A recent Dave Richeson tweet generated these two links to great pieces having to do with lexicography and the circularity of words (including mathematical or computational aspects):
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Monday, December 28, 2020
A new round of always-fun lateral thinking puzzles from Futility Closet today:
...and here's an hour-plus of science-writer John Horgan talking to science-writer Amanda Gefter:
Friday, December 25, 2020
Thursday, December 24, 2020
"High school mathematics content is a wonderful vehicle for teaching powerful, human thinking."
James Tanton on the Covid-19 'teaching crisis' and mathematics education:
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Ben Orlin on the wisdom of the (sometimes) uncanny Twitteratti:
Monday, December 21, 2020
Once again on the all-too-common practice of 'torturing the data':
"This is one reason why artificial intelligence (AI) is often brittle. AI algorithms can torture data faster than any human and can find an essentially unlimited number of idiosyncrasies that humans might overlook. Computers don’t get tired and they never say no."
Friday, December 18, 2020
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Andrew Gelman has it covered:
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
AI, computer algorithms, modeling... and, the limits thereof:
Monday, November 30, 2020
Usually toward the end of the year I do some sort of review of popular math books from the year gone by, including choosing a “Book of the Year.” That tradition ends this year as I have read no math books (and very few books at all) since last March, having been so distracted by covid and the insane politics of America… moreover that rascal Ben Orlin didn’t put out a book this year, so what is the point of naming a book-of-the-year! Just kidding, there were once again many fabulous books out in 2020 for the dedicated math fan. The four I did look at, and absolutely loved (and recommend), early in the year were, in no special order:
Five more recent volumes that have definitely caught my eye are:
…. but many other math volumes appeared in the course of this year and if math books are part of your holiday shopping list you ought have no trouble finding several to select from. Indeed, this almost seems like a Renaissance period of math exposition, with the problem being over-choice, not scarcity!
ADDENDUM: will go ahead and add this volume I just learned of today:
Friday, November 27, 2020
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Bored with the headlines, folks?... Is election news getting you down?... Or the blitz of political ads scraping on your last nerve?... Is that what's buggin' you, kiddies???
Well, OK, this won’t be everyone’s cup-a-tea, or fun distraction, but in a longish post (first of multiple) Scott Aaronson tackles the independence of the Continuum Hypothesis:
I knew it would be a great read when he started off with this quote from Bertrand Russell:
“in adolescence, I hated life and was continually on the verge of suicide, from which, however, I was restrained by the desire to know more mathematics.”
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
We live in an age when the need for critical/logical thinking has never been more vital… and yet (it seems to me) is hardly taught or emphasized in our education system. Perhaps no field of study more greatly nourishes such an ability or objective than mathematics. In that vein I recently asked on Twitter what organizations and non-profits math people themselves would encourage giving charitable donations to in order to help further foster mathematics and the skills it entails.
Below are the suggestions, in no particular order, that I received (some of which I was unaware of), and I’m still happy to hear of even more, so feel free to add in comments:
'Math circles,' active in many areas of the country (check your local area), were cited.
additionally, someone mentioned that there are likely several math-related Patreon accounts taking donations… some are HERE.
Lastly, I was a bit surprised that no one mentioned the Art of Problem Solving group, so I’ll throw it into the mix as well.
As we head into the year-end charitable-giving season maybe keep such groups in mind right alongside all the more traditional names you'll hear from in your mailbox or otherwise.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
"There’s a minimalism to teaching and learning math that I’ve always loved. With just a pencil and paper I can become a mathematician. With just one good question I can launch a math class. But now there’s a lot more I have to rely on, and plan for. And it’s all beyond my control."
-- Patrick Honner
Sunday, September 27, 2020
This post from Andrew Gelman (well, the comments) led me to learn about the “apex fallacy” today:
Friday, September 25, 2020
Covid... the Cornell experience:
Early success, but Kaiser Fung does caution at the end:
"Whether the success will last is an open question. It's only three weeks into the term."
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Nice exposition on today's world of data mining (...and bitcoin):
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
From ASMR (prior post) to an hour+ of Roger Penrose, courtesy of Numberphile:
More on the podcast and Penrose here, from AMS:
Friday, August 28, 2020
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
“…when we’re doing social and behavioral science, we’re not looking for a needle in a haystack; rather, we’re trying to catch a slippery fish that keeps moving. All this is even harder in political science, economics, or sociology. An essential aspect of social science is that it understands people not in isolation but within groups. Thus, if psychology ultimately requires a different model for each person (or a model that accounts for differences between people), the social sciences require a different model for each configuration of people (or a model that accounts for dependence of outcomes on the configuration).”
Sunday, August 16, 2020
" I was terrified. It’s really scary to speak up in a room like that, and to call out literally everyone I work with. And I regret that I took half an hour to say something. I still can’t understand why no one else spoke up.... The message in that meeting was crystal clear. My school’s commitment to health and safety is a lie."One teacher's experience as schools around the country attempt to open:
Difficult to see how this ends well... and how this wasn't all foreseen ahead-of-time by bureaucrats in charge.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Monday, August 10, 2020
Friday, August 7, 2020
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”— Richard Feynman
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Siobhan Roberts mathplains Bayesian analysis in the age of covid for NY Times readers:
Monday, August 3, 2020
Maneuvering the path between Platonism and non-Platonism... Keith Devlin discusses the "culture" of mathematics (with interesting set of questions toward the end):
"The idea that there is a single body of knowledge or a single way of thinking that we call 'mathematics' is a myth."
Sunday, August 2, 2020
"At the same time as we are going through this populist political movement there is a technocratic worship of data. Arguments are being presented in an increasingly quantitative way: people are using data to bullshit."-- Carl Bergstrom (co-author of Calling Bullshit: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World), on data, science, news… and B.S.:
Saturday, August 1, 2020
The latest wide-ranging issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics is out -- a journal whose "emphasis is on the aesthetic, cultural, historical, literary, pedagogical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological aspects as we look at mathematics as a human endeavor." All articles are web-accessible (PDFs):
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Connecting Berry's Paradox to Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem:
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Gelman reflecting on bad research (...which has been known to exist ;)
Monday, July 27, 2020
The always-interesting Liv Boeree going meta:
Sean Carroll had physicist, poker-player, thinker, tinkerer, Boeree on his Mindscape podcast almost exactly 2 years ago here:
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Just a little puzzle from insidious Matt Parker today regarding David and Anton (...in case you have no better way to while away the afternoon):
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Mehhh, just a few numbers on the TrumpVirus:
New Covid-19 cases in the last week: Mainland China: 172 Norway: 50 Greece: 186 Japan: 3516 France: 4377 Australia: 1831 Italy: 1394 United Kingdom: 5239 South Korea: 259 Canada: 2969 United States: 465,027
Presidential 'task force'(LOL) pr(opaganda)ess conference on tap for later today. ~5pm.
Friday, July 17, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Most readers here likely already know of Catriona Shearer's incredible geometry problems regularly presented on Twitter (though they travel around the Web elsewhere), but if you don't, time to get started with this recent fun one: