**":**

*One Girl's Romp Through M.I.T.'s Male Math Maze*
h/t to Julie Rehmeyer for pointing to some short (~4-5 min.) video clips relating the issue of gender in mathematics, as touched upon by the play entitled, "*One Girl's Romp Through M.I.T.'s Male Math Maze*":

It was a slow math weekend, so here's all I got for you:

Having a child anytime soon... have you considered the name "Seven"? Mona Chalabi reports finding 1584 people in the U.S. with that very appellation, more than any other integer between 1 and 20:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/there-are-1584-people-in-america-named-seven/

As you may recall, in a survey less than 2 years ago, "Seven" was also found to be the world's "

...as George Costanza was thrilled to inform you:

And if you don't want to name your kid in honor of Mickey Mantle, well, fine, name him/her "Yogi" instead.

Sunday's Reflection:

"

"…During his four minutes, Alain Connes, a professor at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques, described reality as being far more 'subtle' than materialism would suggest. To understand our world we require analogy -- the quintessentially human ability to make connections ('reflections' he called them, or 'correspondences') between disparate things. The mathematician takes into another hoping that they will take, and not be rejected by the recipient domain. The creator of 'noncommutative geometry', Connes himself has applied geometrical ideas to quantum mechanics. Metaphors, he argued, are the essence of mathematical thought.

"Sir Michael Atiyah, a former director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, used his four minutes to speak about mathematical ideas 'like visions, pictures before the eyes.' As if painting a picture or dreaming up a scene in a novel, the mathematician creates and explores these visions using intuition and imagination. Atiyah's voice, soft and earnest, made attentive listeners of everyone in the room. Not a single cough or whisper intervened. Truth, he continued, is a goal of mathematics, though it can only ever be grasped partially, whereas beauty is immediate and personal and certain. 'Beauty puts us on the right path.'

-- Daniel Tammet, from "

Had so many links to use for the potpourri over at

Latest (126th) "

https://cavmaths.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/carnival-of-mathematics/

New "

https://lifethroughamathematicianseyes.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/math-teachers-at-play-90/

I'll remind folks that Presh Talwalkar also does a weekly wrap up of math picks

...and Crystal Kirch has been doing

If there are other regular weekly math linkfests you think worth knowing about, feel free to send them along (via comments or email). I'm happy to publicize other sites that are spreading the math wealth!

...and as always,

https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/

Greg Williams caricature via WikimediaCommons |

Hmmm, after using this quote for decades, I just suddenly realized what a deep-thinking set-theorist Groucho Marx was (...and, a whole LOT funnier than Bertrand Russell too!).

;-)

Yesterday, Peter Woit passed along some interesting Riemann Hypothesis links here:

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=7996

Recommended to

==> UGHH, looks like link for download no longer works, so consider yourself lucky if you already got it; otherwise look forward to the book when eventually published. I understand the publisher not wishing free downloads to be available; on-the-other-hand I suspect most of those downloading will eventually want a hard copy of the final version anyway.

A super post from biologist Lior Pachter addressing Common Core from a different angle, employing

https://liorpachter.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/unsolved-problems-with-the-common-core/

As Pachter puts it, he believes there is a major "

Pachter proposes several unsolved problems that can be introduced to young people at different levels. While admitting that K-12 students aren't likely to find solutions to such problems he argues that the problems

Just a remarkable post I commend to all educators! (some of the perspective Pachter is proposing I think may already be inherent to the goals of Common Core, but not in the precise way he outlines).

Sunday reflection....

-- David Berlinski (from "

[p.s., over at

To end the week, a problem very similar to the famous "two envelope paradox," except that while the two envelope version continues to be a source of contentious debate, the "

I've adapted this from Thomas Povey's "

You're handed an envelope, which upon opening, has X number of dollars in it. The presenter now places (out of your view) 2X dollars into another envelope and X/2 dollars in a third indistinguishable envelope (i.e. the values could be 100, 200, and 50). Now you are asked if you wish to hold onto your current envelope with X dollars or swap for either of the other two envelopes. Should you swap???

This sounds very similar to the two-envelope situation but is subtly different. In the two-envelope case, the X value used must simultaneously or ambiguously be viewed as potentially the largest or the smallest value when computing the various probable outcomes. In the three envelope case we have 3 distinctive and fixed values, X/2, X, 2X. As a result it turns out that the computed "expected value" of switching is more definitively 5X/4, and thus worth doing (i.e., 5X/4 is greater than X).

[ 5X/4, by the way, is one of the solutions to the two-envelope paradox as well, obviously arguing for swapping; the problem is that alternative calculations are logically possible that lead to a don't-swap conclusion -- and the back-and-forth arguments, based on small nuances, could give you a migraine! ;-)]

The latest from the remarkable Vi Hart (and you'll be pleased to know it involves a notebook, not a microwave oven ;-):

This morning's Sunday reflection from Stanislas Dehaene's "

"[Jacques] Hadamard deconstructed the process of mathematical discovery into four successive stages: initiation, incubation, illumination, and verification.Initiationcovers all the preparatory work, the deliberate conscious exploration of a problem. This frontal attack, unfortunately, often remains fruitless -- but all may not be lost, for it launches the unconscious mind on a quest. Theincubationphase -- an invisible brewing period during which the mind remains vaguely preoccupied with the problem but shows no conscious sign of working hard on it -- can start. Incubation would remain undetected, were it not for its effects. Suddenly, after a good night's sleep or a relaxing walk,illuminationoccurs: the solution appears in all its glory and invades the mathematician's conscious mind. More often than not, it is correct. However, a slow and effortful process of consciousverificationis nevertheless required to nail all the details down."

In his latest book, "

It seems that in the mid-1600s the ever-inquisitive Pierre de Fermat sought a Pythagorean triple wherein the SUM of the two smaller values (

Well, he found one such triple:

(a) 4,565,486,027,761

(b) 1,061,652,293,520 and

(c) 4,687,298,610,289

where a + b = 5,627,138,321,281 or 2,372,159

Mind you, of course, no computers in those days!

MOREOVER, Fermat proved that this was the

All of which leads me to imagine being alive in 1643 (when Fermat concocted the problem) and sayin', "

A bit ago, in reaction to a list compiled at

Will start with this baker's dozen (in alphabetical order):

http://bit-player.org/

https://casmusings.wordpress.com/

http://www.mathteacherctk.com/blog/

http://devlinsangle.blogspot.com/

http://errorstatistics.com/

https://rjlipton.wordpress.com/

http://math-blog.com/

http://mathwithbaddrawings.com/

https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/

http://mindyourdecisions.com/blog/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoxcjq-8xIDTYp3uz647V5A

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/

http://blog.tanyakhovanova.com/

There
are **LOTS** of primary and secondary math education blogs that are
excellent as well, but I don't follow many of them closely enough to
include in a personal faves list (but they're out there).

Below are five additional sites whose mathematical content I GREATLY enjoy,

http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/

http://www.futilitycloset.com/

http://mathbabe.org/

https://www.quantamagazine.org/

http://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/

Finally, to round up to 20 picks, I'll throw in two other sites that aren't blogs, but are full of good stuff:

http://www.jamestanton.com/

https://plus.maths.org/content/

Though a bit short of education blogs and highly-technical sites, the above 20 picks should offer a wide-ranging, varied mix of content for the popular math reader (and at mathblogging.org there are 100s more to sample).

Quick and short Sunday reflection today:

"Good mathematicians see analogies between theorems or theories, but the very best ones see analogies between analogies."

-- Stefan Banach

2 longish reads to pass along today....

A thoughtful post (including the above) from"For reasons that I don’t fully understand, our mathematical culture encourages us to define our mathematical ability by what we don’t know, what we aren’t able to do, rather than by what we do know and have learned how to do. The power of culture is strong, with deep roots…"

It's about our self-perception, as math students, of our own abilities, and how that aids or hinders us.

Then, interestingly, the latest post from Keith Devlin reviewing a new math-oriented movie, "

http://devlinsangle.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-brilliant-young-mind-imo-goes-to.html

Good reads, and food for thought, if you can set aside a little time....

(also, both posts contain several additional interesting links)

This study in

Virginia Mayo takes an extended, more nuanced look at the issue here:

Worthwhile reading if you've been following the controversy (one dispute is whether the statistical methods employed are inherently weak/poor, even in need of being discarded, or are the methods fine, but simply abused/misused often in their application).

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