Weekly Picks

June 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

That time of the week — our weekly picks. Thanks to Fred for writing last week’s post!

On the sort-of-research-oriented side of posts, Computational Complexity repeats a 9-year-old poll on  P=NP (RJ Lipton and Scott Aaronson gave their answers as separate posts). With its second volume in the making, Mathlog takes a look at Rejecta Mathematica (translation) and the Renaissance Mathematicus answers a question on the Catholic Church suppressing scientific enquiry thoroughly (including a follow up). Scientia est potentia investigates waves (translation).

On the education side of things, Math+Literature shares her impressions of the 5th Math Fair in Thessaloniki (part 2, part 3) (translation one, two and three) and Math Prize for Girls reports on a panel discussion for parents and teachers.

Then bit-player lets a photo of raindrops on a patio table be the start of a mathematical journey.

Also, The Accidental Mathematician looks at a recent SCOTUS decision, 0xDE shares a short essay “Wikipedia Editing for Scientists” and Piece of Mind is visiting universities to investigate how to support faculty in the most expensive city in North America.

Among the short-yet-insightful posts: Mr Honner shared a success, E. Kowalski wonders who F. Peter is and Matthen generates beautiful errors.


Weekly Picks

June 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

To give Peter a little break, Fred here to serve you our weekly picks this time (keeping up the tradition of being slightly late).

Since Monday I keep thinking about what John D. Cook asked: Have you saved a (mathematical) milliwatt today? Also, after reading this Sony password analysis (via FlowingData), I took a good long look at my own behavior.

On Tuesday there was the most interesting (and shocking) post When Girls Leave Math and What To Do About It at math4love, where back on Monday there was already one nice idea how to make math more accessible (for everyone): by breaking itImages des mathématiques showed that even in France the numbers for Universities are quite depressing (translation). MathFour contributed to the topic by pointing out that counting isn’t an inherent concept, while over at QED Insight there was a striking appeal for Experience Before Instruction, Examples Before Theorems. Still related, regularize pondered the question of multiple choice. And to round this up, on Saturday at infinigons etc there was a beautiful account of how much it might help to remember the important lessons we learned when we started doing and loving mathematics.

Tuesday was an interesting day also for other reasons: Gil Kalai brought us up to speed on great results from last year and plans for polymathxamuel.com showed an example why getting reviews can be great (and how to fight a paradox with another one), and on Travels in a Mathematical World it was pointed out why we all should support the project Relatively Prime.

What else was there last week? You might actually be better off looking at the statistics on mathblogging.org for this, but here are some more findings: Retraction Watch had some follow-up to this story we mentioned last time, Math Fail showed how to spot what your colleagues did over the summerThe Unapologetic Mathematician gave a nice introduction to the Lie derivative, and on Computational Complexity there was a list of computer scientists that recently found a new (research) position, including an interesting discussion in the comments. Oh, and don’t try to eat with this fork.


Weekly Picks

June 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Almost Wednesday! Let’s gather some of last weeks posts.

Yet again, Monday was lost — it’s just that kind of day… But Tuesday came to the rescue. Over at the AMS Grad Student Blog, Melanie Laffin explored the “Unteachables”Alasdair’s Musings wrote about two results about squares, Intersections found some visual math poems, Playing with Mathematica announced the winners of its first competition and La Covacha Matematica explored colors and formulas in a short post.

Come Wednesday, James Colliander called for Canada to get more invested in the Fields Medal while Rhapsody in Numbers explained the problem with dimensions (and on Monday had given a stunning fractal). Last but not least, Retraction Watch explored the apology for a retraction at Applied Mathematical Letters.

Jumping right ahead to Friday, Walking Randomly defended inefficient scientific code, Peter Cameron started a sweet new series on ADE diagrams, Broken Airplane took the example of Khan Academy to remind online Educators to join together and Math Encounters recollects a recent filter design problem.

For the weekend, Igor Carron gave out some eye candy of compressive sensing and math hombre wrote about teachers investigating quadratics on Saturday; on Sunday, Republic of Math found the quadratic formula and took it a little down the rabbit hole.

Hope you enjoy them!

Database update

June 8, 2011 § 8 Comments

Now that the three part update has been completed, we could finally update the database a little bit.

As it was overdue, the update is rather large — a whopping 57 new entries!

Whew, quite a bit.

Weekly Picks

June 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Almost Wednesday, let’s have some picks from last week.

Tuesday saw quomodcumque reveal what he learned from experimental mathematics, Maxwell’s Demon remember Foyle’s Mathematics room, Algorithms, game theory … etc link to videos from Innovations in Algorithmic Game Theory and The Accidental Mathematician analyze PIMS Collaborative Research Groups.

Skipping Wednesday, Thursday made up for it. First, Understanding Uncertainty took a calm look at the new on cell phones and brain cancer and Gaussianos followed with a look at Proizlov’s Identity (translation). Then FlowingData looked at visualizations of online dating profiles while Michael Trick studied his academci genealogy. Finally, Mathlog mused on mathematicians in the Guiness Book of Records (translation) and  Math Frolic! celebrated its first birthday. Last but not least, Azimuth described the experiment of writing a paper on a blog.

Thankfully, there was time to recuperate on Friday with SymOmega’s post investigating the history of a conjecture.

Come Saturday The Geomblog gave advice on applying for academic jobs this fall (in the US), A Neighborhood of Infinity takes a Quora question on diffraction to a whole new level and CTK Insights studies proofs without words.

To end the week, Xi’an’s Og finds a curious paper on the arXiv, The Value of the Variable connects the Kalevala and incompleteness, Series Divergentes remembers Raymond Paley and Maurizio Codogno reminds of Fermat’s Theorem that wasn’t (translation).


Big update — part 3

June 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

We just pushed part 3 of our big update — the final part which introduces:

New Categories

The changes are rather unspectacular and yet quite large. We have changed the “categories” almost completely. If you remember, mathblogging.org/bytype used to be split into ‘researchers’, ‘groups’, ‘educators’, ‘journalism’, ‘institutions’ and ‘communities’.

This had always been a crude categorization of the blogs in our database. Now that we have introduced PlanetTAG this categorization has become less important. If you’re looking for specific type of content, it’s better to do this by looking for tags and across all blogs; after all, many bloggers are much more versatile than categories could hope to capture.

Nevertheless, we didn’t want to abandon the idea of basic categories. We find (and are found by) more and more bloggers and their takes on mathematical blogging are more diverse than we imagined.

So now we have 13 categories which represent our educated guess on what the primary focus of each blog is.

  • Pure mathematics
  • Applied mathematics
  • Teachers  and educators
  • Visualizations
  • History
  • Art
  • Comics, recreational mathematics and other fun
  • General scientific interest
  • Journalistic writers
  • Journals, Publishers etc.
  • Commercial blogs
  • Communities
  • Institutions

Of course, this change led to a lot of derived changes. There are new feeds for the new categories, there are new ‘by date’ views etc.

We hope you find this useful, especially in combination with PlanetTAG. Please let us know if you find something where we missed to change to the new categories — or if you have a great idea for a missing feature!

Weekly Picks

June 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

Let’s assume the weekly picks are on time but we’re in a hurry.

Monday was lost in the storms


Ask a mathematician // ask a physicist explains why the earth orbits the sun.

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science offers a theory of plagiarism.

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folk has an excellent joke (if you ever wondered why pure mathematicians have job chances outside of academia).


The Universe of Discourse writes about seemingly bad solutions.

Peter Cameron Counts wonders if Lem anticipated Furstenberg.

Broken Airplane turns our eyes to two projects promoting women in STEM.

Michael Trick discusses OR vs business analytics.


Shtetl Optimized offers some problems for students.

Mr Honner warns: be careful what you blog for!


Azimuth uses Quora to collect ways to slow climate change.

Freakonometrics thinks about pancakes, athletes, and bad days (translation).

Maththen finds a Moebius Ship.


Matem@ticaMente writes a wonderful introduction to Magical Squares (translation).

Computational Complexity celebrates 75 years of computer science.

Nuit Blanche calls for a Google Exacycle application for the DUMBEST.


Mathalicious writes an open letter to Sal Khan.


Xi’an’s Og encounters a very real credit system for authors and reviewers.

SymOmega links to upcoming changes for the Australian research community.

Intersections is found by a poem.

Mathematics under the Microscope republishes an old post on the mathematical world (also, check out the webinar announcement).

Science after Sunclipse complains about TEAL.

The Renaissance Mathematicus starts a series on the astronomical revolution.

La covacha matematica offers a history of mathematics education in Puerto Rico (translation).


Big update — part 2

June 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

We just updated the server with the second part of our three part update.

Introducing PlanetTAG

This part of the update consists of only one part: PlanetTAG! If you follow us on twitter, you might already have found this Easter egg (and noticed it was a little slow). After some more tweaking we’re ready to release a tag cloud. Now you can view the tags most popular across all blogs.

But, you say, a tag cloud has to be more than just pretty! We got you covered: we combined the tag cloud with the idea of PlanetMO to create PlanetTAG. Click on a tag in the cloud and you get the 50 most recent posts with that tag in any blog in our database.

There’s one caveat though. We cannot give you more than we get — the tag cloud will only be useful if bloggers use tags well. In fact, we had to manually removed the tag “Uncategorized” since it would be dominant otherwise.

In any case, we hope this will be a useful tool for you while exploring the richness of mathematical blogs!

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