Cross Talk: Math Addition*

Cross Talk is a regular feature, highlighting three to seven items on some discipline taught at the college. We should all know more about what our colleagues know, teach, and love. Lifelong learning, blah, blah, blah, and all that jazz.

~The Monty Hall Problem: A clear explanation of the math behind a classic of game theory.

~A Most Profound Math Problem: Solved?

~Life in the City is Essentially One Giant Math Problem: Formulas and everything.

~Tonight’s Powerball is $425 Million, Should I Play?: The math of Powerball.

~The Man Who Invented Modern Probability: A profile of Andrei Kolmogorov

*Yes. On purpose.

Things You Could (Have) Do(ne) Over Break #4: Mathematics Edition

~On the myth of a gender gap in mathematical ability (Gawker)

~The math and cost of pennies (

~Statistics and some (devastating/common) fallacies of probability–very accessible and interesting (Salon); or learn about Bayes and his famous theorem (farnamstreetblog);

~What do you know about infinity? Did you know there are different infinities? There are different infinities ( and NYT)

~Check out the mathematics of sport (note the great set of links if you have interest in a particular sport) (sabermetric research);

~This one has infinity in the title, but it’s about a person teaching math in prison (Prospect)

~Check out the world’s fastest number game; can you correctly sum 15 numbers shown to you in 1.85 seconds? If so you wouldn’t have won this year’s championship; I’m not sure if the video makes it more or less believable (Guardian)

~More about history and society than Math proper, it’s fascinating anyway–“A look at anti-Semitic university admissions in the USSR from the perspective of a leading mathematician” (New Criterion)

~Another history lesson–this time on Emmy Noether, “the most most significant mathematician you’ve never heard of” (NYT)

~Teach yourself logic or at least gather some info about resources for doing so (Logic Matters)

~Read about the excitement about a possible proof of the deep connection between primes–“The usually quiet world of mathematics is abuzz with a claim that one of the most important problems in number theory has been solved. Mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki of Kyoto University in Japan has released a 500-page proof of the abc conjecture, which proposes a relationship between whole numbers — a ‘Diophantine’ problem”

~Learn why Base 12 is better, if Art DiVito didn’t make it clear to you already (Guardian)

~Fractals materialized (NYT); or read about the “father of fractals” (WSJ)

~Math-phobic parenting (WSJ, via Jen Asimow’s Math At Home Blog)

~Eleven ways shoppers go wrong in their math (Atlantic)

Mathematical Potpourri

Amazingly enough, having two days off of work because of the blizzard seems to have put me way behind this week, rather than way ahead (despite my having worked a lot during the two days “off”). I have no explanation, but I find it annoying.

Anyhow, I had plans to read all of these before posting them and subject them to some quality control, but I’m just too far behind. Caveat emptor.

These are sites that I saw in a weekly Webliography that I get from Diigo that looked interesting and all relate to math.

Dyscalcula: A Mathematical Learning Disability

Great Math Teaching Ideas: Mostly K-12, but adaptable

Math Whiteboard Strategies: Mostly for Smartboards, I think.

Math Curriculum Research: Teaching multiple methods of problem solving works best, they say

Research on Correlations of Math Skills and Life Qualities: Not surprising to anyone who knows math, but maybe to those who aren’t yet believers in its usefulness.