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Posts

July 31, 2014

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7:42 PM | Article about alcohol withdrawal withdrawn
A stumble in data preparation earned a retraction for a paper on delirium tremens, a life-threatening side effect of alcohol withdrawal that spans a wide range of symptoms, including “the shakes,” hallucinations, and seizures. Though the initial retraction notice was extremely unhelpful, the author stepped in to give us a better picture of the errors that […]
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1:30 PM | UT-Southwestern cancer research group notches ninth retraction
A research team at the University of Texas-Southwestern that has retracted eight papers for image manipulation has retracted another, this one in Lung Cancer. Here’s the notice for “Aberrant methylation of Reprimo in lung cancer,” published by Adi Gazdar’s group: This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy). This article […]

July 30, 2014

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6:00 PM | Authors retract paper “confirming” that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease
A group of researchers at Stanford and elsewhere is retracting a 2013 paper that another scientist told Nature was “one of the biggest things to happen in the narcolepsy field for some time.” The Science Translational Medicine paper caused a buzz because it claimed to show that narcolepsy was an autoimmune disease. Here’s the notice: A.K. […]
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3:00 PM | Mega-correction appears for Florida leadership scholar Walumbwa following six retractions
Fred Walumbwa, the leadership researcher at Florida International University who has retracted six papers for what appear to be problematic data, now has an impressive mega-correction in the form of an “addendum.” The paper, “Relationships between Authentic Leadership, Moral Courage, and Ethical and Pro-Social Behaviors,” was published in Business Ethics Quarterly in October 2011, by […]
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1:30 PM | Bitter rheumatology authorship dispute ends in retraction
A 2012 expression of concern prompted by an authorship dispute has been upgraded to a retraction. As we reported in 2012, Revista Brasiliera de Reumatologia (aka the Brazilian Journal of Rheumatology) issued an expression of concern about “Anticitrullinated peptide antibodies and rheumatoid factor in Sudanese patients with Leishmania donovani infection” after a claim from one […]

July 29, 2014

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4:45 PM | “Authors, please call us. Pretty please? OK, we’re going to retract your paper!”
The title of this post isn’t exactly how the one-sided conversation between the editors of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment and a group of researchers went. But it seems likely it was pretty close. Here’s an expression of concern for “A cross-sectional study on perception of stigma by Chinese schizophrenia patients:” Concerns were raised about the […]
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3:00 PM | Who moved my ants? Species confusion sinks paper on invasive species
“How many and which ant species are being accidentally moved around the world?,” published in 2013, has been retracted because the authors “used a wrong list of species and omitted to include a reference.” The authors claim that this affected the magnitude of the issue, but not the overall conclusion. The paper was written up by […]
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12:30 PM | “Positivity ratio” research now subject to an expression of concern
An expression of concern has been issued for the second of three papers on the idea that, if you have three positive emotions for every negative one, you will be more successful in life. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has spent the last decade building a brand around this ratio, […]

July 28, 2014

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4:16 PM | ORI sanctions collaborator of Nobel winner Buck for data fabrication
The Office of Research Integrity has sanctioned a former researcher in the lab of Linda Buck, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for falsifying data in two papers written with the support of grants from the National Institutes of Health. The researcher, Zou Zhihua, worked with Buck as a post-doc at […]
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3:30 PM | Diabetes researcher Cory Toth up to seven retractions
A University of Calgary diabetes researcher, Cory Toth, who told us earlier this year that he would cease publishing in the scientific literature, has two more retractions, making seven. Both appear in Neurobiology of Disease. Here’s the notice for “Differential impact of diabetes and hypertension in the brain: Adverse effects in white matter:” This article […]
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1:30 PM | Law review paper yanked for lack of attribution despite offer of co-authorship
Sometimes, retractions seem to have a juicy back story, but the explanation proves tantalizingly out of reach. Such is the case for a law review retraction on a paper about reparations for human rights violations. After someone complained that author Gentian Zyberi “had not done sufficient justice to the substantial contribution” they made, the complainant refused […]
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2:57 AM | A Job Ad OR Mathematics in Context at Pitzer College
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2:57 AM | JHM Contents Word Puzzle
This is a word-search puzzle based on the contents page of the previous (Volume 4 Issue 1-January 2014) issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.
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2:57 AM | The Physicist's Basement
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2:57 AM | The Math of Achilles
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2:57 AM | Computational Compulsions
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2:57 AM | Jeffery's Equation
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2:57 AM | The Discipline of History and the “Modern Consensus in the Historiography of Mathematics”
Teachers and students of mathematics often view history of mathematics as just mathematics as they know it, but in another form. This view is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of history of mathematics and the kind of knowledge it attempts to acquire. Unfortunately, it can also lead to a deep sense of disappointment with the history of mathematics itself, and, ultimately, a misunderstanding of the historical nature of mathematics. This kind of misunderstanding and the disappointment […]
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2:57 AM | A Critique of the Modern Consensus in the Historiography of Mathematics
The history of mathematics is nowadays practiced primarily by professional historians rather than mathematicians, as was the norm a few decades ago. There is a strong consensus among these historians that the old-fashioned style of history is “obsolete,” and that “the gains in historical understanding are incomparably greater” in the more “historically sensitive” works of today. I maintain that this self-congratulatory attitude is ill-founded, and that the alleged superiority of […]
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2:57 AM | Nine Mathematical Ways of Watching a Baseball Game
Whatever its other flaws or merits as a game, baseball gives us plenty of time to think. (How else to spend the 2 hours, 50 minutes when nothing in particular is happening?) In the long gaps between pitches, my own thoughts veer towards mathematics. Are statistics really changing the game? Can any sense emerge from baseball's symmetries and odd patterns? Is it now a sport of science, or as ever one of superstition? And the aesthetic question that arises from all of this:\ In a human pursuit […]
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2:57 AM | How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways for Syllabic Variation in Certain Poetic Forms
The Dekaaz poetic form, similar to haiku with its constrained syllable counts per line, invites a connection between poetry and mathematics. Determining the number of possible Dekaaz variations leads to some interesting counting observations. We discuss two different ways to count the number of possible Dekaaz variations, one using a binary framework and the other approaching the count as an occupancy problem. The counting methods described are generalized to also count variations of other […]
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2:57 AM | Fields in Math and Farming
A young woman’s search for a a contemplative, insightful experience leads her from farming to mathematics.
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2:57 AM | Being Reasonable: Using Brainteasers to Develop Reasoning Ability in Humanistic Mathematics Courses
Developing reasoning ability is often cited as one of the principal justifications of a mathematics requirement for liberal arts undergraduates. Humanistic math courses have become recognized as a paradigm for liberal arts mathematics, but such courses may not provide the opportunity to develop reasoning ability. The author describes his procedure for using brainteasers to promote reasoning in a humanistic math course for liberal arts undergraduates.
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2:57 AM | Joining ``the mathematician's delirium to the poet's logic'': Mathematical Literature and Literary Mathematics
This paper describes our team-taught interdisciplinary mathematics and literature course, Mathematical Literature and Literary Mathematics, which invites students to consider Raymond Queneau's challenge: "Why shouldn't one demand a certain effort on the reader's part? Everything is always explained to him. He must eventually tire of being treated with such contempt.'' We study works by Berge, Borges, Calvino, Perec, Queneau, Robbe-Grillet and Stoppard, among others. From a literary critical […]
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2:57 AM | A Subjective Comparison Between a Historical and a Contemporary Textbook on Geometry
In order to investigate how a 19th century mathematical textbook (in contrast to a contemporary one) would be experienced by a novice reader, we embarked on the following project: In the summer of 2013, a student with no previous training in college-level mathematics (the first author) set out to learn projective geometry from Pasch's 1882 textbook Lectures on Modern Geometry. Afterwards, he studied the same material from Coxeter's 1994 popular undergraduate textbook Projective Geometry. We […]
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2:57 AM | Religion and Language as Cultural Carriers and Barriers in Mathematics Education--Revisited
Here we revisit a paper which examined two theses regarding the roles of religion and language of instruction in mathematics education. The first thesis states that if values of mathematics education are incompatible with the value system of the mother culture, then mathematics will be ``appended'' to the culture as a ``technology'' rather than assimilated as a ``mode of thinking''. The second thesis states that as soon as mathematics is applied in problems and situations, the language of […]
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2:57 AM | Loxodromic Spirals in M. C. Escher's Sphere Surface
Loxodromic spirals are the analogues in spherical geometry of logarithmic spirals on the plane. M.C. Escher's 1958 woodcut Sphere Surface is an image of black and white fish arranged along eight spiral paths on the surface of a sphere. By connecting the plane and spherical models of the complex numbers, we show that Sphere Surface is the conformal image on the sphere of a tessellation of fish on the plane, and that the spirals running through the fish are indeed loxodromic spirals to a high […]
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2:57 AM | Some Effects of the Human Genome Project on the Erdős Collaboration Graph
The Human Genome Project introduced large-scale collaborations involving dozens to hundreds of scientists into biology. It also created a pressing need to solve discrete mathematics problems involving tens of thousands of elements. In this paper, we use minimal path lengths in the Erdős Collaboration Graph between prominent individual researchers as a measure of the distance between disciplines, and we show that the Human Genome Project brought laboratory biology as a whole closer to […]
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2:57 AM | Mathematical Perspectives
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2:57 AM | Front Matter
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