...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, February 12, 2016

A Few From the Week Gone By

 Friday potpourri:

1)  Andrew Hacker, no stranger to controversy, returns to the NY Times for an interview about math education:
http://tinyurl.com/gradssr

2) 
Taking off from Mike Lawler, who took off from James Propp, "Three J's Learning" explores surreal numbers with kids:
http://3jlearneng.blogspot.com/2016/02/surreal-numbers-and-whole-body-integers.html

...and just today Mike L. reports on his night of exploring the surreals with 4th & 5th graders:
https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/sharing-the-surreal-numbers-with-kids/

3)  NPR's RadioLab
re-ran their segment on "Turing's Machines" this week. Certainly worth a listen if you've not heard it before:
http://www.radiolab.org/story/turings-machines/

4) 
From Arthur Clarke to learning to P vs. NP (via RJ Lipton & KW Regan):
https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/magic-to-do/

5) 
Not all the math literacy news is bad... article (The Atlantic) on the increase in advanced math clubs in U.S.:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/03/the-math-revolution/426855/

...you may also want to peruse Cathy O'Neil's concerns about such programs having an elitist bent:
http://mathbabe.org/2016/02/09/how-do-we-make-math-enrichment-less-elitist/

6) 
The "Union-closed sets conjecture" via Futility Closet (in case, like me, you'd never heard of it):
http://www.futilitycloset.com/2016/02/09/the-union-closed-sets-conjecture/

7) 
David Wells has begun the "Archimedes Mathematics Education Newsletter" (h/t to Alexander Bogomolny); looks promising:
https://t.co/iAqKIFbUt0

8)  'Uncle Colin' works out an inequality for a reader:
http://www.flyingcoloursmaths.co.uk/ask-uncle-colin-absolute-mess/

9)  You dear reader, are most likely exceptional (...at something); so Keith Devlin tells us in his latest blog post:
http://devlinsangle.blogspot.com/2016/02/theorem-you-are-exceptional.html


10)  Another probability conundrum from DataGenetics:
http://datagenetics.com/blog/february32016/index.html

11)  Feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't pass along at least a few of the huge plethora of articles on the new LIGO gravitational wave finding; as one quote puts it, "We’re saying that we made a measurement that is about a thousandth the diameter of a proton, that tells us about two black holes that merged over a billion years ago.” ...MIND.... BLOWN!....:

From The New Yorker:  http://tinyurl.com/jftsnzh
Dennis Overbye in the NY Times:  http://tinyurl.com/h4yp5kd
And Natalie Wolchover via Quanta Magazine:  http://tinyurl.com/jm2xfyq 


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

1)   Fascinating 7-minute episode from TEDRadioHour on filming, for the first time, a giant squid in the deep ocean:
http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=373978671&m=375892022

2)  Natalie Angier tells NY Times readers about the human brain's special affinity for music:

http://tinyurl.com/hbmx34s


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