Sunday, May 25, 2008

if (next == NULL) read(other_blogs);

I‘m officially admitting to myself and the world that this is the final post to Discreet Math. I do, however, have this twitter feed, and this ripular blog that I run with tumblr. Both have rss feeds, as well as built-in "following" functionality if you are a twitterer or a tumblrr.

If you start reading my tumblog, please let me know. I'm curious if I'm the only one who sees what I put up there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Friday, December 21, 2007

Kalil Azad's Mathematical Mindset

Thanks to the increasingly hive-like mind of 43 folders, I landed on this essay about how to think about math on Kalil Azad's excellent BetterExplained. (As we are now in the midst of the era of humees and wudzups, domain names composed of good ol' real words are such a breath of fresh air.)

I honestly wonder how I never came across this guy before. I really like his style, keeping each point short enough to swallow and emboldening the high phrases.

In the above-linked essay he conveys the tricky business of mathematical meaning and how it simultaneously lives in and transcends real-world examples. One skill that makes good mathematicians good at mathematics is the ability to jump between the specific and the general, the concrete and abstract, with tremendous agility. It allows one to see the pathological edge cases without drowning in multiplicity.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

In case of power outage

In the EECS building on the Berkeley campus...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Am I fascinated by scale because I'm a Libra?

One of the greatest gifts given us by mathematics is a language for scale. It's how we know that 1,000 is different from 1, which is in turn different from 0.1.

One of my earlier memories is of attending this captivating exhibit on the limits of scale as understood thirty years ago. Those extremities have not been pushed back much further since then. Amusingly, it was only last year that I found out that it was produced by one of the most significant design houses of post-WWII America.

Someone (sadly uncredited, working for Nikon) has created an interactive work with the same lessons. Everyone should learn what's out there, what's up there, what's in there, and where we live in it all.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Continuous and discrete

This photo is more than two years old. You can tell because in spite of the huge grin on my face, the crow's feet near my eyes are still relatively small.

Thanks to C. Dewey for finally getting around to making these public.

And in case you were wondering: Yes. Yes we do.