Movie day in topology class: the Poincaré conjecture

Today was the last day of the topology class I’ve been teaching. I decided to devote the day to the Poincaré conjecture. I started by telling the students a little about the history of the problem. Then I showed them three videos. The first video was an excellent 50-minute lecture by Fields medalist Curt McMullen…

Nice surprise

I was just informed that my blog was selected as one of the 50 Best Blogs for Math Majors [update: broken link]. I’m honored to be included with such a great list of math blogs.

John D. Cook’s daily Twitter tips

One of the most prolific and interesting math bloggers and Twitters, John D. Cook (his blog is The Endeavor and he is @JohnDCook on Twitter) has been using Twitter in a very interesting way. In addition to his personal account, he has set up more than half a dozen daily Twitter messages on a variety of…

Mathematical cousins and collaboration numbers

A couple days ago Michael Lugo at God Plays Dice shared a link to a mathematical relationships search. Enter the names of two people with PhDs in mathematics and it will spit out their academic relationship. For example, my advisor, John Franks, is my academic father and my good friend and collaborator Jim Wiseman is my academic…

Steven Strogatz writes about the elements of mathematics in the NY Times

Yesterday the mathematician Steven Stragatz wrote the first article in a mulit-part series for the NY Times. In this first article, called From Fish to Infinity, he describes his intent. Crazy as it sounds, over the next several weeks… I’ll be writing about the elements of mathematics, from pre-school to grad school, for anyone out…

A wiki about blogs

I just added my blog to the Mathematics/Statistics page of the Academic Blog Portal. As the name implies, this is a resource for gathering together links to academic blogs. The FAQ gives the purpose of the blog: This is a portal that is intended to provide resources for (a) academic bloggers, and (b) people who want…

The 56th Carnival of Mathematics is now online

Head over to Reasonable Deviations to see the 56th Carnival of Mathematics. I’d also like to point out a post by Terrence Tao on mathematical research and the internet. He has a link there to an interesting talk (5mb pdf file) that he is going to give on this subject.

Recommended readings 6/5/09

Carnival of Mathematics #53 ~ Everyone loves a carnival Wolfram|Alpha is… funny ~ Easter eggs and more easter eggs helpful ~ Crossword puzzle solver in need of instructions ~ A new kind of wiki wrong ~ Babylonian numerals imitated ~ Harvey|Omega not ready for this one ~ A tough problem Clemson Controversy Calls Into Question US…

Recommended readings (5/11/09)

The Calkin-Wilf tree on Wikipedia ~ I’m very excited to teach this countability argument Long-Exposure Shot of a Roomba’s Path Shows Beautifully Organized Chaos ~ Polygonal billiards in action Clay Klein bottle ~ “It’s a bad idea to put sealed items in a kiln because they will burst as they heat. It took some time…

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…

Happy birthday Michael Atiyah

There is a article about Sir Michael Atiyah in the Times Online in honor of his 80th birthday, “Maths and the bomb: Sir Michael Atiyah at 80.”

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…