...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.

"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

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Blowing Out Candles

Today is MathTango’s 5-year anniversary (...will wonders never cease!); in commemoration, before blowing out the candles, I'll just link to a few of my favorite miscellaneous posts over that time (no particular order):

Tribute to David Foster Wallace:

Review of Siobhan Roberts’ “Genius At Play,” my favorite volume of 2015:

Interviewing Fawn Nguyen:

Anniversary of Alan Sokal’s hoax:
On Platonism:

Friday, January 26, 2018

I Was Too Busy Collecting Math Stuff To Make It To Davos This Year

While Demagogue Donald dances in Davos (and Melania stays home sticking pins into her Stormy Daniels doll) I put together a deservedly delicious Friday math potpourri:

1)  Infinite Series this week on “Brouwer’s Fixed Point Theorem”:

2)  Chris Maslanka on BBC radio about “two thousand years of puzzling”:

3)  Several wonderful links from Ben Orlin:

4)  ‘Making mathematics up as we go along’:

5)  Interesting plus Magazine post on the math of disease transmission/infection (via work by Steven Strogatz, et.al.):

6)The Joy of Mathematical Discovery” via AMS Blogs:

7)  New from Keith Devlin on math education:

8)  ...and more on education, and computation, from Robert Talbert:

9)  Still on education, Robert Kaplinsky asks, ‘what do kids understand?’:

10)  For a conversation that “can’t and won’t end anytime soon” (with several links):

11)  Eugenia Cheng was on latest edition of BBC’s “The Life Scientific”:

12)  The signal and the noise (via John Cook):

13)  As if Rubik’s Cube isn’t already devilish enough, Mike Lawler shows how to make it even more Satanic:

14)  Brian Hayes reviews a little of the recent JMM gathering in San Diego:

15)  Brand new from "Infinite Series" the "Silver Ratio":

Meanwhile, I just discovered this week that there is a specific MTBoS Twitter group for North Carolina, hashtag #MTBoSNC. I’m not a teacher myself so not of great practical relevance to me, but still interesting and makes me wonder how many other states have such state-focused groups? If you are a teacher may be worth looking into.
p.s… there’s also this worldwide MTBoS Directory available:

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

1)  Massimo Pigliucci on the string and multiverse wars in physics, and ‘Popperazism’:
…coincidentally, Sabine Hossenfelder discussing similar issues on NPR this week:

2)  Caveat emptor on consumer genetic-testing:

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Short Week-ending Math-Mix

A short potpourri this Friday… been a depressing week, learning that our Emperor may actually be healthy enough to continue tweeting and groping women for another decade or more…

1)  Margaret Wertheim on dimensions and reality:

2)  Latest from Jim Propp:

3)  And new from PBS’s Infinite Series:

4)  also new from Numberphile:

4)  A physicist looks at a math puzzle:

5)  Luckily, I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read Ben Orlin’s latest offering… or it would’ve ended up all over my keyboard:

6)  Michael Harris pens a bit of a tease at his long quiet blog (new book, or something else?… I DON’T think they’re making a big-screen movie out of his 1st book):

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

1)  On Twitter this week:

2)  ICYMI, the latest cover from Der SPIEGEL that says it all:

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Friday Weekly Grab-bag

While Trumpie was kept busy all week laundering money, I put together another Friday potpourri, in-between washing tie-dye T-shirts:

1)  Last week’s TED Radio Hour (on NPR) re-ran a popular entertaining excursion into numbers and math (and includes Randall Munroe):

2)  Interesting take on leaving the Langlands program:

3)  Nice introduction to some very basic statistics concepts and uncertainty:

4)  Peter Cameron on bees, Bayer, and publication:

5)  Andrew Gelman on ‘randomized controlled trials’ (…as if there is such a thing):

6)  20+ introductory videos on statistics from the “Statistics Learning Centre”:

7)  A listing of (mostly British) math podcasts you may enjoy:

8)  A tribute to John Cook upon a decade of blogging:

9)  A new episode of the “My Favorite Theorem” podcast is up:

11)  Finally (because there is most certainly math involved), science journalist learns poker from scratch and wins national championship:

…perhaps worth noting, some may want to follow along the ongoing Joint Math Meetings in San Diego through tomorrow, on Twitter or Facebook with hashtag #JMM2018

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

1)  Interesting piece, a bit ago, with philosopher Peter Unger:

2)  You either are or are not a Jerry Seinfeld fan… if you’re the former you’ll enjoy this audio interview with the New Yorker:

Friday, January 5, 2018

Potpourri getting 2018 underway

While Steve Bannon & Donny Trump were debating over just where to have a duel at 20 paces, while reverting America back to the 18th century, I was composing this week’s math potpourri:

1)  A “Journey From Frequentist to Bayesian Statistics” via Frank Harrell:

2)  Another observation from John Baez (and commenters):

3)  The latest from “Mathematics Rising” on probabilities, the brain, and perception:

4)  Evelyn Lamb’s January “TinyLetter” is out with a lot of varied material:
I’ll probably keep citing Dr. Lamb’s monthly newsletter in the “potpourris” BUT don’t rely on me; subscribe to it for your own email, if you haven’t already:

5)  “The Intrepid Mathematician” briefly tackles the Continuum Hypothesis:

6)  A new “Carnival of Mathematics” is up here:

7)  I s'pose if you wanted to impress some folks with your cognitive skills you could commit the latest-discovered prime number to memory:

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

1)  2017 ended with this viral tweet & comments… that was worth the wait (I never even managed to get to the end of the comments):

2)  ...and, just a lovely way to begin a new year ...though I suspect the year may rapidly go downhill from here :(((