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# Posts

### April 22, 2014

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Last week I had the enjoyable privilege of visiting with mathematician-poet Marion Cohen's math-lit class, "Truth and Beauty" at Arcadia University -- and the class members helped me to compose a Cento (given below), a poem to which each of us contributed a line or two of poetry-with-mathematics.  Participants, in addition to Dr. Cohen and me, included these students:            Theresa, Deanna, Ian, Collin, Mary, Grace, Zahra, Jen, […]
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Windshield Raindrops At what speed would you have to drive for rain to shatter your windshield? Daniel Butler Fast. Raindrops are tiny. Even in the heaviest rainstorms, the water in the air weighs less than the air itself (which is one of several reasons you can't swim upward in a rainstorm). Even at very high speeds, they can't break a windshield via their momentum alone. Under ordinary circumstances, raindrops don't damage car windshields at all. However, they can destroy […]

### April 21, 2014

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The French Quarter Festival and the NCTM Annual Meeting took place concurrently in New Orleans last week. So following five days of spectacular conversations and presentations at the conference, I headed to the festival for stage after stage of live music. I sat on the lawn in Woldenberg Park, and the woman next to me […]

### April 20, 2014

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Exiled Romanian poet Nina Cassian (1924-2014) died last week in Manhattan.  Cassian was an outspoken poet whom I admired for her political views; she also was connected to mathematics -- in her subject matter and her friends.  (See, for example, this posting from January 31, 2011.)       Equality     by Nina Cassian       If I dress up like a peacock,       you dress like a […]
Editor's Pick

### April 19, 2014

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I don’t know how else to say it, so I’m just gonna say it. Fractions are full of sh*t. Okay, not really. But if I have to hear one more time about how fractions are useful because of applications to cooking, I may commit hari-kari. Before I jump into a diatribe, though, I absolutely have […]

### April 18, 2014

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During several summers teaching conversational English to middle-school students in Deva, Romania, I became acquainted with the work of Romanian poets.  These included:  Mikhail Eminescu (1850-1889, a Romantic poet, much loved and esteemed, honored with a portrait on Romanian currency), George Bakovia (1881-1957, a Symbolist poet, and a favorite poet of Doru Radu, an English teacher in Deva with whom I worked on some translations of Bacovia into English), […]

### April 17, 2014

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Last Wednesday evening, Steven Strogatz delivered the opening session at the 2014 NCTM Annual Meeting in New Orleans. His talk shared a title with his bestselling book, The Joy of x. During the talk, he described five keys in bringing math to the masses, including what worked — and what didn’t — when he wrote a 15-part series […]

### April 16, 2014

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It was 7:02 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Alex ran into my bedroom and woke me from an incredible dream — I was speaking to Riemann, Newton, Pascal, and several other dead mathematicians, and they were just about to reveal an odd perfect number. “Deedy!” he yelled — somehow daddy has been transformed to deedy in my house — […]

### April 15, 2014

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In the poem below, Young Smith uses carefully precise terms of Euclidean geometry to create a vivid interior portrait.     She Considers the Dimensions of Her Soul   by Young Smith     The shape of her soul is a square.     She knows this to be the case     because she often feels its corners     pressing sharp against the bone     just under her shoulder […]
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One-Second Day What would happen if the Earth's rotation were sped up until a day only lasted one second? —Dylan If this is going to happen, I hope it doesn't happen late in the afternoon next Friday. The Earth rotates,[citation needed] which means its midsection is being flung outward by centrifugal force.[1]Which is still a real thing. This centrifugal force isn't strong enough to overcome gravity and tear the Earth apart, but it's enough to flatten the Earth slightly […]

### April 14, 2014

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I order a lot of stuff online. In the past week I’ve ordered socks, postage stamps, 4 small glockenspiels and a new hammock for the office, among other things. This means boxes, lots of boxes. I’ve got a process for breaking them down that is easy and doesn’t add strain to my hands after a […]

### April 13, 2014

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As a Columbia undergraduate, media artist Millie Niss (1973-2009) majored in mathematics and was enrolled in a math PhD program at Brown University when she decided to make writing her full-time career.  Before her untimely death in 2009 Niss was well-established in Electronic Literature.   Here is a link to "Morningside Vector Space," one of the poems at Niss's website Sporkworld (at Sporkworld, click on the the E-poetry link).      […]

### April 11, 2014

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Lee Felice Pinkas is one of the founding editors of cellpoems -- a poetry journal distributed via text message.  I found her poem,"The Fractal Geometry of Nature" in the Winter/Spring 2009 Issue (vol.14, no 1) of Crab Orchard Review.The Fractal Geometry of Nature       by Lee Felice Pinkas               Most emphatically, I do not […]

### April 09, 2014

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To most of us, it’s just the at symbol. But to the Dutch, its an apestaart, or “monkey’s tail.” That’s a much cooler name, and it’s the one I’ll be using from now on. (Apparently apeklootje is another alternative, but since “little monkey’s testicles” isn’t appropriate in all situations, I’ll stick with apestaart.) A lot […]
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### April 08, 2014

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Faucet Power I just moved into a new apartment. It includes hot water but I have to pay the electric bill. So being a person on a budget ... what's the best way to use my free faucet to generate electricity? David Axel Kurtz You could build a tiny hydroelectric dam in your tub. It would generate power, though not very much of it. The formula for power is pressure times flow rate.[1]Or, alternately, flow rate times density times height. Since bathtubs are pretty shallow, the pressure […]

### April 07, 2014

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On April 1 (the first day of National Poetry Month and Mathematics Awareness Month) Science writer Stephen Ornes offered a guest post at The Last Word on Nothing entitled "Can an Equation be a Poem?" and on April 2 the Ornes posting appeared again, this time in the blog Future Tense at Slate.com with the title "April Should Be Mathematical Poetry Month."     In her comment on "Can an Equation be a Poem?" Scientific American blogger Evelyn Lamb (Roots of Unity)  […]

### April 06, 2014

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No summary available for this post.

### April 05, 2014

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No summary available for this post.
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In these lines, Sandra DeLozier Coleman (who participated in the math-poetry reading at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore in January) speaks as a professor reasoning in rhyme, explaining truth-value technicalities of the logical implication, "If p then q" (or, in notation, p -- > q ).     The Implications of Logic     by Sandra DeLozier Coleman     That p --> q is true,     Doesn’t say very much […]

### April 04, 2014

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j Ahí donde te ves, tienes 2 padres, 4 abuelos, 8 bisabuelos y la cosa sube en progresión geométrica. Muy pronto se alcanzan cifras imposibles, si no fuera porque los antepasados se repiten, cada uno puede ser tatatarabuelo de muchos. Un … Sigue leyendo →

### April 03, 2014

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Today I was reminded of a piece of “interactive art code” I’d created a couple years ago as a proof-of-concept of what could be done with Khan Academy’s CS platform. The code and compiled result are shown side by side, so you can edit while seeing the result in real time. Editing is easy: click […]
Editor's Pick
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Great Tree, Great Axe If all the seas were one sea,What a great sea that would be!If all the trees were one tree,What a great tree that would be!If all the men were one man,What a great man that would be!If all the axes were one axe,What a great axe that would be!And if the great man took the great axe,And cut down the great tree,And let if fall into the great sea,What a great splish-splash that would be! ... How great would all of these things be? —John Eifert (quoting a Mother Goose […]

### April 02, 2014

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Todo sobre el triángulo de Sierpinski en la página definitiva sobre triángulos de Sierpinkski. Triángulos, fractales, combinatoria, Pascal, matrices, dibujos, programación, curvas, animaciones, interactivo, colores, 3D, todo amplio, detallado, vistoso y bello, para conocer, disfrutar y aprender muchas mates. Vía microsiervos.
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Links to non-intersecting celebrations of April as National Poetry Month      and      Mathematics Awareness Monthare available here and here.Recently I revisited my copy of Elizabeth Bishop:  The Compete Poems, 1927-1979 (FSG, 1999) and turned to "The Monument" -- a poem mathematically interesting for its geometry.  Here are the opening lines; the complete text and many other Bishop poems are available online here:from  The Monument […]
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Scroll down to find titles and dates of posts in 2014.  At the bottom is a links to lists of posts through  2013 and 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun.   This link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.Mar 30  Split This Rock 2014 was great!Mar 27  Women's History -- celebrate Caroline HerschelMar 23  Homage to EuclidMar 20  One geometry is not […]

### March 30, 2014

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Split This Rock calls poets to a greater role in public life and fosters a national network of socially engaged poets. Split this Rock's biannual 4-day poetry festival ended today and the air in Washington, DC is electric with the passion of engagement -- minds and bodies energized by fine poems that demand opportunity and justice for all.  I was glad to be there, participating in workshops and readings led by today's finest poetic voices.  Poets featured in the […]
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Το άρθρο της εισήγησής μου, από τα Πρακτικά του Συνεδρίου "6η Μαθηματική Εβδομάδα", που διοργανώθηκε από το Παράρτημα Κεντρικής Μακεδονίας της ΕΜΕ, όπως και κάθε χρόνο εδώ και έξι χρόνια, μπορείτε να το διαβάσετε εδώ
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From concert at Merkin Hall, February 9, 2014. Inga Kashakashvili, piano. Jay Campbell, cello. georgeoakleycomposition.com

### March 29, 2014

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Entre las estufas eléctricas siempre he sido partidario de las estufas de convección, porque al mover el aire calientan más y mejor con menos dinero, pero nunca había visto esquemas tan claros de los tipos de trasmisión de calor como … Sigue leyendo →