Earlier this year a middle schooler emailed me to ask me what my favorite mathematical symbol was. I didn’t have a good answer, because I’d never thought about it at length, and I ended up giving him the old standby answer: 0. The [...]

Link: Dollars to cents, courtesy of Verizon

There’s a line in Brecht’s Galileo where the eponymous character says, and I paraphrase, that in his lifetime he saw astronomy come out into the public sphere in a way it never had before. I believe this is such a moment for [...]

Link: Invisibility I sometimes have to defend math in the world. Normally, I follow Hardy and say that the reason to do math is not because it’s useful but because it’s beautiful. Every once in a while, though, it’s worth bringing [...]

Been busy lately with teaching and other stuff, but I’m still here and blogging. And, a fellow grad just gave me a copy of his manuscript on math in his life (I plan to write a very similar book sometime), so I’ll be reading that and [...]

I wasn’t expecting it, but someone on fluther managed to answer my question (see last post). Now I’m in an interesting position: I have a hunch that whenever this certain algebraic equation has nontrivial solutions, that corresponds to [...]

First of all, someone commented that it’s not really a conference, since it lasts for six months. More like a program. I’ve been in a tiny bit of a conundrum when talk times roll around: do I attend the talks, or do I keep at my own [...]

I’ve spent the last two days going over my problem, going over my approach, finding new gaps in my proof, fixing them… wash, rinse, repeat. It’s amazing that this vision of math as “getting to the right answer on your first try” [...]

I’m attending a conference in Berkeley, CA right now, at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, lovingly dubbed MSRI (pronounced “misery”). When I first started attending conferences I felt good if I understood the first half [...]

Link: Does one have to be a be genius to do math? Terry Tao, as much of a genius as we have, gives his answer. (Or is he just reblogging Jonathan Vos Post? Hard to say)

Link: Dance and Science! Together at last!

Link: What we learn in school I recently took on a remarkably talented tutee. Seeing the natural ease with which he, at 12 years old, sees deeply and sharply into all kinds of mathematical problems is a pleasure. For me, making sure this [...]

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