...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, December 4, 2015

Weekly Math-mix


From the week....

1) 
Mathematically quantifying word "entropy" and humor (kind of a quoiky study ;-):
http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/11/26/math-can-prove-a-word-is-funny-u-of-a-study

2) 
In her usually delicious manner Evelyn Lamb posted about the torus last week:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/a-few-of-my-favorite-spaces-the-torus/

3)  John Allen Paulos expresses some regrets (in an excerpt from his latest book):
http://tinyurl.com/zagmzwh

4)  Math Rising delves into some thoughts from David Mumford (about Platonism):
http://mathrising.com/?p=1355

5)  Simple, lovely geometry from Futility Closet:
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/12/02/three-sides/

6)  Michael Harris responded in part to my recent brief comments about his wonderful book, "Mathematics Without Apologies," with this clarifying post:
https://mathematicswithoutapologies.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/problems-of-a-problematic-vocation/

7)  Short but interesting Princeton interview with NPR's 'Math Guy,' Keith Devlin:
http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2015/12/02/pages/2030/index.xml#.Vl2trnkaLlA.twitter

8) 
You just know that when Ben Orlin passes out grades it'll make you smile:
http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2015/12/02/report-cards-for-famous-mathematicians/

9)  The NY Times once again on math education:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/03/opinion/the-politics-of-math-education.html 

10)  Machine learning, pure and applied mathematics, via Quanta:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/20151203-big-datas-mathematical-mysteries/ 

11)  Jason Rosenhouse fulminates on "specified complexity":
http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2015/12/04/ewert-explains-specified-complexity-part-one/

12)  And straying farther from math here, but a couple of pieces on consciousness (and "integrated information theory") this week from John Horgan and Margaret Wertheim:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/can-integrated-information-theory-explain-consciousness/

https://aeon.co/essays/how-and-why-exactly-did-consciousness-become-a-problem

13)  Some humor to close out with (h/t to Egan Chernoff for this one):
http://tinyurl.com/mts2b59


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

1) 
Fun read from Nautilus on jokes, how they bring us together... or keep us apart:
http://nautil.us/issue/30/identity/identity-is-an-inside-joke

2)  Because EVERYbody loves penguins:
http://blog.cosmosmagazine.com/blog/2015/11/30/emperor-penguins-meet-robot-penguincam-for-the-first-time


For a bit of calm, following yet another week of senseless, nerve-jangling violence, Pachelbel's Canon on acoustic guitar:




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