## Midweek update

March 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Either consider this a belated weekly update or a brand new midweek update, but there’s lots to talk about!

If you visited mathblogging.org in the last 12 hours you might have noticed that we finally launched the promised big update! Not everything we’ve planned is there yet (especially the uncluttered category view needs more patience, but we promise it’ll be worth the wait). So what’s changed? Well, you could look at Felix’s github since his repository is usually the reference for our code, but let me tell you right here :)

### View by Stats

The most obvious update is our new view by statistics where you can finally see who posts how much and especially where discussions might be going on. The statistics are very basic — we’re only counting numbers of posts and comments per day, week and month. In particular, you cannot guess from the numbers whether the posts are short or long and we do not give the amount of comments per post or their content.

Right now we do not have the time for more complex statistics. This is mostly due to the practical complexity of having all sorts of different sources. Take for example the comment feeds. Some bloggers (and/or their blog engines) offer a comment feed per post, some don’t, sometimes that information is in the feed for the posts, sometimes it isn’t, sometimes it contains the actual comments, sometimes just “X commented on post Y”. In other words, there would be a lot of individual hacking necessary to extract more information from this “mess”. Maybe we’ll do it in the future, but right now it was not a realistic goal.

Another important complication can be seen from multiples of 5 occurring frequently in the stats. This is due to the fact that a lot of bloggers restrict the amount of entries in their feeds. So the numbers are often not reliable — hence more complicated statistics made even less sense.

### Twitter integration

On our front page you can now find a twitter widget that keeps you updated on our twitter list of math bloggers with a twitter account. With this at hand we decided to drop the microblog section from the category view — they never really fit because microblogging is much more dynamic. There’s only one problem: it meant loosing Terry Tao’s Buzz feed. We’re looking for a good way to re-integrate Terry Tao’s Buzz again at a later time — all suggestions welcome, of course.

### New Feeds

We used to have two rather large RSS/Atom-feeds. We decided to offer more options — now you can decide to, e.g., only follow group blogs or only follow the institutional content. This hopefully makes it easier to find what you’re interested in. And of course you can still easily combine our feeds using your favorite feed reader.

### The Database

As promised since virtually Day 1 we finally found a convenient solution to share our database. The problem was, of course, to keep things up to date. Hence we created a link where you’ll always get the latest online version of our collection right from the appengine. So if you feel like giving us some competition, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to register a new app, upload our open sourced code and our database to get you going. Of course, we hope you’d rather join our team to make the site more useful ;)

### The little things

Finally, there were some details that changed under the hood, e.g. the website finally caches, some bugs were resolved.

In any case, we’d like to invite you to take a look around mathblogging.org.

## Weekly picks

March 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Welcome to last week’s picks!

This week, I didn’t have any time to read any blogs, spending my time at the Young Set Theory Workshop 2011. Upon my return to the US, I was facing some daunting statistics: **345 posts** had accumulated that week. As horrifying as it may sound to go through that amount of posts for the weekly picks, it is also simply impressive to see so much mathematical blogging in just one week. But let’s get to it!

On Monday, you enjoyed Peter Cameron’s post on ambiguity, part of an exchange with JoAnne Growney after which Journey into Randomness introduced you to curvature for Markov chains (only the researchblogging snippet is missing). Come Tuesday, Doug Corey’s guest post at Frank Morgan’s blog taught you how to calculate the speed of light in water using just a laser pointer and a cup of water while Division by Zero gave you an amazing piece about Albrecht Dürer’s instructional geometry book for painters.

On Wednesday, among all the posts on the topic last week, you just had to read (and watched) Tim Gowers’s account of how he approached his task of giving an informal introduction to the work of this year’s Abel Prize winner John Milnor; later that day you followed Math Frolic’s link and read up on mathematical stereotypes in children and regained a little bit of hope after reading a personal account of the NSF’s outreach to K-12 students at the AMS grad student blog.

On Thursday, you decided to go back a day and follow Nuit Blanche’s ongoing series on multiplicative noise effect from the beginning. But towards the end of the week, mathematical bloggers relaxed and you found those great posts that go beyond mathematical research: Friday, Mr Honner pointed you to an awesome talk about the mathematics of juggling, Saturday, Andrew Gelman wrote a short post with a most important post scriptum and Sunday morning Multiplication by Infinity gave you a wonderful reason to read an old article in The Atlantic on Gell-Mann and Feynman.

And the best thing still is: all of these posts will be around, so relax, get a cup of coffee and take your time to catch up on some mathematical blogging.

PS: For more transparency, we’ll be posting with personal wordpress accounts from now on :)

## Weekly picks

March 20, 2011 § 2 Comments

Welcome to this week’s picks.

Finally, we’re back on schedule!

We felt more like boycotting Monday’s annual celebrations — but then the incredible Vi Hart comes along and there’s no way we can’t point you her way…

There are always nice short posts that are great quick reads, this week especially ‘in theory’ wondered about beauty in chess and mathematics and God Plays Dice investigated the history of Kirillov’s lucky numbers, but also Mr Honner was baffled by his niece’s interest in mathematics while Mathematics for Teaching identified a problematic behavior of mathematics teachers.

Among the longer posts, Concrecte Nonsense shared some insight into Hopf algebras and Gaussianos had a great interview with Cilleruelo Javier about Sidon sets (translation). On a lighter note, the Math Encounters Blog had some fun thinking about olympic rowing and Pat’s blog had a great post about the Morley family . Finally, Azimuth saw some crowd-sourcing for a talk. If your Italian is good, we must invite you to rudi matematici’s birthday post for Christian Goldbach (but you can also suffer the translation), a marvelous post.

Finally, a shout-out to the new blog ‘school of freebies’ with Mathematics and Multimedia — not so much a math blog, but a great project.

## Midweek update

March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Just a quick update on the side.

We wanted to give a quick shout-out to a couple of blogs we added to our database today. We finally reached 200 entries!

New kids on the blog are:

- Math Encounters
- (x,why?)
- Intersections — Poetry with Mathematics
- Mathematics Education Research
- Xamuel.com
- Mathematics for Teaching
- Tanya Khovanova’s Math Blog
- F_un mathematics
- komplexify!
- ∑idiot’s Blog
- yofx
- Natural Blogarithms
- Casting out Nines
- Teaching College Math
- Deb’s Mathematics Blog
- MAA NumberADay, MAA Minute Math
- The Value of a Variable
- Republic of Math
- Unitary Flow
- Cut the Knot
- Climbing Mount Bourbaki
- Morfismo

We are thinking about including some math blogs that are run by companies but we’re not yet sure how to integrate them. On the one hand, they contain interesting content (think wolfram, mathworks etc.). On the other hand, we don’t want to end up with some kind of pepsigate. So we are looking for a way to make it clear absolutely that such blogs are only included because of their merit for the community, nothing else.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

## Weekly update

March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Again no real update this week :(

We’re working on those new features we keep promising…

As we mentioned last week, one major update will mean a new, uncluttered category view of all blogs. One idea is to turn it into a dynamic menu looking something like this:

We’ll keep you updated!

## Weekly Picks

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Welcome to ~~this~~ last week’s picks!

Instead of the usual chronological order, let’s try something different.

For the 100th international women’s day Images de Mathématiques did a fascinating bit of time travel with Michele Vergne (almost too much for an automated translation) and scientopia’s guest blogger The Renaissance Mathematicus reminds us of the struggle of Christine Ladd-Franklin at John Hopkins.

Regarding mathematical practices, Nuit Blanche ~~ranted~~ wrote about our self-archiving rights, Punk Rock OR mused about sharing code, Goedel’s Lost Letter and P=NP offered hilarious stories about TeX and QED Insight wrote about nature “obeying” our laws.

The most votes at the Spanish carnival 2.1 at Tito Eliatron Dixit were given to a post at El Busto de Pala on mathematics education in Germany under Nazi rule (translation). If your French is good, you’ll probably enjoy this piece at Images de Mathématiques about the usefulness of mathematics (an automated translation seems lacking). But then again, maybe you’ll prefer Built on Facts advice for aliens on how to conquer earth using rocks.

Looking at education, Math-Frolic! reminded us of a TED talk by Salman Khan and Mathematics and Multimedia continues its series of GeoGebra tutorials.

On a more research related note, Terry Tao wrote about the late Yahya Ould Hamidoune’s variant of the Freiman-Kneser theorem, at the n-Category Cafe you read about homotopy type theory and Almost Sure announced a new series of posts on semimartingales. Oh, and don’t forget to read James Colliander’s post on the funding situation in Canada.

A couple of shout-outs: Mathematics and Multimedia moved to its own domain, Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is celebrating its first anniversary (congrats!), everyone’s favorite massive multiplayer mathematics, Polymath, is in the IAS newsletter, at the n-category cafe John Baez tells everyone to hire his student.

What a week.

**Coda.** The earthquake off the coast of Japan is a great catastrophe and it is too early to find anything absolutely reliable about the incidents at the nuclear power plants. Nevertheless, we would like to point you to an on-going series of frequent posts at Nuit Blanche.

## Weekly picks

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Welcome to this weeks picks!

We have been very happy about all the feedback through many channels — thank you so much (and keep it coming!)

So, you started the week by taking Monday off, but you made up for this on Tuesday when you read about hecklers at technical talks at Gödel’s lost Letter and P=NP (with the usual great amount of useful comments), glanced at the very cool (almost complete) 24-cell on reperiendi, enjoyed Har-har-Hardy jokes and ~~the bucket list~~ new year’s resolutions at Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks as well as a great “~~proof~~ research by picture” at division by zero and finally finished the day at QED insight for an insight into the magnetism.

Phew, you thought you’d take it slow, but come Wednesday you were back at it, reading up on some intriguing thoughts on the expressiveness of numbers at Math rising , learned about models of tsunamis at images des mathématiques (translated copy), the women behind the first supercomputer thanks to Punk Rock OR, headed over to the equalis community blog’s repost of Ask a mathematician, ask a physicist that the circle number is equal to 4 and finally enjoyed one more amazing WCYDWT at dy/dan.

On Thurdsay, you finally took it slow and just enjoyed some ocd-flavored postings on scale invariance from a practical point of view at Ars Physica (translation). But come Friday, the blogosphere just couldn’t let it go and bombarded you with great posts. So you cheered on Math4love for the Monthly Math Hours, followed the intriguing discussion of Network Theory and Green Mathematics at John Baez’s Azimuth, were amazed at the Math History Tour of Nottingham with your friendly ~~ neighbourhood ~~~~spider-man~~ guide Travels in the mathematical world, drowned in the 75th Carnival of Mathematics at General Musings, were intrigued by Built on Fact’s thoughts on lab measurements and finally came back to Gödel’s lost Letter and P=NP with a great post on Rosser’s trick.

But at least the weekend was calm when you listened to 0xDE explain a recent paper that beautifully highlights the difference between theory and implementation — a perfect “there and back and there and back again” kind of story — whereas on Sunday you leisurely spend some time at Not Even Wrong’s short items with a wonderful net crowd sourcing example of how Barry Mazur found a copy of his own lost 60s preprint on mathoverflow and finished the week enjoying Aristotle’s wheel paradox via Math-Frolic!.

And the best part: even though all these posts were posted last week, you can still read them :D Enjoy!

**Coda.** And then you’re back at your other computer and see that your browser still has some tabs open from Saturday: Machine Learning etc with a post on linear programming for maximum independent sets, Rudi Matematici wrote about Jones polynomials (translation) and Ars Physica wrote about general relativity in Mathematica (tranlsation).