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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Catching Up On a Few Thangs


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

An eclectic potpourri of links to get 2013 underway….

1) Last week, American Radioworks had a wonderful (hr.-long) show on the varieties of online higher education (not restricted to math education, but in general), entitled "Keyboard College." A highly worthwhile listen, if you missed it:

http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/tomorrows-college/keyboard-college/

2) The Indian prodigy mathematician Ramanujan continues to amaze long after his death. Fascinating piece on mystical deathbed conjectures the young Indian made (inspired by a Hindu goddess) that have been proven true 90 years later:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2254352/Deathbed-dream-puzzles-renowned-Indian-mathematician-Srinivasa-finally-solved--100-years-died.html

...also, apparently a film of Ramanujan's life, "The Genius of Ramanujan" is due for release next March.

3) For William Thurston fans (of which there are many), a quite long read here on Thurston and the Haken conjecture:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=getting-into-shapes

4) The below site, I only recently learned of, may appeal to young math problem solvers and contestants out there:

http://blog.brilliant.org/

It offers up (level-appropriate) 'challenging' problems to participants on a weekly basis. Be sure to read the "FAQ," "How It Works," and "Blog" sections.

5) I remember Tom Lehrer as a satirical singer-songwriter in the 1960s when I was growing up. A recent post from another blog though reminds/informs? me that Lehrer was actually a professional Harvard-trained mathematician before he found entertaining on a stage more lucrative.
Anyway, as a victim of the 60's 'New Math,' this is how I remember him:



6) I haven't posted a puzzle on the blog for awhile, but here's a beautiful geometry one recently posted at "Futility Closet":

http://www.futilitycloset.com/2012/12/23/belt-loop/

7) And, in case that was too easy for you (though I doubt it) you can always download this PDF to learn about "the hardest logic puzzle ever" (originally stemming from Raymond Smullyan, and involving asking questions of gods):

http://www.snsanalytics.com/ask7y0


...and next up will be the first brand-spanking Math-Frolic interview of 2013... introducing someone most of you likely don't know.



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