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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wherefore Art Thou Alan Sokal...


(image via WikimediaCommons)
Too chuckle-worthy not to pass along… (it would be even more amusing if it weren't also troubling):

One "Marcie Rathke" seems to have composed a mathematical paper (kids, can you spell "r-a-n-d-o-m-w-o-r-d-g-e-n-e-r-a-t-o-r") that got accepted by an open-access math journal, yet makes even less sense than physicist Alan Sokal's 1996 venture into postmodernism.
One kinda expects this sort of escapade in some academic areas, but less so in mathematics (the math journal involved, "Advances in Pure Mathematics," despite the nice-sounding name, is one of the many less-than-kosher pay-to-play journals that have sprouted up in the digital age). One might also expect something better from any professor employed by the "University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople"... or, perhaps not.
(p.s. anyone know Alan Sokal's current university-affiliation?) ;-) Read all about the story at these links:

http://thatsmathematics.com/blog/archives/102

http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2012/10/17/paul-taylor/stochastically-orthogonal/

Hat tip to "Aperiodical" for bringing this story to my attention.

Oh, and for all you up-and-coming math majors out there who are in need of a little assist, here is where the paper was generated:

http://thatsmathematics.com/mathgen/

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