...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.

"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, June 19, 2015


... 51 years ago, this weekend, three young civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were brutally murdered during an ill-fated trip to Mississippi. In light of the past week's further solemn events in the American South, I feel a need to reach back momentarily to this mid-60's tribute from Paul Simon to Andy Goodman:


Now, on to the week's mathy stuff you mighta missed:

1) "The language of insignificance"... more p-value discussion courtesy of Andrew Gelman:

2)  In time for the NBA finals (well, now over) the "hot hand" streak discussed:

3)  Nature, behavior, and mathematics, from "Mathematics Rising":

4)  "Some statistical dirty laundry" (via Deborah Mayo):

5)  Last weekend's RadioLab re-played a segment with Steve Strogatz (with an assist from Sesame Street) explaining some of math's foundations (first ~14 mins. below):

6)  Jordan Ellenberg and Matt Parker discuss some basic math... or, is it philosophy... on YouTube:

7)  And here, the ubiquitous Ellenberg writes about "Common Core" for the NY Times:

...finally (talk about ubiquitous), here is Jordan, or one of his clones, on Bloomberg Business this week:

8)  The story of mathematicians (who are often "crotchety old people") hoarding a specific brand of chalk (that has now gone out-of-business). Who knew...:

9)  Submissions to the latest "Carnival of Math" are here:

10)  Will just note that one of my favorite 2015 books, "Single Digits" (by Marc Chamberland), which I reviewed back in March, is just this month showing up widely in bookstores.

11)  H/T to Dave Richeson this week for linking to this wonderful, old posting of the "World's shortest explanation of Gödel's theorem" (from Raymond Smullyan):

12)  And Mike Lawler has at east 5 posts this week you can catch up on at:

13)  Will close out with this recent geometry problem from "Solve My Maths":

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

1)  In time for Father's Day this Sunday, "This American Life" re-ran this older, touching story of a daughter and her father who may be a tad communicatively-challenged:

2)  And what the heck, as long as I'm on "This American Life," I'll cite another of my all-time favorite episodes, going all the way back to 2001, chronicling the Jarvis family:

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