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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rehmeyer On Tuesday


Sol Lederman faces the same difficulty with his podcasts that I've encountered with my transcribed interviews… finding more female mathematicians to participate. But he did snag the exuberant Julie Rehmeyer, mathematician/writer/columnist, for his latest effort. Listen here:

http://wildaboutmath.com/2013/02/18/julie-rehmeyer-inspired-by-math-21/

You can peruse Julie's old columns (called "Math Trek") for "Science News" here:

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/authored/id/43/name/Julie_Rehmeyer

And if you're in the mood to bang your brain around a good bit I recommend you start with her 2010 piece on the so-called "boy born on Tuesday" problem. This is one of the successors to the Monty Hall puzzle as one of the most highly-debated probability conundrums in recent times (…and I'd call it considerably more complicated than Monty Hall). Her take below (be sure to read the 70+ comments that follow... and perhaps have some Advil handy ;-)):

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/60598/description/When_intuition_and_math_probably_look_wrong

(I'd just note that much of the debate over the 'correct' answer for this puzzle, and many others, stems from the different unspoken assumptions made with any given wording of the problem. Words and language almost always contain ambiguity, sometimes very subtly so, and ambiguity is the enemy of mathematics/probability... or consensus!).


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