...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, October 23, 2015

That Was the Week That Was... in Math


The math mix:

1)  Latest "Carnival of Math" blog here:
http://blog.ifem.co.uk/carnival-of-mathematics-127/

2)  A Carl Zimmer piece giving a nice little statistical history lesson:
http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/why-we-cant-rule-out-bigfoot

3)  George Johnson's NY Times piece on the "hot-hand fallacy":
http://tinyurl.com/ndstbp8
...and my own take at MathTango was here:
http://mathtango.blogspot.com/2015/10/hot-hand-you-betcha.html

4) 
Samantha Oestreicher on the attraction of recreational mathematics (including mention of one my favorite books from the year, Jim Henle's "The Proof and the Pudding"):
http://socialmathematics.net/2015/10/19/recreational-math/

5) 
The NY Times "Numberplay" puzzle this week highlights Ed Frenkel (and Gödel):
http://wordplay.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/19/frenkel-age-of-a-child/?_r=1

6) 
William Briggs peddles his somewhat interesting, somewhat oddball, prospective statistics book/text to any publishers interested:
http://wmbriggs.com/post/17112/

7) 
Another Futility Closet geometry puzzler:
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/10/22/whats-the-angle/

8) 
This David Mumford post that I already connected to through Math-Frolic is worth a re-mention, it's such a fun read (on math tribes):
http://www.dam.brown.edu/people/mumford/blog/2015/MathBeautyBrain.html

9) 
One of many recent articles on the NSA's ability to "break" digital encryption due to the re-use of "a handful" of large prime numbers:
http://bgr.com/2015/10/20/nsa-encryption-flaw-spy/

10) 
Recent episode from "Scam School"... put on your thinking caps:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY10Sm19rss

11)   If you read Evelyn Lamb's "Roots of Unity" blog (as I hope most readers here do), an online (15 min.) research survey is interested in getting your responses:
http://lsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0dIyegEdCzOFNxr

12)  New from Siobhan Roberts, in Nautilus, on Neil Sloane and his remarkable OEIS:
http://nautil.us/issue/29/scaling/how-to-build-a-search-engine-for-mathematics

13) 
Just one of Mike Lawler's several posts this week, that covers a lot of ground:
https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/a-really-intersting-twitter-conversation-sparked-by-kate-nowak/

14) 
Lastly, from the bizarro dept., a man who got seizures working on Sudoku puzzles:
http://time.com/4078049/seizure-sudoku-puzzles/



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

1)  As someone who never much cared for science fiction/fantasy (nor fiction in general) I enjoyed this piece reporting on a study showing children's preference for TRUE stories over fictional stories.  
The real world is so utterly fascinating unto itself (be it the evolution of flowers, the life cycle of praying mantises, the creation of stars/planets, the behavior of bonobos, and on and on and on) that I've never understood the preference for fiction and escapism! And maybe I'm not so alone in that predilection after all:
http://tinyurl.com/pucaxo4

2)  A guest post over at Mathbabe this week I particularly enjoyed (because I agree "we have no fucking clue..."), on 'cargo cult' brain science:
http://mathbabe.org/2015/10/20/guest-post-dirty-rant-about-the-human-brain-project/


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