...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, August 25, 2017

The Weekly Math-mix


Week 30 with our now Bannon-less President has come & gone.
The math keeps on coming:

1)  Ilona Vaschyshyn is “sick of viral math”:

2)  Math isn't just useful, it’s also amazing, fun, exhilarating, fascinating, beautiful (via Eugenia Cheng):

3)  Podcast #3 from Evelyn Lamb and Kevin Knudson available at Evelyn’s blog here:

4)  Emily Riehl is interviewed, in part on category theory:

5)  Andrew Gelman with a research/analysis proposal, separating data-reporting and analysis:

6)  Cathy O’Neil’s 13-min. TED Talk on big data has now been posted:

7)  Here’s a nice collection of classroom management posts:

8)  New 3-part series on math and the brain from PBS’sInfinite Series” begins here:

9)  Over at Math-Frolic I did 4 quickie posts in a row this week: a Sunday reflection, a puzzle, a parody, and a musing over statues.

10) Wonderful AMS interview with Kelsey Houston-Edwards, host of the PBS’s “Infinite Series,” mentioned above:

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

1)  If you missed the eclipse totality, National Geographic & Cara Santa Maria were there to share it with you:

2)  And speaking of the eclipse, see Americans really ARE interested in science (h/t Jennifer Ouellette):
https://qz.com/1061340/during-the-2017-solar-eclipse-pornhub-and-netflixs-us-traffic-dropped-substantially/

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p.s…: Did ya all notice this week that a couple of those who resigned from Trump's Administration (…such as it is), ‘encrypted’ messages into their letters of resignation. Seems like something we might all start doing, even in blog posts…


Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Helping of Potpourri


It’s August 2017 and I’m being distracted by Nazis in America… who’d-a-thunk-it! 
Anyway, a little bit of math, after week 29 under our Aryan President:

1)  Another new mathy podcast:

2) Of ants and math… who knew!:

3)  Fawn Nguyen talks classroom management:

4)  John Baez’s initial comments on a new P vs. NP proof (that's not expected to survive scrutiny):
…a longer take on it here:

5)  At least two new popular math books worth a mention:
Significant Figures” from Ian Stewart
…and “Arithmetic” from Paul Lockhart

6)  Brand-spanking new from James Propp, in case your knowledge of Arthur Engel and ‘chip firings’ is a bit shallow: 
…see also his ‘Barefoot MathYouTube site:

7)  Patrick Honner offers a primer on symmetry via Quanta Magazine:

8)  Need more to read?… Peter Cameron recently pointed out the latest edition (June) of the European Mathematical Society’s newsletter:
http://www.ems-ph.org/journals/newsletter/pdf/2017-06-104.pdf
(...includes a longish, somewhat different take on "Mathematics and Music" beginning on pg. 41)

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

1)  Timely: folks have been passing around Annie Dillard’s 1982 essay, “Total Eclipse”:

2)  I don’t generally read older philosophers anymore, but Scott Aaronson recently recommended that everyone read John Stuart Mill’s “The Subjection of Women” (60 pgs.), saying  “Everyone should read it carefully and reflect on it if they haven’t already.” So maybe I’ll try to get to it this weekend:

HAPPY eclipse-watching everybody!, and ohh, maybe just one last thing for the week:



Friday, August 11, 2017

Some Math Bits


Week #28 of the Trumpocalypse came and went, and so far not a single nuclear exchange has transpired… so on with some math:

1) Explaining Gödel to lay folks:

2)  From Will Gervais one of the more fun, entertaining, and thoughtful reads I’ve come across since the whole psychology-replication issue hit the fan:

3)  If you love baseball… and Paul Erdös, you’ll love this Numberphile episode from a few days back:

4)  Kevin Hartnett reports on two new ‘rare mathematical jewels’:

5)  An interview with always-exuberant James Grime:
(…it reminded me of one of my earliest interviews which was also with James:

6)  A rough year for a math teacher:
…I wish I felt more confident that the next 3 will be any better :(

8)  I offered up a quick list of my favorite books for a desert isle… or, more likely a Trump-induced exile:


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

1) Last weekend, NPR’s RadioLab re-ran their incredible story of Lucy… the chimp… but by the end have some kleenex ready:

2) Peter Woit worries over the current state of physics/cosmology/science:


Friday, August 4, 2017

A Few Picks From the Week


Some math I looked at whildst surviving week #27 of the Trumpian cesspool (now headed to a grand jury):

1) John Baez is turning his sights on biology, and in turn chemistry:

2)  A little bit on graph theory and Ramsey numbers:

3)  A lot of cool responses/comments to a question Grant Sanderson posed on Twitter this week:

4)  A relatively new (couple months old) statistics blog here:

5)  Tim Gowers’ efforts to “flip” journals, paying off:
https://gowers.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/another-journal-flips/

6)  Patrick Honner recaps the problems with the NY State Regents Math Exam:
http://mrhonner.com/archives/17804

7)  Okay, not much math here, but I just enjoy statistician Gelman when he’s peeved at psychology:
http://andrewgelman.com/2017/07/31/letter-editor-perspectives-psychological-science/

8)  Episode 2 of Kevin Knudson/EvelynLamb's "My Favorite Theorem" podcast, with Dave Richeson:
https://kpknudson.com/my-favorite-theorem/

9)  Need more math enjoyment?:
Evelyn Lamb’s monthly reading suggestions for your pleasure here:

…and the new “Carnival of Mathematics” here:

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

1)  Yet another science podcast debuted this week (“Methods”) with 3 episodes right off the bat:

2)  A new map of the Universe's dark matter:
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40817897