Carnival of Mathematics 29

Since I’m an academic mathematician, this Carnival will be a little more heavily weighted towards that side of things than usual.

Let me start by welcoming my colleague Emmanuel Kowalski to the Grand High Council of Blogging Number Theorists — he’s got plenty of math posts up, but the non-technical reader may want to go straight to his series of mystery stories, Les fabuleuses aventures de Schlomo Cohen le Mathématicien détective.

Noah Snyder at Secret Blogging Seminar wonders what we should mean when we ask “how complicated is a finite group?” In order to be really interesting, any question of this kind should have at least three answers, and Noah offers four. Good stuff in the comments, too. While we’re talking finite group theory, Isabel at God Plays Dice asks “are most groups solvable?”

Good Math, Bad Math promises some upcoming group theory posts, but at the moment they’re leading with a thoughful and readable introduction to game theory.

At the Everything Seminar, a great idea for how to make it through a bad seminar talk: Bad Talk Bingo.

The Accidental Mathematician, an analyst at UBC, just started blogging: this month she asks, does it matter if math blogging is a boys’ club?

Rod of Reasonable Deviations explains how the natural problem

Say we have a network of n agents where each agent takes measurements and communicates with a few other agents. The agents form a network. Each agent

  1. measures a given quantity
  2. stores the measurement in its internal state
  3. updates its internal state by replacing its own state with a weighted average of its neighboring agents’ states and its own state.

Our objective: we want each agent’s internal state to converge to the arithmetic average of all measurements.

can be boiled down to some nice linear algebra.

Meeyauw provides a link-filled introduction to the Collatz Conjecture (also called the 3x+1 conjecture), and solicits fellow bloggers to join a reading group for the best book-length work of mathematical exposition of all time, Godel, Escher, Bach.

What’s fascinating about the number 17? Find out at MathNotations, where you can also accept his challenge to think of fascinating things about 97 and 153. Maria Anderson at Teaching College Math, on the other hand, thinks numbers aren’t fascinating enough, and suffers from astronomy envy:

I know that Pi-Day is tomorrow, and I should be excited to be celebrating a math holiday, but honestly I feel a little down. Where are the cool “explorer-style” applications for mathematics?

Maybe if you’re not finding pi fascinating enough in its numerical form, you could try listening to pi as a song over at 360.

Let’s Play Math! offers a series of combinatorial puzzles which ought to first confound, then intrigue any geometrically-minded middle-schoolers within reach.

Out in Left Field’s daughter is getting grades of 3 instead of perfect 4 in math.

What exactly are my daughter’s 3s based on? One thing is certain: they don’t reflect her math skills.

Is the Reform Math curriculum to blame?

Elsewhere in the Great Curriculum Kerfuffle, the state of New York is about to introduce a new Euclidean geometry course; JD2718 points out that, since such a course hasn’t been standard there for decades, there may not be enough teachers qualified to handle the material the Regents have asked for.

Does statistics count as math? Last week brought a new issue of the always enlightening Chance News, which brings us statistical tidbits from the last month’s news. Some of the tidbits show off statistical thinking at its best, and some are more like this:

Twenty-six new cases of the inflammatory lung disease sarcoidosis [were seen amongst rescuers] in the first five years after 9/11. Five or fewer rescuers got sarcoidosis anually before 9/11.

Tagged

8 thoughts on “Carnival of Mathematics 29

  1. [...] pm Posted by jd2718 in Math, mathematics. Tags: blog carnival, Carnival of Mathematics trackback Mathematics. #29. At Quomodocumque. Which is, apparently, a mathematician’s blog, but not a math blog. Let him [...]

  2. [...] Carnival of Mathematics 29 is out at Quomodocumque. The Number Warrior will be hosting the next Carnival on April 4. [...]

  3. [...] 2008/3/21: Quomodocumque (posted!) [...]

  4. [...] 29th Carnival is here! The 29th Carnival of Mathematics is over at Quomodocumque, and it’s full of lots of good posts (including one of our own!). [...]

  5. [...] (March 22, 2008): this post was featured on the 29th edition of the Carnival of [...]

  6. [...] of Mathematics #29 The 29th edition of the Carnival of Mathematics has been posted over at quomodocumque. Topics include group theory, game theory, the Collatz [...]

  7. kibrolv says:

    good job.
    the link at “teaching college math”
    is broken.

  8. JSE says:

    Link fixed, thanks!

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