...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, March 18, 2016

Potpourri


This week's miscellany:

1)
  John Baez with lots of good notes/links on category theory:
https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/category-theory-course-notes/

2)  A series of lectures on the Langlands program from Ed Frenkel:
http://www.msri.org/web/msri/scientific/workshops/other-workshops/frenkel-langlands

3)  Tim Gowers' response to some of the recent popular press criticism of math education in Britain:
http://tinyurl.com/hx2qmbv

4) 
Yeah, yeah, we had another Pi Day (...seems to happen every year about this time!), and plenty of postings, of which I'll just mention two (Vi Hart & Ben Orlin):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vydPOjRVcSg&feature=youtu.be
http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2016/03/14/the-pi-day-recipe-book/

5)  Everyone probably knows by now that Andrew Wiles just won the Abel Prize, but ICYMI The Aperiodical covered some of the other mathematical awards given out of late:
http://aperiodical.com/2016/03/awards-season/

6)  Chalkdust issue #3 now out:
https://issuu.com/chalkdust/docs/chalkdust-issue-03/1?e=16395586/34110195

7)
  Peter Cameron reviews the new Ramanujan biopic:
https://cameroncounts.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/the-man-who-knew-infinity/

8)  Another fantastic post from James Propp (this time on intuition, proof,... and discomfort):
https://mathenchant.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/believe-it-then-dont-toward-a-pedagogy-of-discomfort/

9)  Over at FiveThirtyEight blog this followup discussion to AlphaGo's thrashing of a human Go player:
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/dont-forget-humans-created-the-computer-program-that-can-beat-humans-at-go/

10)  ICYMI, I reported some of the links for the big prime number story of the week in this earlier post at Math-Frolic:
http://math-frolic.blogspot.com/2016/03/story-of-week-and-its-only-tuesday.html

...and be sure to return here on Sunday when I'll have up another Math-Frolic Interview, this time with a major math enthusiast from the other side of the pond as they say (no, no, not Andrew Wiles, but still a good one).

Lastly, my sympathies to all those who's March Madness brackets are already in a shambles, but as bracketologist Tim Chartier tweets, "Let go of perfection and embrace the Madness."


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

1) 
A fascinating little ecological mystery from Ed Yong in Atlantic Magazine this week:
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/03/mysterious-fairy-circles-australia-namibia/473625/

2)  Fine interview over at Retraction Watch with John Ioannidis on supposed "evidence-based medicine":
http://retractionwatch.com/2016/03/16/evidence-based-medicine-has-been-hijacked-a-confession-from-john-ioannidis/


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