Keith Devlin totally looks like Graham Nash

I was watching (and loving) the PBS American Masters documentary on Neil Young last night. There were several interview snippets with Graham Nash. Every time he came on he reminded me of Keith Devlin (NPR’s “The Math Guy”). They look similar, are both British, are about the same age, and both want to teach our…

Short talks at conferences

I just received an email from the MAA regarding MathFest 2009 that made me laugh. I’m scheduled to give a ten minute (10 minute!) talk in one of the sessions. Those of you who’ve given a 10 minute talk know that it is impossible to say anything in that amount of time. (This reminds me…

The NSF totally looks like the UAW

Here’s one for those of you who are fans of the website Totally Looks Like. The last time I was in Detroit I noticed that the emblem for the National Science Foundation totally looks like the emblem for the United Auto Workers.

Recommended readings (4/27/09)

Barack Obama speaks to the 146th Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences Calculus Made Easy: Being A Very Simplest Introduction To Those Beautiful Methods Of Reckoning Which Are Generally Called By The Terrifying Names Of The Differential Calculus And The Integral Calculus (2nd Ed., 1914), by Silvanus P. Thompson ~ What one fool…

xkcd in the New York Times

The popular web comic xkcd is coming out in book form. The book will contain 150-200 of the 500 comics and will be sold on the xkcd website (initially, at least). There is an article about the book in the New York Times. Regular readers love the extra joke that appears on a mouse-over. The…

Arthur Benjamin: Lightning Calculation and Other “Mathemagic”

I’m continuing to enjoy watching mathematics videos online. This week I saw a few math-related TED talks pop up in my news reader and enjoyed watching them: Math = Letting Dead People Do the Work at Let’s Play Math How calculus is changing architecture at Casting Out Nines In case you do not know what…

Recommended readings (3/12/09)

An ancient typo ~ Has no one noticed this before?!? Stackable letters ~ A new way to classify letters of the alphabet Mathematician answers Supreme Court plea ~ A fair division problem for voting Wolfram|Alpha is coming! ~ The next Segway or the next Google? An Appel a day ~ Seven colors suffice for a…

New graduation requirement

One of my colleagues sent me the link to the most recent comic at He wrote: “College graduates should be required to say why this is funny as a condition of graduation, a part of numerosity.”

Happy square root day!

Happy square root day! Today is the third of nine square root days this century. The first was January 1, 2001 (1/1/01), then February 2, 2004 (2/2/04). Today is March 3, 2009 (3/3/09). The last square root day of this century will be September 9, 2081 (9/9/81). Please act responsibly on this nerdy holiday and…

Happy Valentine’s Day

For your reading pleasure: The Calculus of Saying “I Love You”: Why you should never date man who knows more math than you.  (I wouldn’t say the mathematics is perfect, but it is fun to read.) Also, from


I wonder how many readers of the Sunday funnies understood the Foxtrot cartoon this morning. (Update: for those of you who landed on this page looking for a definition of the term “Fibonachos,” go here.)

Units are important

This made me laugh. My favorite line is “Well, I mean, it’s obviously a difference of opinion.” [via failblog]