Weekly Picks

November 9, 2011 § 1 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.

Certainly the biggest splash last week was the post of Timothy Gowers on what we would come up with if there weren’t any journals. It was followed up by Computational Complexity, Gowers himself, and the Geomblog, giving also a nice overview and linking to several related posts.

If you are a researcher also interested in education, maybe you would like to ponder together with Observational Epidemiology about what is the worst example of dead wood in high school math curricula. Also worth a look is the post of Gyre&Gimble on the abstraction cliff: where college math majors run into problems after the first introductory courses.

Speaking of teaching: On Musing Mathematically there was a very reasonable comment on the chances of the Khan Academy in math education, Without Geometry, Life Is Pointless started a new series on habits of the mind, and at Better Explained there was a nice post on how to enable students to understand (and not just learn) the Pythagorean theorem.

More on the research-level of mathematics you can find a beautiful exposition on a researcher’s approach of proving the fundamental lemma of Arithmetic on MathBlog, after many debates about “multiplication is not iterated addition”, Keith Devlin gives you the gritty truth, and  Tito Eliatron Dixit had a wonderful introduction to the mathematics of the Carbon-14 method (translation).

Moving even deeper into the details, John D. Cook says why he is much less worried about floating point errors than about modeling errors, Bubbles Bad; Ripples Good takes a simple problem about 2d-functions and their infimum-in-one-corrdinate function and from there dives a bit down the rabbit hole, and, returning to a more applied topic, Regularize gives a nice introduction on reconstructing signals.

A more journalistic post can be found on the +plus-magazine, a really well written presentation of the Fibonacci series. And here’s one last post for this week: Math Prize for Girls Community gives an example that being good at math often means being good at many things, in this case linguistics.


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