Weekly Picks

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

We try to read every blog post that goes through Mathblogging.org. For the Weekly Picks, we collect posts from last week that give you an impression of what the mathematical blogosphere has to offer.

On the educator side of blogging, Angles of Reflection asked if proofs should be taught in school (and followed it up), dan/dy explained why it’s wrong to pretend that kids will later love the math they hate now (and how to do it better), Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere wrote about the pains of changing teaching style and misscalcu8 helped her students by being silent.

On the research side of blogging, Area 777 thought about a Borsuk-Ulam Theorem for simplexes, Gaussianos had a guest post by Carlos Betran about his recent solution to problem 17 from Smale’s List (translation), #angs@t / angs+ helped you understand schemes (check out neverendingbooks to get an overview of the project) and Michael Trick’s OR Blog wrote about benchmark libraries for OR.

On the research community side of blogging, SymOmega suggested Invited Non-Speakers,  A CS Professor wondered about conference innovation at ITCS, Peter Cameron’s Blog shared some insights into the EPSRC’s history and mathbabe posted the notes from her MIT talk on math in business.

On the general audience side of blogging, Dan’s Geometrical Curiosities explained an astonishing slinky video,  Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks had a magic heart, Spiked Math had ~10 signs that you’re a mathematician, CTK Insights studied curved dissections and, finally, Azimuth is a little late to the party of  Jonah Lehrer’s “Decline Effect” article but makes up for it with a great piece.

A shout out to the 43rd Math Teachers at Play Carnival.


Weekly Picks

October 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

We try to read every blog post that goes through Mathblogging.org. For the Weekly Picks, we collect posts from last week that give you an impression of what the mathematical blogosphere has to offer.

Dennis Ritchie passed away last week. You find reflections at Computational Complexity, Gli Studenti Oggi, Shtetl Optimized, and the New York Times.

On the educator side of blogging, emergent math gave you IBL in a nutshell, Lost in Recursion reflected on some recent, personal experience with grades, 21st Century Educator shared material on (un)assisted discovery, Continuous Everywhere but Differentiable Nowhere let students get lost in algebra with a twist, Math Hombre took on big numbers, and blanchetblog followed a blogging challenge and told her story.

On the research side of blogging, Nuit Blanche wondered if a revolution in rank minimization might simply be missed, Error Statistics Philosophy continued the series on objectivity with the dirty hands argument, The N-category Café saw a reflection on spectra, Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science connected the “Washington read” and conditional distributions and Models of Reality took on progressive taxation.

On the research community side of blogging, Nuit Blanche called out failed cases of peer review, My Biased Coin pondered bad impressions, and Numbers Rule Your World shared some thoughts about Cross Validated/stats.stackexchange.

On the general-audience side of blogging, #angs@t/angs+ shared some biographical notes on Ernst Witt, Mathlog pointed to the winner of the German Book Prize (translation), Maxwell’s Demon is the Don Quixote of a new project on the Riemann Hypothesis, Images des Mathématiques portrayed Otto Neugebauer (translation), The Endeavour looked at rational right triangles and Casting Out Nines started a series on ciphers.

Quick shout outs:

Azimuth points you to the Science Code Manifesto — if you code, go sign it!

Broken Airplane reminds you of the upcoming Computer-Based Education Summit in London.

Quomodcumque wants to discuss the name change of NSF’s Division of Mathematical Sciences — share your view!

MatlabCentral shares a genetic algorithm for the traveling salesman problem.


Weekly Picks

October 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

If you didn’t know, we read every blog post that goes through Mathblogging.org collecting posts that give you an impression of the quality we find every day.

So with a bit of a delay due to the code update, here some quick picks from last week.


Azimuth reviewed a paper the network of global corporate control.

Mathbabe offered advice for picking a data scientist.

The Accidental Mathematician pondered the old problem that methodology is the objective in mathematics.

Numbers Rule Your World explained how not to critique models.

Punk Rock OR helped out with some advice when considering grad school in operations research.

OR in an OB World revisited Benders Decomposition.

Xi’an’s Og found a math paper on rock climbing!

Nanoexplanations investigated an independent discovery of Costas arrays.


Mathematics for Teaching pondered the role of visualization in mathematics education.

Angles of Reflection wondered about the use(lesness) of homework.


10-minute math made some fantastic interactive flash math art.

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks investigated numbers in commercial products.


Images des Mathématiques had a piece on the development of the legend of Evariste Galois (translation).

Renaissance Mathematicus celebrated Ada Lovelace day by portaying four early female astronomers.


The Monkeys-Typing-Shakespeare story was discussed by both The Numbers Guy and Maurizio Codogno (translation).

Understanding Uncertainty had a guest post taking apart a BBC story on bowel cancer deaths.

Shout outs

to Comutations and Permutations is coming back and wants your help!

to Theoretical Physics Stackexchange that made it to public beta!


Mid-week update

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

We just pushed a second small update within a week. This fixes a second bug that has crept up after our last increase in the database.

Both bugs were due to our code not being efficient enough to handle the amount of feeds we’re aggregating now. The first one occurred on mathblogging.org/bytype . Our code took too long to generate the page (collecting up the recent posts of each feed we aggregate). Since it took too long, the webserver side of the app engine simply aborted the attempt to delive the page.  Although a simple refresh after such a time out gave you the (then cached) page, this was obviously a rather severe bug. We tried to reduce the chance of anyone encountering this problem, but since the app engine does not allow a very good control over caching we couldn’t guarantee anytying.  We’re sorry that it took us so long to fix but the caching is now much more reliable with additional caching redundancies.

The other bug was similar in nature though different in appearance: the great tag cloud at mathblogging.org/planettag had simply disappeared! As before, creating a tag cloud of all posts in all feeds was taking too long. Again, a simple caching was the solution, but we had to re-write a bit more than we’d expected.

In any case, we hope we’re back on track and haven’t caused too much of an inconvenience.

Weekly Picks

October 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Alright, that time of the week. Let’s give you something to read.

First off, Happy Birthday, mathoverflow.net! 2 years and already it has changed the research community forever.

On the researcher side of blogs, you could find everything this week, from kissing (numbers) of spheres at Area 777 to Nuit Blanche seeing the line in the sand of P=NP move to The Laughing Mathematician explaining pattern formation in animals to Gaussianos constructing an impossible heptagon with ruler and compass (translation).

The possibly biggest splash was made by the announcement a proof of the inconsistency of Peano Arithmetic which was debated by many on the web leading to the retraction of the claim within a couple of days; John Baez was central to the debate and wrote about it at The N-category Café but also M-Phi had a few posts.

On the research community side of blogs, Statistical Modeling [...] picked up another dramatic number: 18% of statistical results in psychology papers are incorrect and Maxwell’s Demon shared some thoughts on The University Project.  The Secret Blogging Seminar discussed a Mathoverflow question on the fears of undergraduates online. Continuing the discussion on EPSRC, Geometry Bulletin Board shared a letter by Michael Singer taking apart the promises of EPSRC.

On the teaching side of blogs,  i choose math wrote a letter to Sal Khan, Re-educate Seattle discussed followership and Lost In Recursion pointed out “Humans did that”. Quod erat demonstrandum offered teaching ideas with a battle of the integers and emergent math started a collaborative IBL curriculum.

If you’re still reading, you should stop by at Intersections to read Howard Nemerov’s “To David, About His Education”.


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