...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, January 29, 2016

Miscellany From the Week


ICYM any of these...

1)  Evelyn Lamb explains a bit about RSA encryption, via the latest prime number discovery:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/psa-do-not-use-the-new-prime-number-for-rsa-encryption/

...and Dr. Lamb's latest on planet topology and "the Euler characteristic":
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/how-to-tell-the-earth-is-a-sphere-without-going-into-space/

2)  Educational behemoth Pearson affected by controversy over Common Core:
http://tinyurl.com/hyga2ta

3) 
Podcast interview with educator Dan Meyer:
https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-01-27-famed-math-teacher-dan-meyer-on-the-state-of-math-education-today

4)  plus Magazine gives you a minute's-worth of Bayes Theorem:
https://plus.maths.org/content/maths-minute-bayes-theorem

5)  81-year-old math teacher gettin' the job done in Wash. DC.:
http://tinyurl.com/z4u9gmz

6) 
Conspiracies (unraveling) and mathematics (h/t Egan Chernoff):
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35411684

7) 
Like many this week, R.J. Lipton and Ken Regan paid tribute to Marvin Minsky:
https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/minsky-the-theorist/

8)  In big Artificial Intelligence news, a computer defeated a world class "Go" player. Jason Rosenhouse, among many, covered the story:
http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2016/01/28/computer-go-player-defeats-top-human-player/

...and a skeptical look from Gary Marcus (also bringing Marvin Minsky into the discussion):
http://tinyurl.com/h5mc69e

9) 
An interactive "guess-the-correlation game" (h/t  the Aperiodical):
http://guessthecorrelation.com/
  

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

1)  Alan Lightman (in Harper's) on quantum cosmology:
http://harpers.org/archive/2016/01/what-came-before-the-big-bang/?single=1

2)  I'll just drop this here for the humor... and hope it doesn't outrage anyone:
http://fxdiebold.blogspot.com/2016/01/strippers-jfk-stalin-and-oxford-comma.html



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