mathematics-ma_b_7383794.html

2)  There were a multitude of tribute articles to John Nash this week; three of my favorites:

http://en.chessbase.com/post/john-forbes-nash-1928-2015 (from "Chess News")
http://tinyurl.com/ncj8axm (from "The Conversation")
http://tinyurl.com/ltmzgu6 (from "Bustle")

3)  Nautilus piece on how math was used to catch research fraud:
http://nautil.us/issue/24/error/how-the-biggest-fabricator-in-science-got-caught

4)  A teacher seeks some middle ground in the education debates:
https://thegeometryteacher.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/the-ongoing-debate-direct-instruction-vs-inquiry/

5)  Another delightful post from Ben Orlin, this time on succinctly describing major branches of mathematics (if you're of a certain age, the Beatles' references will crack you up):
http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2015/05/27/one-word-math-classes/

6)  Scott Aaronson on the NSA and recently-released speculations:
http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=2293

7)  Keith Devlin tweeted a link to this movie clip problem (from the film "X + Y"):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYAahN1G8Y8

8)  Hour+ long Soundcloud podcast with Cedric Villani and Michael Harris:
https://soundcloud.com/shakespeareandcompany/cedric-villani-and-michael-harris

9)  Sort of a fun discussion over at Gelman's blog last week about quantitative comparisons (be sure to read the comments):
http://andrewgelman.com/2015/05/23/kaisers-beef/

10)  A great, short profile here of Davidson's Tim Chartier who seeks "the whimsy in math":
http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/June-2015/The-Nutty-Professor-Mime-Tim-Chartier/

11) A few book notes:

 a)  Evelyn Lamb reviewed two books I've recently also reviewed as well:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/proof-pudding-and-pi-math-books-that-will-make-you-hungry/

 b)  Jordan Ellenberg's bestseller from last year (and my favorite book-of-the-year for 2014), "How Not To Be Wrong" is now out in paperback:
http://amzn.to/1FPmvzv
...and Max Tegmark's "Our Mathematical Universe" (more physics than math) is also available in paperback:
http://amzn.to/1AtWljo

c)  not math, but feel compelled to note Maria Popova's ("Brainpickings") wonderful review of Oliver Sacks recent autobiography:
http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/05/18/oliver-sacks-on-the-move/

12)  And if you need more hands-on-math there's always LOTS at Mike Lawler's place:  https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/


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

1)  The subject of human longevity doesn't usually much interest me, but did enjoy this segment on the topic from last week's TED Radio Hour:
http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=408023437&m=408562493&live=1

2)  This whole business of echolocation in blind humans is simply astounding (what our bodies/senses are capable of is mind-blowing):
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/what-its-like-for-someone-whos-blind-to-see-by-echolocation


Hope everyone finds some interesting things here you missed, and have a great weekend.


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