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Posts

July 06, 2015

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11:09 AM | Counting Years -- in p'Bitek's Song of Lawino
Okot p'Bitek (1931-1982) was a Ugandan poet; one of his central concerns was that African literature should be built on African rather than European foundations.  His epic poem Song of Lawino (East African Publishing House, 1966) is a narrative poem written in the voice of Lawino who appeals to her husband Ocol to stay true to his own customs, and to abandon his desire to be white.  Here is a section of that poem that addresses a system for counting years.from   Song of […]

July 04, 2015

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7:27 AM | ΓΙΑΤΙ ΘΑ ΨΗΦΙΣΩ "ΟΧΙ", της Δ.Ν.
Το κείμενο που αναρτώ είναι της συναδέφλου Δέσποινας Ν., που είναι φιλόλογος και τεκμηριώνει με τον δικό της ιστορικό τρόπο την επιλογή της στο "ΟΧΙ".  Το αναρτώ για τρεις κυρίως λόγους:  1ο. Ως απάντηση σε εκείνους τους μαθηματικούς που θεωρούν ότι η μαθηματική λογική […]

July 03, 2015

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2:37 PM | A Voice Meant to be Spoken
     Last month the Library of Congress named a new poet laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, a Californian and Mexican-American whose work often involves oral performance  - as in “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border,” (City Lights, 2007).  As I have learned about this poet I have found that I identify with his process,  "I write while I’m walking, on little scraps of paper,” he said.  (Wasn't walking also a writing strategy for William […]
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11:04 AM | Welcome to Season 3 of Geometry Daily! I will continue what I...
Welcome to Season 3 of Geometry Daily! I will continue what I did in 2012 (Season 1) and 2013 (Season 2): Creating a new minimal geometric composition each day.Oh wow, that was some time ago since the last post. I did a lot of collaborations, prints, shirts, etc. Also, I settled in my new job at the university and had some serious family time. Now it’s time to do what I love and it’s more fun than ever!The rules do not change: square format, one clear idea, simulated print of no more than […]

July 01, 2015

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9:25 PM | Sex, Maths, and the Brain
I found this poetry in an abstract (with a link posted at "Women in Maths" on Facebook) for a lecture by Professor Gina Rippon entitled "Sex, Maths, and the Brain" at Aston University in Birmingham, England, on 30 June 2015.  Enjoy!Is there such a thing as a maths brain? Are mathematicians born or made?  Is the lack of girls in maths subjects a 'brain' problem? . . . the under-representation of women in mathematics is not a "biological […]
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9:23 PM | June 2015 (and prior) -- titles, dates of posts
Scroll down to find titles and dates of posts so far in 2015.  And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.Jun 29  Celebrating angles and rainbows . . .Jun 27  The power of elevenJun 24  […]

June 30, 2015

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9:38 PM | Sex, Maths, and the Brain
I found this poetry in an abstract (posted on Facebook) f or Professor Gina Rippon's lecture entitled "Sex, Maths, and the Brain" at Aston University in Birmingham, England, on 30 June 2015.Professor Gina RipponProfessor Gina Rippon joined Aston University in 2000, as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology. She is now a Professor of Cognitive Neuroimaging - a role that she combines with her duties as Pro-Vice Chancellor (International).News link, earlier in […]

June 29, 2015

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8:55 PM | Celebrating angles and rainbows . . .
                              C         E        L       E        B  M A R R I A G E       A     A       T     Y         EAnd let […]

June 28, 2015

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8:15 AM | 360 Video for Tau Day
I made a Tau Day video with a full Tau radians. I don’t usually make Tau Day videos (just the one), but in the past few days people have been asking, and so I found myself thinking: if I were to make a Tau Day video, what would it be? Here I’ve been busy working with […]

June 27, 2015

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11:15 AM | The power of eleven
One of my recent poetry acquisition treasures is Measure for Measure:  An Anthology of Poetic Meters, edited by Annie Finch and Alexandra Oliver (Everyman's Lbrary, 2015).  From DC poet and friend, Paul Hopper, a few weeks ago I received comments about one of the sections of this collection  -- a section containing stanzas in hendecasyllabics, that is, in 11-syllable lines  Hopper has sent a sample quatrain of hendecasyllabics that points to "Into Melody" by Lewis […]

June 24, 2015

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10:03 PM | Found poetry -- Mary Cartwright
Recently I have been reading about mathematician Mary Cartwright (1900-1998) and working to develop a poem about her -- relying on a fine article/interview by my friend Jim Tattersall published in the The College Mathematics Journal (September 2001).  Her work on the foundations of chaos theory was prominently presented in a 2013 BBC News article.   A couple of days ago my acquisition of Rachel Swaby's book -- Headstrong Women:  52 Women Who Changed Science and the World  […]

June 22, 2015

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7:07 PM | Uncertainty . . .
     Sometimes we find things of great value when we are looking for something else -- in fact, Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges has said, The best way to find a good thing is to go looking for something else . . .     One of my recent stumbles (while looking for work by Borges) was onto the website of Robert Ronnow -- and I have found it a fun place to browse.  Here is a sample, a poem from his recent collection, The Scientific Way to Do […]

June 21, 2015

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9:03 PM | Seeing the NEWS in square stanzas
Reading today's Washington Post, a surprising statistic:               Sharks don't kill               as   many               as cows do.  In the years 2001 to 2013 in the US an average of 20 deaths annually were caused by cows, compared with 1 during each of those […]

June 19, 2015

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12:55 PM | 144 Quadrillion Reasons to Never Attend a Baseball Game with Me
Baseball fans do lots of dumb things. Wear a foam finger. Act like they’re smart because they correctly chose the attendance from the four choices on the big board. Throw trash at the lower levels. Streak the field. Root for the Yankees. (And while we’re at it, the 1980’s called. They want “The Wave” back.) […]

June 17, 2015

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8:31 PM | Judith Grabiner and Howard Nemerov
     Last evening at the Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the MAA it was my privilege to hear an outstanding presentation by Judith Grabiner entitled "Space: Where Sufficient Reason Isn't Enough."  (I invite you to go to the MAA website to learn more about Grabiner and her talk.)     Grabiner is a math-woman I have long admired and, after the lecture, while I was shaking her hand and thanking her for the excellent presentation, I took a […]

June 16, 2015

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3:23 PM | Imagine a Fractal
California poet Carol Dorf is also a math teacher and is poetry editor of the online journal TalkingWriting.  In the most recent issue of Talking-Writing is this fascinating poem by Brooklyn poet, Nicole Callihan, "How to Imagine a Fractal."  Enjoy Callihan's poetic play with recursion and infinite nesting -- be lulled by the back and forth of forever.Carol Dorf's work has appeared in this blog:  Her fan-letter to the author of a math book is here and a poem about fear of […]

June 14, 2015

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10:14 AM | 11 Opinions and 2 Jokes about Opinions
Not a new joke, but a good one… A vision without a plan is just a hallucination. (Salome Thomas-El, I Choose to Stay) You have the right to your opinion. And I have the right to think you’re an idiot. Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. (John F. […]

June 13, 2015

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3:24 AM | Vi Hart Weekly, June 12
“How profoundly refreshing to leave behind rules of designation, imaginary cases, or the cat’s cradle of possible world semantics and to learn that the complexities are not in our language but in ourselves and in the world.” -Arthur C. Danto Welcome back to Vi Hart Weekly! This week’s topics: new improv and webVR toys, gender video […]

June 11, 2015

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5:59 PM | 7 Names to String You Along…
Allow me to alienate 99% of my readership by starting this post about strings with a computer science joke. An int, a char, and a string walk into a bar and order some drinks. A short while later, the int and char start hitting on the bartendress, who gets very uncomfortable and walks away. The […]

June 09, 2015

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1:45 PM | Square stanzas for Women in Maths
Womenin Maths --it alladds up.     Go here for "It All Adds Up" -- a story in plus Magazine by Rachel Thomas about the recent Women in Maths conference sponsored by the London Mathematical Society.     And if you know of POEMS that celebrate women in mathematics, please contact me (email address at bottom of blog) or post a link in the comments to this post.

June 05, 2015

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9:30 PM | Vi Hart Weekly, June 5th
This week’s weekly Vi Hart news includes the following topics that have been in my brain this week, gathered here for your Vi Hart news consumption experience: music/improv/earworms, VR stuff, Caitlyn Jenner, and this week’s book reviews. 1. Music Section: improvisation and earworms This section is first so that you can hit play on this embedded […]
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12:49 PM | 5 People Born in the 1800’s — and Still Alive!
There’s been a big deal made this week about the five people still alive who were born in the 1800’s, and rightfully so. As I wash down an A1 Peppercorn Burger from Red Robin and a bag of Cheetos with a Dr Pepper, I’m not even sure I’ll make it to 50, let alone 115. I feel bad […]
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12:40 PM | A portrait of TB in numbers
Poet Sarah Browning recently directed me to "Tuberculosis in Numbers," a fine poem by M. Brett Gaffney that appears in the latest issue of Rogue Agent.  The poem opens this way:Tuberculosis in Numbers     by M. Brett Gaffney         “In the past, we have been unable to get a true picture of the TB situation        in Louisville due to the method of keeping statistics.” – Dr. Oscar O. MillerTwo weeks coughing when […]

June 04, 2015

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11:49 AM | I’m Playing Baaas-Ket-Baaall
I recently had a meeting at the National Basketball Association (NBA) offices in New York City. I had gotten very excited about this meeting, thinking maybe I’d bump into Lebron or Kobe or Shaq or Dr. J or Jerry West or David Stern. (It could happen, ya know. Not so long ago, I bumped into […]

June 02, 2015

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11:30 PM | 17 syllables -- and other art
What is he talking about?  What does he mean?The thought-provoking riddle posed by these 17 syllables (presented here as 3 square stanzas) from Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)  is something I found on the the wall of the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, not far from a replica of "Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968).  Photos of both are shown below.What you areregardingas a gift is a problem for you to solve.Duchamp also experimented with […]
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11:27 PM | May 2015 (and prior) -- titles, dates of posts
Scroll down to find titles and dates of posts so far in 2015.  And follow these links for each year to to go to lists of posts through 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 -- and all the way back to March 2010 when this blog was begun. This link leads to a SEARCH BOX for the blog and this link leads to a PDF file that lists searchable topics and names of poets and mathematicians presented herein.May 29  Add and subtract to get . . . a minimalist poemMay 26  Galileo in FlorenceMay […]

May 30, 2015

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7:14 AM | HDRA part 1a
Again, comments are appreciated. 2-categories and lambda calculus This is a follow up post, but not the promised sequel, from A 2-Categorical Approach to the Pi Calculus where I’ll try to correct various errors I made and try to clarify some things. First, lambda calculus was invented by Church to solve Hilbert’s decision problem, also […]

May 29, 2015

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8:39 AM | Add and subtract to get . . . a minimalist poem
Thinking today of poet Bob Grumman (1941-2015) with special gratitude for the way he expanded my poetic horizons.  For example, he introduced me to this addition-subtraction minimalist poem by LeRoy Gorman -- called "the day":                          un + s = up; […]

May 28, 2015

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4:17 PM | Jon Lester, Eugenio Vélez, and Hitlessness
I was reminded of my second-favorite joke, which is only mildly mathy, while watching the Cubs-Nationals game last night… What do you do with an elephant who has three balls? Walk him, and pitch to the rhino. (If you’re wondering what my favorite joke is, read all about it in Make Your Own (Math) Joke.) […]

May 26, 2015

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8:07 AM | Galileo in Florence
Poetry found in the words of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642): "Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze.  But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the lettersin which it is composed.It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and othergeometric figures without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it.”Galileo […]
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