Mathblogging.org Weekly Picks
December 29, 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.
History, Journalism, Essays etc.
 bitplayer reflects on the acceleration of history regarding the paradigms of physics.
 At amazings.es, Clara Grima explained how to explain her research in computational geometry to 3 year olds (translation).
 The Renaissance Mathematicus debunks a few myths about Newton’s appointment as Lucasian Professor.
Education
 Mathalicious doesn’t see online learning as something that will bring down traditional classroomteaching, but as a tool we should embrace to assist us in the classroom and free up time for the less technical (and more inspiring) parts of matheducation.
 The MIT will start a new online program that is open for everyone, but you have to pay for the examination. Casting out Nines ponders what it could mean for higher education in general, if this is successful.
 In response to a “Forbes”list on which problems will disappear for the youngest generation, Teaching College Math lists some new problems that come with the solutions to the old ones.
 Misscalcul8 has a bad day because she doesn’t know how to inspire students by relating math with the real world, because she doesn’t use math in the real world herself. Why is this so much easier in literature or social studies? (She followed up on a hopeful note)
Research

OR by the Beach used Constraint Programming to find a stable marriage of Santa’s Reindeers.
 The Geomblog continued reporting on the ICDM, writing about social networks and negative results on Stochastic Kroneker graphsand measures for classifier performance.
 Mathbabe asked “Why work?”.
 Numbers rule your world reflected on “Derman, Rodrik and the nature of statistical models”.
 Disquisitiones Mathematicae starts a series on Szemerédi’s regularity Lemma.
 At The nCategory Cafe, Tom Leinster shares some insights on the law of large numbers from Alex Simpson’s talk at the celebrations of Peter Hancock’s 60th birthday.
Community
 JD2718 tells the story of Raqnel James, a teacher was falsely accused of aggravated harassment.
 Frank Morgan gives detailed advice on writing an REU proposal for support from the NSF.
 Images des Mathématiques has a report from the meeting on Mathematics and Art at the Banff International Research Station (translation).
Enjoy!
Mathblogging.org Weekly Picks
December 21, 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.
Exposition, Essays etc.
 Punk Rock Operations Research gathers ORflavored pickup lines – and did not forget to include Lem’s Cyberiad love sonnet.
 Modulo Errors simulates Lichtenberg figures (“captured lightning”) and gives you an applet for your own Christmas tree.
 Mathematical Magic gives a proof without words of a theorem of Gomory on tailless checkerboards (translation).
 cp’s mathemoblog analyzes the “princess on a graph” puzzle.
Education
 Angles of Reflection thinks that sometimes low tech is enough for engaging students: Using whiteboards for working in groups on problems of the students choice.
 Math 老师 (lǎoshī) works out a curious identity of angles.
 I hope this old train breaks down on being the new teacher: suddenly the own opinion is not as valued as it used to be.
 yofx rocked an algebra final with a Prezi presentation.
Research
 Models of Reality asks where likelihoods come from – and despite the apparent naivite of the question, Daniel’s post is anything but.
 The Geomblog comments on the importance of publishing negative results, especially in data mining.
 mathbabe points out the implication of the conservation law of money for development of economic bubbles and the (European) financial crisis.
Community
 PhD+epsilon shares the experience of tenure reviews.
 James Colliander reports on a town hall meeting at the Canadian Mathematical Society’s Winter Meeting.
 Images des mathématiques explains why the Gaussian distribution appeared at protests in Moscow (translation).
 Peter Cameron spreads Geoff White’s idea of 50 proofs to read before you die.
 Ryan O’Donnell is developing a textbook, Analysis of Boolean Functions, publicly on wordpress — read his guest post at Computational Complexity or Gil Kalai’s impressions at Combinatorics and more.
Shorts, Shoutouts etc.
 reflectivemathsteacher celebrates its first anniversary — congrats!
 Popinga hosts the 44th Italian Carnival of Mathematics (translation).
 MathsInsider chooses its favorite online maths programs of the year.
 Gaussianos shares a Geogebraapplet for the rulerandcompass construction of the heptadecagon (translation).
 Nuit Blanche shares a full year of posts as PDF — a whopping 872 pages!
Enjoy!
A small update
December 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
We just pushed a small update to the server.
As usual, most changes are under the hood. There is now a basic filter option for the statsview. Also, we have started to include snippets in the combined feeds we provide. As usual, there are many easter eggs of upcoming features, so check out our code on github.
This will be the last small update for a while — there’s a big one coming! We’re redesigning the page completely, hoping to both simplify and enhance the visits to mathblogging.org.
Finally, we changed the contact page here on the blog — you can now submit new blogs in an easy web form helping us to get those database updates out faster!
Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.
Weekly Picks
December 14, 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.
Education
Park Mathematics discussed algebra as a natural thought process, being reflection on past events.
Think Thank Thunk inspires with a story of applying mathematics — involves dropping flour bags from a plane!
exzuberant discovers how students might get the impression you have favourites even if you don’t, and discusses what to do about it.
Research
Nanoexplanations studied a computational geometry problem relevant to printed circuits.
#angs@t / angs+, the Antwerp noncommutative geometry seminar’s blog, offered an introduction to surreal numbers as part of a new series on ordinal numbers and algebraic closures.
Not Even Wrong reviewed a preprint from the upcoming “String and MTheory: answering the critics”.
Community
Rhapsody in Numbers described a typical morning of a mathematician doing research while parenting a newborn.
You can also support f(t) function of time to get governors to take their state’s achievement tests and publish the results.
History
The Renaissance Mathematicus delved into the history of a Renaissance problem brought up by The Endeavour.
Images des Mathématiques has a new series on the invention of the meter (translation).
Mathematics for Teaching sought the balance between the polished story and the historical development that led to it.
Exposition, Essays etc.
Mr. Palomar took a Borges quote to embark on a journey on mirrors, dreams and fractals (translation).
Gli Studenti oggi recorded a conversation about the geometric series (translation).
Second Rate Minds had a scifi short story about mathematical research.
Vi Hart released a new math class doodle video — it’s time for triangles!
The Endeavour shared a poem on the sane geniuses.
Enjoy!
Weekly Picks
December 8, 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.
Educators
21st Century Educator collected 10.000 tweets of #pencilchat gone viral.
Think Thank Thunk is grieving for grades after teaching without grading for an entire semester.
Exzuberant offered ideas for endofyear maths classes.
f(t) function of time took lots of good ideas for learning about surfaces and volume, and turns it into a coherent story for the classroom.
Researchers
Peter Cameron had a masters student point him to some excellent lecture notes by Peter Sarnak on Appolonian circle packing.
Terry Tao started a lecture notes series on expander graphs while E. Kowalski mused about his notes on expanders and two different Caley graphs of the group of order 2.
If you haven’t followed the debate on TCS breakthrough in matrix multiplication, you can read up on it at Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP (and you might also check out a short comment at Yet Another Math Programmer).
Community
Punk Rock OR gave advice on how to choose your academic family.
MAA’s Launchings by David Bressoud analyzed the CBMS report on faculty development in college&university math departments in the US.
SymOmega debated grade scaling policies.
Exposition
Area 777 gets you from diverging triangle approximations of a smooth surface to building an actual lantern.
Enjoy!
Update on the Delft Innovation Award
December 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
As promised two weeks ago, here’s a short update on our preparations for the final next week:
 You can have a look at the clip made for us here.
 On the same page you can vote for us in the Public’s Choice Award (but only if you are an employee of the TU Delft).
 Here’s the poster we will use at the final on December 6:
If you live in the Delftarea, this will be a perfect opportunity to come by and have a chat!
Weekly Picks
December 1, 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.
Again, we’re running late, so here’s an efficient looking list.
Educators
The Number Warrior shared a perspective on the “multiplication is not repeated addition”saga.
dy/dan once more kicks off a lively discussion. Are there students who are incapable of learning Algebra?
How to handle Homework? Angles of Reflection describes his system.
Researchers
In the ongoing series about reaction networks, Azimuth had a rather selfcontained post about the practical applications of the deficiency zero theorem to diatomic molecules.
Finally, check out What’s New (with Terry Tao) and a post on the BourgainSarnakZiegler orthogonality criterium; in the comments you’ll find a short but fascinating conversation among researchers.
A CS Professor analyzed a Khan Academy video on insertion sort.
Community
The nLab started its own peerreview process.
Piece of Mind shared a week in his life as a (traveling) mathematician.
Exposition, History et cetera
Series Divergentes (translation) took apart a crank claim for the discovery of a 3dim norm algebra.
Geometry and the imagination gave insight into the geometrical meaning of the HallWitt identity.
The Renaissance Mathematicus demolished the Cult of St Alan (Turing).
Journalism
Rudi Matematici (translation) celebrated the mathematicians of the Italian Risorgimento.
Enjoy!