Monday, September 17, 2018

The All-star Linkfest is Here...

Despite a few glitchy matters and some selections sent in that weren’t usable for various reasons, the “All-star linkfest” I sought is finally ready for prime-time. In retrospect, it seems like a near-impossible task, to pick out just 1 or 2 favorite math postings from a Web inundated with great mathematics, as the variety here will indicate:

Originally I kicked the project off citing a 2015 Lior Pachter piece on K-12 math education, with many great suggestions for math problems young people can work on:

…another long education piece I always think of in conjunction with Pachter’s piece (even though they are quite different) is this 2012 one from Fields Medalist Timothy Gowers on teaching math to non-mathematicians (with a couple hundred comments as well):

So much for me though, here are YOUR picks (in no special order):

Steven Strogatz surprised me a bit when he wrote that his first thought was this link to a mathematical fiction site (which is definitely useful for folks who like to link their love of fiction with their love of math — 100s of selections):

…but then as a more mathy choice (that he noted “everyone interested in math should read) Dr. Strogatz went with this classic from his former fellow Cornellian(?) William Thurston, “On Proof and Progress In Mathematics”:

No surprise that someone would pick Steven Strogatz himself for great postings, and Patrick Honner cited Dr. Strogatz's fantastic NY Times' series that started here (and led to an eventual book based on the series):

I would’ve been shocked if no one had chosen something from Grant Sanderson’s incredible 3Blue1Brown YouTube site, and I wasn’t disappointed. Sol Lederman (who it was great to hear from), formerly proprietor of the immensely popular “Wild About Math” blog, picked out Grant’s video on Euler’s Formula & group theory:

And Benjamin Leis also opted for the fabulous 3Blue1Brown, singling out this one on Pythagorean triples:

Mathematician/computer-scientist/author Rudy Rucker sent in this highly graphic selection on the Mandelbulb, a 3-D version of the better known Mandelbrot Set:

Colin Beveridge went with a StackExchange discussion of a Gaussian proof:

[…this made me think that another possible interesting “linkfest” might be to have readers send in their all-time favorite math questions/discussions/debates from forums like StackExchange, MathOverflow, Quora, Reddit, etc. I don’t read any of these sites regularly myself, but know there have been some great postings on occasion there.]

p.s.... any mention of Gauss can't help but also make me think of this favorite old humor site on "Gauss Facts" (too funny):

Of course none of us will forget the wonderful life-work Alexander Bogomolny left us with his Cut-the-knot site and Jim Wilder pointed to two problem-selections from there:

Jim Propp couldn’t contain himself and sent in the most links, six (including one from Evelyn Lamb and one from Ben Orlin), and because I like Jim so much I almost let him get away with it… am passing along 5 of his diverse picks here (the first four have a lot to say about mathematics, while the last one involves doing mathematics):

From Tim Chartier came this numerical math trick (requiring flash):

Meanwhile, leave it to Ben Orlin to send in cartoon work (not his own), on math myths, for readers to appreciate:

Statistician Adam Kucharski passed along this interesting one on random numbers and casinos:

An entry I particularly liked came from great math popularizer Richard Elwes with this longish piece on math foundations:

One individual wished to remain anonymous (not sure why) and sent in this somewhat classic Terry Tao piece (that’s readable by a general audience) on rigor in mathematics:

Colm Mulcahy went with Tyler Vigen’s spoofy, always-good-for-a-chuckle ‘Spurious Correlations’ website, illustrating, believe-it-or-not, 'correlation is not causation' ;)

 Another graphic site (Tumbler) came from Jo Morgan:

Meanwhile, James Tanton and Edmund Harriss sent along education-related websites:


That's it! It's been fun for me to collect these and offer up some sense of the great variety of items that mathematicians enjoy/recommend within their own field.

[…let me know of any non-working links or other problems, and you can still add your own "faves" in the comments]

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