The Edmonton Eulers

A few years ago I found an alteration of the logo of the Edmonton Oilers (a Canadian hockey team in the NHL) in which “Oilers” was replaced with “Eulers.” I printed it and hung it outside my office door. Now I can’t find the original, but you can see a scanned copy on the left. I…

Google Translate now knows Latin

Yesterday Bruce Petrie (a graduate student studying the history of mathematics) and I were discussing Google Translate. While it is no substitute for a human translator, it is pretty good and getting better. In particular, it is perfect if you need a quick, approximate translation of a language that you do no know or don’t…

An amazing paragraph from Euler’s Introductio

Today I’d like to share an amazing paragraph from Euler’s 1748 textbook Introductio in analysin infinitorum (Introduction to analysis of the infinite). This two–volume book is what Carl Boyer calls “The foremost textbook of modern times,” edging out, for example, Descartes’s Géométrie, Gauss’ Disquisitiones, and Newton’s Principia. Boyer writes that “Euler accomplished for analysis what Euclid…

Neat facts from Euler 2010

I had the wonderful honor of being the keynote speaker at the 9th annual meeting of the Euler Society. I spoke today about my book. It is now the end of the second day of this 2.5 day conference. I thought I’d post a few of the many interesting things that I learned. 1. Larry…

Polya on Euler

One of my computer science colleagues sent me this quote from Polya about Euler. This is usually something I’d to post on Twitter, but it is too long. So I thought I’d reproduce it here. …among old mathematicians, I was most influenced by Euler and mostly because Euler did something that no other great mathematician of…

Last Sunday was a perfect day

Most geeky math types (like me) already know about pi day (March 14… 3/14, get it?). Writing in The Times Online, Marcus du Sautoy suggests a new math holiday: June 28. He suggests calling this day the World Math Day (actually, he suggests World Maths Day). Why? What is so mathematical about June 28? June 28 can…

Computing integer sums using l’Hôpital’s rule

Now that the busy semester is over, I’ve been able to catch up on some reading. Yesterday I read William Dunham’s article “When Euler Met l’Hôpital,” in the February 2009 issue of Mathematics Magazine. The aim of the article is to showcase some of Euler’s applications of l’Hôpital’s rule in his Institutiones calculi differentialis (1755)….

Let’s go to the carnival

The 52nd Carnival of Mathematics is underway over at The Number Warrior. I’m glad it was resurrected. Check it out! Two other mathematical tidbits. Clue in yesterday’s NY Times crossword: Calculus pioneer. The answer: EULER. Also in today’s NY Times, the headline: U.S. Jobless Rate Hits 8.9%, but Pace of Losses Eases. When I first…

Publish or perish…?

I just received a copy of The Survival of a Mathematician: From Tenure-Track to Emeritus, by Steven Krantz, to review for MAA Reviews. I am only two pages in and I have already found something interesting (on p. xiv, to be precise). It is a hard fact that most American Ph.D. mathematicians write very few…

Königsberg today

In 1736 Leonhard Euler solved the now-famous bridges of Königsberg problem.  It is often hailed as the birth of topology and graph theory. Although no graph appears in Euler’s paper, his argument is topological in spirit. (He proved another famous topological theorem a decade and a half later.) The problem is stated as follows. If a resident of Königsberg…