...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, June 10, 2016

End-of-week Links....


A few picks from the week:

1)  Ubiquitous math communicator/author Marcus du Sautoy was on Jim Al-Khalili's BBC podcast "The Life Scientific" this week (27 mins.):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07dlww4

2)  Petra Menz battles adversity to get math PhD. 21 years late:
https://www.sfu.ca/sfunews/stories/2016/sfu-convocation-june-2016/love-for-math-trounces-adversity.html

3)  A little statistics primer from Allen Downey (h/t Patrick Honner):
http://allendowney.blogspot.com/2016/06/there-is-still-only-one-test.html

...and a bit more heavyweight statistics (from Deborah Mayo/Daniel Lakens) on the ongoing debate over research significance tests:
http://tinyurl.com/zwoa3hr

4)  Formulae generating primes:
https://thatsmaths.com/2016/06/09/prime-generating-formulae/

5)  Ben Orlin on polynomials and the 'playground of reason':
http://tinyurl.com/z2h83b8

6)  Not math, but Terry Tao speaks out, essentially on America's flirtation with fascism (unfortunately the comments section is largely infiltrated by TrumpTrolls who I can only guess have some sort of visceral psycho-sexual attraction to Trump; at least I don't know how else to account for their support 8-/  ...would be interesting to learn how many of the responses emanate from a single computer, somewhere in, say, Trump Tower perhaps; depending what tracking software Terry uses for his blog he can likely pinpoint the sources of comments):
http://tinyurl.com/hr7uz6q

...and Scott Aaronson followed up on Tao's post here:
http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=2777

[p.s... I still think there's no more than a 50/50 chance that Trump will be running for President come the Fall, but IF he is, I presume many MORE scientists/mathematicians will, like Terry and Scott, join a STEM cavalcade speaking out.]

7)  Robert Talbert on the growing research database regarding "flipped learning":
http://rtalbert.org/blog/2016/how-much-research

8)  The always-interesting Steve Strogatz answering a lot of big questions:
http://www.businessinsider.com/steven-strogatz-interview-on-math-education-2016-6

9)  Regular readers here know that if a new "Devlin's Angle" column is posted, I'm going to link to it (in this instance it's actually a revived 10-year-old piece from Keith, on "Infinity and Intuition"):
https://devlinsangle.blogspot.com/2016/06/infinity-and-intuition.html

10)  Goodman, Fanelli, and Ioannidis on research reproducibility (h/t Deborah Mayo):
http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/8/341/341ps12.full

11)  ICYMI, early in the week I talked to the writer of some of the best, most-thoughtful math blog posts around, Jim Propp:
http://mathtango.blogspot.com/2016/06/jim-propp-enchanting-us-with-math.html

...and Evelyn Lamb wrote more beautifully than I could about Jim's blog a day later:
http://tinyurl.com/z6ett3x


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

1)  Got a lot of chuckles from this initial oddball story in the "Prologue" plus "Act One" of last week's "This American Life":
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/588/mind-games-2016

2)  Interesting bird story involving the role of expectation in human judgment:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/east-of-siberia-an-osprey-until-it-wasn-t/