...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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Stayin' Alive... ;-)


Some end-of-year housekeeping:

1)  Sorry, am swamped with lots of year-end schtuff right now (are we all having fun yet!?) so, posting at MathTango will be light, if at all, 'til sometime into January!  Friday potpourris will be short or absent until then. (Math-Frolic will continue as normal through the month.)
Anyway, been a fantastic year for both blogs, and sincere thanks to all who've been in touch in any way, provided content or ideas, and helped keep these blogs, labors-of-love.

2)  Haven't done an interview here for awhile, so if you wish to suggest someone you'd like to see interviewed let me know (especially if you can provide an email address for the suggested person).
=> p.s.: I've attempted to interview every person suggested in the past, so if you previously recommended someone and it never happened it's either because they didn't respond to a request, or in some cases I simply couldn't find a current/working email for them.

3)  I've never taken 'guest posts' here, but might consider it in the next year (nothing spammy or merely selling a product)... if you have an interesting, provocative, or timely (mathy) subject you'd like to address, maybe shoot me an email about your idea.
Perhaps this being an election year (U.S.), that will offer new possibilities too.

Have happy and safe holidays everyone... and needless to say, "Don't drink and derive." ;-)

I'll leave you with this old Slinky/treadmill video (gotta be some math buried in there), that isn't Christmas music, but somehow always puts me in a Holiday mood ;-):




Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Mathy Leftovers


More weekend reading:

1)  Starting with Escher, Keith Devlin highlights the use of games and media in math education:
http://devlinsangle.blogspot.com/2015/12/life-inside-impossible-escher-figure.html

2)
  A 'trick' chess problem from Futility Closet:
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/12/04/black-and-white-184/

...and a little algebra from Futility Closet as well:
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/12/08/product-recall/

3) 
Jo Boaler and "la revolution" in math teaching (h/t to Egan Chernoff):
https://www.tes.com/news/tes-magazine/tes-magazine/we-need-a-revolution-how-we-think-about-maths

4)  Another odd or surprising finding from Presh Talwalkar (once again involving probability... and Santa):
http://tinyurl.com/gvowlzn

5) 
Peter Woit with a bit of update/commentary about Mochizuki's ever-complex "proof" of the ABC conjecture:
http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=8160

6)  From Quanta, a math "quartet" seeks mathematical breakthroughs:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/20151208-four-mathematicians/

7)   Ben Orlin offers a primer on teaching, across the years and across different levels:
http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2015/12/09/what-level-of-teaching-is-right-for-me/

8)  The mathematics of house keys... who knew!? (be sure to also read and follow the link in Mike Lawler's initial comment to the post):
http://mathbabe.org/2015/12/09/housekeys/

9)  First review I've seen of the new Euler biography from Princeton U. Press:
http://tinyurl.com/qzawl6k

10)  Futility Closet
entertains yet again with some peculiar polyhedra:
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/12/10/the-csaszar-polyhedron/

11) 
Siobhan Roberts returns to us with another mathy piece on a conjecture of Erdös, recently solved:
https://www.simonsfoundation.org/uncategorized/new-erdos-paper-solves-egyptian-fraction-problem/

12)  Slightly technical, but an interesting statistical dissection of a biomed paper from Chris Harrow:
https://casmusings.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/how-one-data-point-destroyed-a-study/

13)  Not exactly a math lesson, but certainly an interesting lesson of some sort from Simon Gregg (h/t to Nalini Joshi for this one):
http://followinglearning.blogspot.ae/2015/12/making-sense.html


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

Often I try to close out on an up beat note, but this week instead am just dropping in this classic, old Jacob Bronowski clip once again:




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: