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Monday, October 8, 2012

Potpourri...


A mishmash of stuff today:

First off, in relation to the prior post, one of the individuals I was considering interviewing was Dr. Egan Chernoff (also known as "Matthew Maddux") who I know primarily from his Twitter feed. I wrote out a series of questions to send him, only to then discover that most of my questions were answered by a recent ("Second Life") video (~40 mins.) Egan provided to the Web (so for now I'll just refer you to this, and forgo an interview request):

http://blogs.sfu.ca/research/davidwheeler/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Chernoff_Maddux-Inaugural-Lecture-copy.mov

Salman Khan (Khan Academy) has a new book out: "The One World School House: Education Reimagined"
(Don't know if I'll find time to read it, but given the controversy in some quarters surrounding Khan's endeavor, I'd still recommend it to get his own take on matters.)

Keith Devlin updated the progress of his current Stanford MOOC 'mathematical thinking' course in this recent post:

http://mooctalk.org/2012/10/06/mooc-planning-part-8/

As most folks here probably already know, Vi Hart's first video on hexaflexagons went wondrously viral here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIVIegSt81k&list=UUOGeU-1Fig3rrDjhm9Zs_wg&index=1&feature=plcp

And her second video on them is now up as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paQ10POrZh8&list=UUOGeU-1Fig3rrDjhm9Zs_wg&index=1&feature=plcp

Worth noting (as Vi does) that hexaflexagons were first brought to American attention and popularity over 55 years ago by Martin Gardner in Scientific American, but one of the wonderful things about math is its timeless quality. Even topics that are centuries old, let alone a mere 55+ years, still can hold their fascination and allure!

On to other arts, where Mr. Honner cites recent works by Barry Cipra that are stories with no beginning and no end... composed on a Mobius strip:

http://gallery.bridgesmathart.org/exhibitions/2012-bridges-conference/bcipra

In arithmetic political news, Nate Silver reported in the NY Times last week on the chances of a tie (not likely, but possible) in the Electoral College in the American Presidential election:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/new-polls-raise-chance-of-electoral-college-tie/

And lastly, not really math, but since many math types have some interest in chess as well, am tossing in this bit of entertainment…

In the latest episode (#10) of Jerry Seinfeld's online venture "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee," starting at ~8:20 time point, Michael Richards tells a (seemingly sincere?) story of playing a homeless street 'savant' a couple of games of chess and being checkmated in minutes. I've never heard of such street chess savants; do they really exist or is it a fantasized story???:

http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/michael-richards-its-bubbly-time-jerry/

....enuf fer now.


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