...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

Friday, February 23, 2018

For Those Wanting Math Instead of MaraLago on the Weekend

Short Potpourri this week, as I’ve been too busy watching NRA officers and our knuckledragging Groper-and-Chief pretend, against all evidence to the contrary, that they have human feelings…

1)  Brief NY Times book blurbs on statistical inference:

2)  I was a bit surprised by how many and varied comments this Cliff Pickover algebraic tweet generated:

3)  If you have dual interests in music and math you’ll want to read Evelyn Lamb’s review of a recent book on such:

4) Seven Questions With Francis Edward Su”… a short interview with Dr. Su, with wonderful questions!:

5)  Patrick Honner is the latest guest on My Favorite Theorem:

6)  Brian Hayes wrote briefly of some older books HERE, and I blurbed about a recent volume yesterday.

side-note: I don't visit Terry Tao's blog often (not having the math chops for it), so not sure how long ago this happened, but when I stopped by this week his blog banner had changed to a quote from the Statue of Liberty:

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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

1)  Interesting Slate Money Podcast last weekend on cryptocurrencies:

2)  Last week TED Radio Hour ran (or re-ran) the story of Daniel Kish, who, blind from early on, developed his own click/echolocation technique for navigating the world (and now teaches the method to other blind people). I’ve linked to his story before, and still consider it one of the most phenomenal, almost incomprehensible, stories of human behavior/ability I’ve ever heard:

Friday, February 16, 2018

Another Weekly Mathy-mix

In the event li'l Donald wanted to read some math this weekend, I compiled a few things:

1)  Banach-Tarski patiently explained (…by someone needing a job):

2)  "Linguistics Using Category Theory" via John Baez (a bit heavy reading requiring some understanding of category theory, but potentially interesting):

3)  Patterns?… “Mystery and Music of the Kaprekar Constant”:

4)  “Orthogons” via Brent Yorgey (h/t Patrick Honner):

5)  Probabilistic judgements via Quanta Magazine:

6)  Dave Richeson learning some math from his son’s Algebra 2 class:

7)  Tanya Khovanova offers a puzzle for our times:

8)  The latest issue of online journal Inference has some math-related content:

9)  Tangential to math, Scott Aaronson took a Wash. Post writer to task (on quantum computing) leading to a slew of comments:

10)  For those of you with mathematician spouses, Ben Orlin offered Valentine poems this week that could melt their hearts (… or… maybe NOT):

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

1)  The disappearance of airline flight MH370 is surely one of the greatest mysteries of my lifetime… and, we’re told, it could happen again (h/t Mike Lawler):

2)  Sabine Hossenfelder tweeted out this helpful, graphic link to rhetorical and logical fallacies this week:

Friday, February 9, 2018


While the Colluder-In-Chief tries to consolidate his fiefdom and schedule parades, I consolidated some math offerings:

1)  Yet another profile of mathematician/hedge fund manager Jim Simons:

2)  Do Google searches predict Bitcoin prices?:

3)  Patrick Honner back in Quanta Magazine (on vaccines):

4)  Did you miss e Day?… Ben Orlin celebrated!:
(if you missed it, it will come around again in Europe later this year)

…and of course Evelyn Lamb will never miss any mathy-excuse to celebrate either:

5)  Statistics crash course:

6)  Tanya Khovanova asks… and answers “Why?”:

7)  More of Keith Devlin on math education and math application:

8)  Videos from the San Diego Joint Math Meetings in January have now been posted:

9)  hmmm... flipped classrooms... how about flipped conferences (goes beyond just math conferences):

10)  And a little bit of math weirdness from Futility Closet:

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

1)  The latest, and last, ‘annual question’ from John Brockman’s “Edge”:

2)  will end with yet another guitar rendition of Pachelbel Canon (…before an Executive Order gets issued commanding that we all listen to Wagner):

Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Math Miscellany

While Donald & Melania are busy sorting out their marital bliss, here's plenty of math bliss for the rest of us to attend to:

1)  Excellent TED Radio Hour last week on algorithms:

2)  Canning efficiency (mathematically speaking); h/t @MathematicsProf:

3)  More teaching tips from someone named Fawn:

4)  Why Colleges Must Change How They Teach Calculus”:

5)  3Blue1Brown looks at Fourier Transforms:

6)  Who knew prime numbers could be THIS popular:

7)  Good or bad approach to ‘thinking outside the box’?:

8)  A blogger picks out 5 must-see math TED talk videos:

9)  Mathematics Rising on math, information, and consciousness:

10)  Moravec’s Paradox via DataGenetics:

11)  Evelyn Lamb recounts her math doings & more for the month of January in her latest TinyLetter:

12)  And if all that isn't enough reading material for you, plenty more in the latest (free) edition of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics here:

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

1)  There are plenty of good pieces on Thomas Kuhn out there, and now another:

2)  Biotech continues advancing in leaps-and-bounds… $1000 hand-held gene sequencer now available: