Category Archives: Math

Terrible notation Hall of Fame

This one is a little harder to explain than my earlier post. Your attention should be focused on the line in the middle that begins “N(T) = …” and ends with a diamond. That line contains three copies of the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Education, Math | Tagged | 1 Comment

How not to do voting theory

This WaPo op-ed (by Edward Foley and Eric Maskin) is so, so bad that I’m still upset about it two days later. They criticize Alaska’s instant runoff election system because it doesn’t meet the Condorcet criterion: Pelota won, even though … Continue reading

Advertisement

Posted in Math, What's the news? | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Terrible calculus answers Hall of Fame

What is so beautiful about this is that even if you don’t have any idea what a derivative is, how to compute one, or what the pictures mean, it is still completely clear how bad this answer is.

Posted in Math, Education | Tagged | Leave a comment

Parabola

This is so sad

Posted in Education, Math | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The big point theorem

The solution Tanya attributes to Jason Rosenhouse here reminds me of my favorite theorem of applied mathematics education: Theorem (Big Point Theorem). Any three lines are concurrent, provided you draw the point big enough. Edit 8/18: And now Tanya has … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Math | Tagged | Leave a comment

Map of the world

At least as far as families of reflection groups with nice combinatorics are concerned

Posted in Combinatorics, Math | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ikea proofs

Overheard: He writes a lot of Ikea proofs — all the parts are there,but the reader has to assemble them, and sometimes there are a fewextra parts at the end.

Posted in Education, Math | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Magical Mathematics” by Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham

This was a gift from my wonderful friend AHM, following the death of Graham last year. I enjoyed it quite a lot, but it’s also very weird. For example, chapters bounce around dramatically in tone and content (some are about … Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Combinatorics, Math | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Mathematical education” by G. St. L. Carson

This is the other book I mentioned finding at the Book Barn.  It is a collection of eight lectures delivered by the author in 1912 and 1913, and a fascinating historical document.  Some features that I found particularly interesting follow. … Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Combinatorics, Education, Math | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Trapezoids, and blogs

Atrios remarked on the (slow, in-progress) death of the open internet, as in blogs etc. And Jonathan’s offhand remark about his blog’s heyday is another anecdatum pointing in the same direction. Anyhow, that’s not what this post is about; it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Math | Tagged , , | 2 Comments