...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, October 2, 2015

Math From the Week

Math here and there:

1)  RJ Lipton reviews "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" (the play, about an autistic math savant):

2)  Terry Tao's latest math-splash (Erdös proof) via Scientific American:

...and Erica Klarreich explains Tao's work for Quanta Magazine readers:

3)  Nice little review of the four-color theorem (h/t Egan Chernoff) :

4)  Robert Talbert writes about his evolution as a teacher, and how thinks about himself and his students.
(I suspect this is the sort of introspective analysis that all teachers can benefit from doing on occasion, and all will both share and differ from certain aspects of Robert's experience):

5)  Geometry from Futility Closet this week:

Deborah Mayo posting about a prior NY Times piece on use of statistics in research (Bayesian vs. frequentist):

...far worse, as Jason Rosenhouse points out, are statistics from the "pathological" party:

A classroom brainteaser from Sarah Hagan:

This, from the 'Blow Your Mind Dept.!': Solving Rubik's Cube... in 26 seconds... blindfolded (h/t Egan Chernoff):

Terry Tao teaches probability theory (h/t Lior Pachter):

10)  Brit Christian Lawson-Perfect visits the National Museum of Math in NY while on vacation, and gives a review:

11)  Marilyn Burns promotes Ken-Ken for the classroom:

12)  Odd connection between pi and Mandelbrot Set in latest Numberphile video:

13)  Patrick Honner tweets that he often thinks that "nothing in mathematics is more beautiful than Varignon's Theorem." If you don't recognize that name, check it out (especially for geometry fans):

14)  Okay, not strictly math, but have to note that "The Quotable Feynman" (edited by daughter Michelle Feynman) is now out in bookstores:
...as Sean Carroll blurbs, "All evidence indicates that Richard Feynman was the most quotable physicist of all time. This collection is a vivid demonstration of his wit, wisdom, and unquenchable passion for finding things out."

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

1)  I especially enjoyed Futility Closet's 'lateral thinking puzzle' this week... beginning at about the 22-minute point of their podcast:

2)  And perhaps my favorite cartoon from the week ;-):


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