LaTeX bugs in WordPress

Terrence Tao wrote a blog post today about LaTeX bugs in WordPress. He suggests compiling a list of all bugs so that WordPress can work on them. I had already discovered the closed bracket bug that Tao describes. I have also encountered a bug similar to the one mentioned in the first comment to Tao’s…

How to use KnotPlot

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m teaching a knot theory class this semester. I’ve been playing around with KnotPlot, a powerful piece of software for drawing and working with knots. I want my students use it, but it has a somewhat unintuitive interface. So I’m trying to write up a list of easy-to-use instructions for them. The…

Definition of continuity video

Thank you to Dansmath for turning me on the website xtranormal. It allows you to create your own animated videos. It is easy and fun. You can choose the characters, the scene, the camera angles, the gestures and facial expression, music, etc. They do the voices for you—you just type the script. Here are some of Dan’s videos….

Twittering Division by Zero

I’ve been on Twitter for a few months, posting unimportant details about my life. But I’ve decided to repurpose that service and make it another outlet for my Division by Zero blog. In case you are not aware, Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows you to publish posts (“tweets”) of up to 140 characters at…

Weapons of math instruction

Google is digitizing 10 million photos from the the LIFE Magazine archives. Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google. Here are a couple mathematical ones. Caption: Cadets…

Google beats the CDC at their own game

Check this out! Google has been using search results to measure the severity of flu outbreaks around the United States. Google describes the phenomonon as follows. We have found a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms… We compared our query counts with data…

Google scholar trick makes it more useful

Google Scholar is a resource for using Google to search for scholarly publications. I have not used the site much because, in my experience, it has been more of a frustration than an aid in research. When I used Google Scholar in the past I quickly found a link to the paper, but when I…

Red and blue election maps

I thought I’d made my last election-related post for a few years, but here’s one more. This is the red and blue 2008 election map we have gotten used to seeing for the past week. Mark Newman, a pysicist at the University of Michigan made a collection interesting election maps using software called Cart. Cart…

Google Books replaces the index

Indexes can be great tools for finding specific information in books. However, as we all know, they are often maddeningly incomplete. I was constantly frustrated when I was in graduate school studying for my analysis prelim exam. Royden’s Real Analysis (our text) had a terrible index. I ended up hand writing dozens of entries into…

Create your own word clouds

This post is not really math-related.  I discovered a cool website called Wordle, which you can use to generate custom word clouds. Here’s how Wordle describes itself. Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text….

Technology of today’s students

Amherst College has over 1680 students.  Of them, only 14 have desktop computers and 5 have landline telephones.  Here is an interesting list of IT related facts about the college and their students. [via]

Learn the Greek alphabet

I’m a big fan of Sporcle, a website that has, as they describe it, “mentally stimulating diversions.” When I was in graduate school, one of my fellow graduate students had a terrible time learning the Greek letters.  He forgot the easy ones—he repeatedly called lambda, gamma and phi, psi.  His advisor joked (I think he…