Weekly Picks — On Vacation

August 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Vacation

Pic by Klearchos Kapoutsis

We will be back with fresh picks next week.

Weekly Picks

August 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Here are some interesting picks from last week.

On the essayistic side of blogging, bit-player mused on exact probabilities. Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP wrote about the fruitfulness of errors in mathematics.

On the research side of blogging, the statgraphics-vs-infovis debate continued with Flowing Data and Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference and Social Science looking for common ground while Concrete Nonsense shared some expository comments on positive knots.

Discussions about aspects of the research community could be found at Quomodocumque regarding the  proposed AMS Fellowships and Computational Complexity regarding the massive online Stanford AI course  and its implications for the future of universities. Finally, Nuit Blanche celebrated good discussions on compressive sensing.

On the educator side of blogging, Think, Thank, Thunksent out school kids in search of planets, quite literally while dy/dan applies his 3acts strategy on an obscure geometry problem. Regarding policies, Teaching College Math discussed captioning math videos and the requirements of the ADA law and Blanchetblog used twitter in class and realized the need to discuss online visibility.

On the visual side of blogging, dataisnature wrote about and linked to the work of Max Hattler and Singing Banana made an incredible video — 1024 coin throws to find 10 heads in a row…

Finally some small bites: Xi’an’s Og was pointed to a ridiculous patent, maths.net.au pointed to an excellent Australian project “Mathematicians in Schools” and Walking Randomly turned 4 – – congrats!

If you still don’t have enough, stop by the 41st Math Teachers at Play Carnival at I hope this old train breaks down…


Mid week update

August 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

After the big update last week not a lot has happened. We had to clean up a few smaller issues but nothing out of the ordinary (and thankfully no down time). The next few weeks will be slow because we’re all traveling.

Different code, different problems

The old code only ever used the live feeds — they were downloaded, processed to generate the pages and then discarded. This had some major drawbacks, especially for the stats since most feeds are too short to represent a whole month of posts.

Now that we’re temporarily storing information, we have to deal with other issues. For example, wordpress users mostly have rss feeds which do not offer a timestamp for the last update. So if something changes in a post (say, somebody adds a PlanetMO tag), the feed does not easily reflect this and our database does not update because checking more than the timestamp is rather cpu heavy. There’s not much we can do except appeal to bloggers to use the atom protocol, but since we’re only keeping information for a month, we hope it’s not a huge issue. After all, most posts never see an update.

Database update

After last weeks huge update only four new feeds found us and were added today.

The math/maths podcast

Musing Mathematically

An Ocean Of Knowledge An Inch Deep.

Dr. Nicki’s Guided Math Blog

Weekly Picks

August 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

Barely Tuesday, but here are some a lot of picks from last week.

On the educator side of blogs, the new school year in the US led to more posts than usual. Emergent Math took on the “don’t teach math on day 1” myth and exzuberant’s second post on laptops ends in a fight for control (over the mouse  and more). While Lost in Recursion argued that fractions don’t matter (that much). In the classroom itself, Maximizing Learning found f(t)’s note card suggestions to be magic while f(t) created a small puzzle. Finally, you shouldn’t miss teachingmathcreatively’s reaction to a math phobic child and take Broken Airplane’s pointer to Four Pillars Upon Which The Failure of Math Education Rests.

On the research community side of things, Travels in Mathematics collected reactions to the Vorderman report while 11011110 sums up what one month of google+ had to offer. Conference blogging saw Ars Physica reporting from the Forum on Women in Physics (translation) and Division by Zero sharing impressions from MathFest 2011.

On the research side of blogs, Gödels lost letter and P=NP gave an update on Deolalikar’s announced proof (has it really been a year?) and Shtetl Optimized released an essay on computational complexity and philosophy — together with the yearly “ask me anything” thread Shtetl Optimized received a mind boggling 260+ comments last week. Meanwhile at the Statistics Forum, Andrew Gelman continues the dataviz vs statistics debate and Nanoexplanations took a look at new publications on dna-self-assembly. Last but not least, Flavors and Season shared its self-questionnaire.

On the general audience side of blogs, CNRS’s Images des Mathématiques saw a post on numbers and representation (translation) and Maurizio Codogno wrote about the Ross-Littlewood paradox (translation).

On the art side of blogs, Intersections posted a work of Philip Levine and while the visual side had Statpics pointing to an JSM award winning video.

Shout outs to Blanchetblog who started a new project to compare math problems around the world  and, of course, the 80th Carnival of Mathematics at Walking Randomly — if you still haven’t got enough, check it out.


Database update

August 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

After updating our code we followed up with updating the database.

As we’ve written before, we couldn’t update the database until updating the code since the old code had been too inefficient. But, as you know, the code has finally been updated — so it was time to run the database update.

We had a test run with the new database and things look stable enough for us to take it online. The only downside is that the stats have been thrown off a bit due which couldn’t be avoided. They were still filling up anyway, so this process has only been delayed by a few days.

You’ll forgive us for not describing every new entry — since there’s a whopping 117 of them!.

We hope this takes us one step closer to connecting you to all math blogs out there — as always, enjoy!

PS: since we’re sure you’ll insist, here’s the updated list for reference.

jump math
jump math youtube channel
Rational Math Education
Maximizing Learning
We put the ‘fun’ in ‘function’
The Math Kid
Fibonacci Series
White Group H2 Maths Tuition
Homeschool Math Blog
Mudd Math Fun Facts
Math Teacher Mambo
The Math Mojo Chronicles
10-Minute Math
Crewton Ramone’s House of Math
Exploring Binary
Fun with num3ers
Math Tricks
Mind Your Decisions
Mr. L’s Math
Problems – Beni Bogoşel
Dead Reckonings
Singapore Math
Stephen Wolfram Blog
Text Savvy
The Math Factor
The Mathematical Tourist
The Number Warrior
The ZeroSum Ruler
Without Geometry, Life is Pointless
Mathematics and Computation
Ngô Quốc Anh
The buzz Math Blog
My Biased Coin
Homotopy Type Theory
Journal of Humanistic Mathematics
φ phi
PLoS One — mathematics
Point of inflection
Think, Thank, Thunk
The Math Hour with JR
Lucky’s Notes
A Brand New Line
Andrés Caicedo A Kind of Library
Mathematical Adventures
Math For Grownups
How I view it
Math is the new Black
Research in Practice
Springer Online First Mathematics and Statistics (Open Access)
Andrés Caicedo Teaching blog
Aline’s Weblog
What’s on my blackboard?
The Mathematician’s Shirt
Work in Pencil
Art of Problem Solving Blog
Theoretical Computer Science Stackexchange
Math 2.0
Mathcounts YouTube channel
MAA Flickr
MAA YouTube Channel
Mr. T’s Math Blog
A Recursive Process
Quod Erat Demonstrandum
MTH 629 Thoughts
Institute of mathematics and its applications
Mathematics: The Queen of Sciences
MoMath YouTube channel
Picasso Math
Albany Area Math Circle
Math Stories
Maplesoft Blog
Math + Technology = Fun
European Set Theory Society
Flavors and Seasons
Math O’ Man
Geogebra Applet Central
Μαθηματική Εκπαίδευση & Τεχνολογία
Math Ed Blog from Bruce Yoshiwara
WolframAlpha Blog
Math with my Kids
PHYSorg.com: Mathematics
Guided Math Study Group
Science Daily: Mathematics
Victor Porton’s Math Blog
Since it is not…
Simple City
Lost in Recursion
Math Concepts Explained
Francisco Blanca-Silva
Math and Multimedia Blog Carnival
Math Teachers At Play
Carnival of Mathematics
Carnevale della Matematica
Devlin’s Angle
Launchings by David Bressoud
My Personal Notebook
Tyler’s Daily Math Thoughts
YouTube Education/Mathematics
Tutorspree Blog

Weekly Picks

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, Wednesday was well wunder way, what’s waiting was Weekly Picks.

If you were looking for some research related blogging, Terry Tao sets another example of scientific transparency writing about errors in a recent preprint. But maybe you’ll also enjoy Low Dimensional Topology nominating smooth 3-manifold triangulations as the most criminally overused theorem? Maurizio Cogogno might have nominated the Sieve of Eratosthenes (translation). What’s your nomination?

Conference Blogging was big this week. Xi’ans ‘Og and The Statistics Forum were at the JSM2011 in Miami (and blogging heavily about it) while Nuit Blanche and Godels Lost Letter and P=NP kept you updated on the Coding, Complexity and Sparsity Workshop in Ann Arbor. If you were ever annoyed that your conference talk was not recorded and shared, Explaining Mathematics reminded you that you could just record the talk yourself.

More general impressions from the research community could also be found. Tanya Khovanova’s Math Blog shared some experiences of polite gender bias, a post which the Secret Blogging Seminar reflected upon afterwards. The Accidental Mathematician made a case for collaborations. Gaussianos reported from the IMO (translation).

Going over to the teachers and educators, Math Mama writes… wrote about the center of her classroom as part of the Virtual Conference on Core Values while blanchetblog wrote about the virtual RSCON3. Also dy/dan offered full disclosure and Matem@ticaMente explored teaching stereometry (translation).

Lots of other good stuff was around. Dropsea celebrated Niels Abels Birthday (translation), Gaussianos shared two beautiful proofs of the irrationality of \sqrt{2} (translation). On the visual side, Richard Wiseman’s Blog had to stand corrected while cutting donuts and Dan’s Geometrical Curiosities shared some impossible 3D-printing.

Finally, a shout out: Samuel Hansen’s Kickstarter Project Relatively Prime was successfully funded — thanks to everyone who helped out!


The update hath hitteth

August 8, 2011 § 4 Comments

The long awaited update is finally online.

After a bit of work, even more debugging and a lot of testing we have uploaded the new code. Even though the appearance has not changed much, the underlying technology is now much more efficient and reliable and will allow us to add more features in the long run.

The key: more data storage

The key change was the internal storage of all your regularly updated feeds. This is now done properly and allows much more reliable performance than our old code.

But it also helps with our features. For example, the statistics have always depended on the current rss-file from each blog. Almost all the statistics were simply wrong because the feeds are too short to store the information we needed for, say, the monthly count. Now that the feeds are stored in our database we can give more accurate counts.

Other cosmetic changes

The few cosmetic changes happened, e.g., on the “By Date” views that got a small menu. Most prominent are the changes to PlanetTAG. The tag cloud now has more entries and the dominant terms (such as “mathematics”)  have been filtered out. We hope it will be more useful that way even though tagging is very inconsistent across the mathematical blogosphere.

Database update coming up

With these changes the code is finally efficient enough again to take on a whopping 100+ new database entries — getting us well on our way to 500 entries!

Stay tuned for more later this week!

Weekly Picks

August 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Well, that day of the week and here are some picks from last week.

Let’s start with an urgent call: support Relatively Prime! Barely 48h left to get Samuel Hansen’s kickstarter project funded.

On the research side of blogging, SymOmega visited finite projective planes and maximal arcs of odd order, Peter Cameron gave a very accessible introduction to groups, semigroups and groupoids and Nanexplanations reviewed a paper on the extended Church-Turing Thesis while Andrew Gelman discussed visualization vs statistical graphs at The Statistics Forum.

Regarding research funding, Tim Gowers dissected the EPSRC’s attitude towards mathematics —  which was picked up by Peter Cameron and Nassif Ghoussoub (who also estimated the changes in NSERC funding). Also, Computational Complexity ranted about LaTeX and at the Statistics Forum people were off to see the wizard(s) at JSM11. For Spanish speaking people, MatemáTICas embedded an official video to disseminate mathematics in Spain.

On the teacher and educator side of blogging, Math Is Not A Four Letter Word saw how easily a necklace gets a pre-schooler to explore mathematical shapes and Math Mama Writes… published her first paper — congrats!

On the visual and art side of things matthen made another Coriolis force animation, and Punk Rock OR visualized some social networks while WolframBlog made wine glasses from sunflowers.

Not to forget, Rudi Matematici celebrated Ernst Zermelo’s birthday (translation) and Intersections gives a mass of links related to the Bridges Math-Art meeting in Coimbra.

Finally, Gaussianos turned 5 (translation) — congratulations!!!

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