Mathematical Instruments: Keith Devlin

November 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mathematical Instruments.

Mathematical Instruments

via Wikimedia Commons

This post is part of the series Mathematical Instruments in which we introduce you to some of the math bloggers listed on our site. Today:

Keith Devlin

What’s your blog’s name? Any other places (Twitter, Google+, Facebook etc) we can find you on?

I have three personal blogs:,,, and I also blog for The Huffington Post.

Twitter: @profkeithdevlin

I have a FB account but am not active on it.

Would you tell us a little bit more about yourself? E.g., Where are you coming from (both geographically and philosophically)? What is your background? Any scientific education?

Born and grew up in the UK, lived in US since 1987, US citizen since around 2000. BSc and PhD in mathematics, both from the UK. I’m a rationalist. I don’t state opinions for which i don’t have some fairly good supporting evidence.

When and how did you first discover mathematical blogs?

Natural progression soon after they began from my online column for the MAA, though it was some time before I started my own personal blog,

When did you start blogging?

The only meaningful answer is 1984, when I started to write a twice monthly column in The Guardian newspaper in the UK. The medium has changed since then, but I do the same thing.

Why did you start?

I was asked to by the Guardian, but they asked me after I sent them in an unsolicited article they liked. I sent in that article because I noticed they almost never covered mathematics in their weekly science section.

What do you write about?

Mathematics, pure and applied, educational uses of video games, technology, mathematics in society, mathematics education, and online education.

What wouldn’t have happened to you without the internet?

I would have done the same things, more or less.

What does the internet need more of?

Spam and malware control.

Mathematicians on the web have…

the potential to reach and connect meaningfully to a large number of people, even though it will be a small percentage of the total population.

Your daily web reading (mathematical or otherwise):

Almost all my reading (and viewing) is on the Web: primarily news outlets.

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