...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 22, 2016

Mo' Math Potpourri


A few things from the week:

1)  Math and optical illusions:
http://nautil.us/issue/32/space/the-illusion-machine-that-teaches-us-how-we-see-rp

2)  A secondary teacher expresses a couple of concerns about her profession (the writer is British, but I suspect teachers in the U.S. and elsewhere share the same concerns):
http://www.resourceaholic.com/2016/01/worries.html

3)  New AMS piece (pdf) on star football player/mathematician John Urschel:
https://t.co/4S9nt5scNR

4)  Barry Mazur pays tribute to Grothendieck:
https://golem.ph.utexas.edu/category/2016/01/thinking_about_grothendieck.html

5)  Common Core tackled once again in the Wash. Post:
http://tinyurl.com/z87289y

6) 
Ken Ono talks about Ramanujan here:
https://youtu.be/EyvYr-2WLWg?t=3m45s

7) 
James Grime explains the quaternions for Numberphile:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BR8tK-LuB0&feature=youtu.be

8) 
ICYMI, a new record prime number (once again a Mersenne prime) discovered:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/22/science/new-biggest-prime-number-mersenne-primes.html

9)  Michael Harris writes about David Foster Wallace this week:
http://tinyurl.com/hb9vuqp

...it includes a link to his cerebral (and critical) review of Wallace's "Everything and More" (a volume I more simply and favorably overviewed HERE)

10)   Deborah Mayo attempting to explain p-values and type-1 and type-2 errors:
http://errorstatistics.com/2016/01/19/high-error-rates-in-discussions-of-error-rates-i/

11)  The big news in physics this week, if somehow you missed it, was the possible discovery of a 9th (large) planet in our solar system, not yet detected by sight, but rather by mathematical calculations:
http://tinyurl.com/zltj4n3
(this was NY Times reportage on Wed.; by today there may be newer, fuller articles)


12)  Don't forget to check MikesMathPage throughout each week for more educational posts than I can't keep up with:
http://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/

Meanwhile, on Monday I recommended some MacArthur Fellowship candidates... :-)
http://math-frolic.blogspot.com/2016/01/macarthur-fellows.html

(...and rest of week included Math-Frolic links to pieces from James Propp, Keith Devlin, Ben Orlin, Natalie Wolchover)

Hope you already saw my interview last weekend with Mircea Pitici, editor of "The Best Writing on Mathematics," but if not, check it out:
http://mathtango.blogspot.com/2016/01/mircea-pitici-bringing-us-best-of.html

And coming on Sun. I'll have a review here of Dr. Pitici's latest volume.


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

1) 
A fascinating first segment from This American Life last week regarding one individual and medical diagnosis:
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/577/something-only-i-can-see?act=1#play


same story told here by ProPublica:
https://www.propublica.org/article/muscular-dystrophy-patient-olympic-medalist-same-genetic-mutation

2)  Magician Raymond Teller, of Penn & Teller, on teaching (as magic):
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/01/what-classrooms-can-learn-from-magic/425100/


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