19 September 2010
Lies, Damned Lies, and ‘Proofiness’ : NPR.
Clearly, I need to buy and read this book. By analogy with Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness” (the quality of stuff that feels true in the gut), Charles Seife coins “proofiness” to describe statements that feel like evidence, that feel decisive. The author’s story about the museum tour guide (by far the best story I know involving the number 65,000,058) is a personal favorite, one that I tell often. This is really a story about how the human mind intuitively deals with numbers and numerical information, and the intuitive weaknesses that exposes.
22 August 2010
When Intuition And Math Probably Look Wrong – Science News.
Great article on probability, math, intuition. Wish I hadn’t read it just after my Probability classes ended.
13 March 2010
It may not be common knowledge that Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, was “in real life” a mathematician. (I like the story of how the queen, so taken was she with the Alice stories, wrote to Carroll expressing interest in any future writing he might do; she was rather nonplussed to receive a textbook on symbolic logic.)
Keith Devlin, NPR’s resident mathematician (wish I had that job…) talks a little about Lewis Carroll the mathematician, and the influence of mathematics on parts of the Alice story.
Alice In Wonderlands Secret Ingredient: Math : NPR.
26 February 2010
Every once in a while I drop by TED.com to watch a TED talk (if you’ve never heard of TED talks, feel exhorted to check out the sight), and I usually pull up something on technology or world issues. It finally dawned on me that typing “math” in the search box might be worth doing. And was it ever.
The first math-related TED talk I saw is by Margaret Wertheim, speaking on the beautiful math of coral. The combination of natural science, theoretical mathematics (specifically hyperbolic geometry), and the craft of crochet makes for something one-of-a-kind.
12 February 2010
I recently stumbled across the Mathematical Poetry blog, which explores the interplay between mathematical concepts and artistic creation in a way not quite like anything I’ve ever seen.
An interesting place for readers of this blog to start might be these delineations.
10 January 2010
Tired of your mundane three-dimensional Rubik’s cube? Want a hands-on activity to help you make sense of the fourth dimension? Download Magic Cube 4D. The interface is really quite intuitive (and that’s saying something considering how un-intuitive the fourth dimension is).
Oh, and if you consider 4-dimensional Rubik’s Cubes too easy to be worth your time, perhaps you’d prefer Magic Cube 5D.