Big update — part 1

May 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

A couple of minutes ago we’ve updated the server with the first of a three part update that we’ve been working on for some time now.

Posts By Date and Weekly Picks

There are two visible new features. Fred made some specialized versions of the “posts by date”-view so that you can view the latest posts in each category; these views can be found in the menu. We also decided to replace the “Favorites” with our weekly picks. The main reason for the latter was that that view had virtually no hits while the weekly picks had a few.

Bug fixes

On the less visible side, our feeds should behave better now thanks to both published and updated timestamps; in other words, updated posts will not appear on the top of our lists anymore and you can let your  feed reader decide whether you care for updated posts. For our views we switched to the published timestamp as in our experience blog posts with significant updates are rare in the blogs that we display. Also, the feeds should now be w3c-compliant — well, as far as it’s in our control since we generate automatically out of the accumulated feeds and sometimes those are not compliant.

As you may have noticed, the “Stats”-view has been partially broken for a while now. This bug was due to inefficient code and Felix had written an update 2 weeks ago. But the bug was not too severe, more an inconvenience really; because we were working on a couple of new features, we decided to wait with our update.

Easter Egg

There’s also a new Easter egg. For now, this isn’t visible but feel free to find it in our code and let us know what you think. We’ll test it over the next few days to see how it behaves in terms of bandwidth etc. If all goes well, we’ll make it public in part 2 of the big update.

Stay tuned.

Weekly Picks

May 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s not even Tuesday and yet here are last week’s picks.

The week started great. neverendingbooks uncovered a surprise in the history of the “primes = knots” idea and The Renaissance Mathematicus explained the misunderstanding regarding the witch of Agnesi (a must!) — all the while O.R. on the beach didn’t hire security.

Tuesday, Tanya Khovanova explained the hidden agenda behing the entry exam at Moscow University in the 70s and Gyre&Gimble wrote about three representations of mathematical objects.

This week’s Wednesday and Thursday went exclusively to Spain when Tito Eliatron Dixit went for a stroll through a science fair in Sevilla (translation) while Gaussianos had Peralta-Salas and Enciso explain their recent results in fluid dynamics (translation).

Nearing the weekend, blogging spiked on Friday. Nuit Blanche continued “Great Thoughts Fridays” with thoughts on earthquakes, Concrete Nonsense had a post on Origami (but lots of additional material) , dataisnature devoted a post to the work of Tom Beddard , Punk Rock OR said goodbye to a fascinating blogging project and last but not least Matlog wrote about Jordan curves (translation).  Whew, busy day!

Thankfully, Saturday and Sunday were less hectic when Rudi Matematici celebrated Albrecht Dürer’s birthday (translation) and Travels in Mathematics showed off some awesome mathematical toys.


Weekly Picks

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s Tuesday and here are our picks for last week!

Tuesday made up for skipping Monday. At the n-Category Cafe, Tom Leinster offered some accessible thoughts on means and entropies and Understanding Uncertainty found a perfect example for an important aspect of uncertainty; on top of that, Mathlog posted the Best Visual Illusion, 2011.

Come Wednesday, FlowingData gave a tutorial on mapping connections with great circles while a great guest post at Broken Airplane shared an experiment with paperless discussion. On the researcher side, +plus Magazine had an article by Alessandra Carriero on modeling bone growth, The Accidental Mathematician shared her submission to the LRP steering committee, PunkrockOR combined coffee and OR  and PhD+Epsilon mused about being close but not too close to students. On top of that, Intersections shared a wonderful poem on conditionals.

On Thursday, Republic of Math thought about radical approaches to changing the math curriculum in higher education, Neverendingbooks elaborated on Manin’s comparison of the field with one element and art movements. Setting an example, Piece Of Mind shared the reasons to head the Mprime Network. On the lighter side, DataIsNature introduced its readers to the curious copyright on random digits while Mathematics under the Microscope gave one more reason why Haskell is every mathematician’s darling.

Friday also saw some excellent blogging: OR in an OB World wondered how data analysis will influence operations research  and Re-educate Seattle mused about meaningful feedback for students. Also setting an example (seemed to be the theme of the week), Xian’s Og shared some open refereeing.

Taking the weekend almost off, nobody should have passed by Maxwell’s Demon’s return from a long blogging break on Saturday.


Weekly Picks

May 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, it’s almost still Monday Tuesday. Time for last week’s picks.

The week started off nice and easy with mathalicious ranting elegantly countering a NYT op-ed on teaching effectiveness as a function of time. The first bang came Tuesday when Shetl-Optimized published a piece on a recent New Yorker article about quantum computing — a must this week!

Wednesday still moved slowly but was helped along when Statistical Modeling, Causal Interference, and Social Science discussed some of the ethical aspects of the field while Math Prize For Girls gave an important shout-out to the winners of the Canadian Math Olympiad — congrats!

Almost-Friday sped things up, though. First, dy/dan did one of his crazy stunts: he relied on live twitter activity while giving a presentation — fantastic! –, some comic relief (of the the-laugh-dies-on-your-lips kind) was achieved by Random Walks pointing out some less known (or rather, less openly discussed) proof techniques and Freakonometrics declaring the presidential elections in the US to be already decided, by height. To top everything, Bubbles Bad; Ripples Good starts a new series on the decay of waves with an absolutely brilliant introduction.

Friday saw some interesting discussions, one at Gaussianos on an arXiv paper with the latest ” Marvelous Proof of FLT” (translation) and one at Gödel’s Lost Letter and  P=NP on navigating cities — and proofs. Shorter but no less worthwhile was Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folk writing about the MathCounts National Competition and Frank Morgan remembering Herbert Federer.

On the weekend The Renaissance Mathematicus remembered a “Gallic Newtonian’s” 298’s birthday while Mathematics under the Microscope wondered why mathematicians can’t learn from chemists for once. To end the week, Mr Honner created Sierpinski-reliefs in the sand (rather poetic methinks) and Tanya Khovanova’s Blog discussed math research projects for high school students.

Wow, what a week of wonderful posts. We hope you enjoy them, too!

Database update

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

We promised this last week, but the update was larger than expected — 51 new entries! This pushes us well beyond 300 entries.

A quick list.


Weekly Picks

May 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yep, that time of the week, running a little late.

Skipping Monday and Tuesday in a hurry, on Wednesday, the fate of VU Amsterdam’s geometry group gave rise to a heated debate on mathoverflow — should MO be tough on non-research questions or will its community embrace the responsibility to become a Q&A-forum for  all aspects of the profession? Interesting times indeed.

Thursday, Multplication by Infinity took a look inside our bodies and found many fractals while Math Encounters Blog used computer algebra systems to understand actual hardware.

Come Friday, Rudi Matematici celebrated Henri Poincaré’s birthday (translation) and Nuit Blanche reminded everyone of the number one reason to blog.

Taking Saturday off, Sunday didn’t disappoint: Geometric Delights crocheted a dodecahedron pillow, Hydrobates explained the Hill equality, Andrew Gelman reviews Peter Huber’s new book on data analysis and Doron Zeilberger offered one of his inspiring (and controversial) opinions.

Shout-out: Maurizio Codogno’s first blog anniversary (translation) — buon compleanno!


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