...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 25, 2016

Weekly Look-back


For your weekend reading:

1)
  Interview with John Baez (mathematical-physics stuff), in two parts:
https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/interview-part-1/
https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/interview-part-2/

...AND John has a fascinating little post on "common prime gaps" at "n-category Cafe" here:
https://golem.ph.utexas.edu/category/2016/03/the_most_common_prime_gaps.html

2)  For those into foundational issues, "Logic Matters" reports that philosopher Penelope Maddy (who I interviewed here last year) has a new paper available for download:
http://www.logicmatters.net/2016/03/21/penelope-maddy-on-set-theoretic-foundations/

3)  Plenty more links at the new (132nd) "Carnival of Mathematics":
http://mathlesstraveled.com/2016/03/21/carnival-of-mathematics-132/

4)  In this time of routine math-education criticism, another British piece "In Defence of Maths":
https://theconversation.com/in-defence-of-maths-56380

5)  John Cook offers an introductory take on category theory:
http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2016/03/22/categorical-products/

6)  Mike Lawler touts sphere-packing in 8 dimensions as a problem worth sharing with the public:
https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/a-challenge-for-professional-mathematicians/

(of course this is only one of the 127 new videos Mike put up on his site this week.... ok, so I exaggerate a little -- actually, as referenced at Math-Frolic**, I'm even more intrigued by a post of Mike's that includes no video)

7)  This week Ben Orlin counsels us on fractions versus decimals, and doesn't hesitate to throw in bad drawings along the way:
http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/2016/03/23/decimal-crazed-lunatics/

8)  Nassim Taleb uploads a YouTube clip on "Meta-Distribution of Standard P-Values":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qrfSh07rT0

You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8uY6yLP9BS4BUc9BSc0Jww

9)  Vi Hart recommends this new Numberphile video on polytopes in higher dimensions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s4TqVAbfz4&feature=youtu.be

10)  An interesting Nature Backchat podcast this week, including several math-related topics:
http://www.acast.com/nature/natureextra-backchatmarch2016?autoplay

11)  Doron Zeilberger ruminates on checkers, chess, Go... and pure math:
http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~zeilberg/Opinion149.html

12)  ICYMI, last weekend I interviewed Katie Steckles of The Aperiodical HERE, and if you want to hear Katie's British accent (and see her purple hair), plus Magazine just ran a quick video with her yesterday talking about creativity in math:
https://plus.maths.org/content/mathematical-moments-katie-steckles


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

1) 
Fascinating health tale from a neuroscientist recently in NY Times:
http://tinyurl.com/hlgztrd

2)  OK singles, if you're still using Tinder or OK Cupid, you are SOOOOO yesterday... get with the current program for gosh-sakes:
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/love-armpit-new-york-s-smell-dating-n544916

** Please will SOMEone explain this, before it drives me, and/or Mike, batty.


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