Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Non-Maleficence Aphorism for Mentorship: "First, Don't be an Asshole"

Thursday, October 19, 2017

We're Going to the World Series!!!!

The Dodgers are going to the World Series for the first time since 1988!!!!!!!!

Update: The co-most valuable players (co-MVPs) of the National League Championship Series, in which we just beat the Chicago Cubs, are Chris Taylor and Justin Turner. (I thought that Justin Turner would be the lone MVP, but this choice also seems sensible.)

My Own. Personal. Polynomial.

My own. Personal. Polynomial.

Something to interpolate.
Before it’s too late.

Anyway, here is my personal polynomial.

(Tip of the cap to Dave Richeson.)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Quote of the Day: Differential Equations and Star Wars Robots

"You know you're in trouble if the different cases for your differential-equation solutions start sounding like the names of Star Wars robots."

(That is my spontaneous gem from today's lecture. We're doing Frobenius series.)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Alternative Cuss Words

I am highly amused by this pamphlet of alternative cuss words.

Well kiss my grits!

Some of the alternatives (e.g., "cotton pickin" and some others) that are considered ok in this crib sheet are actually really bad if one thinks about them. And some of the ones to "handle with care" seem just fine to me. Also, I'm not sure what game-show hosts like Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak, and Bob Saget have to do with any of this.

(Tip of the cap to Ajay Johnson.)

Update: Steve Van Hooser pointed out "son of a motherless goat" as a particularly good one. Indeed it is, and I fondly remember its use in the show Perfect Strangers.

"The Interested Reader"

I love how many mathematics papers refer "the interested reader" to various sources for more information.

It is a little-known—but not terribly surprising—fact that most mathematics papers have only a single reader, who may or may not actually be interested in further discussion.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

An Ancient Roman Dice Tower

It would be awesome to whip out one of these — ideally, along with an ancient d20 — during a Dungeons & Dragons game.

(Tip of the cap to Sydney Padua.)

Friday, October 13, 2017

An MRI Scan of Broccoli Looks Like Fireworks


(You're welcome. Tip of the cap to Ciro Cattuto.)

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Visualizations of Music

These visualizations are really cool!

(Tip of the cap to Lucas Lacasa.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Dame Frances Kirwan Named "Savilian Professor" at University of Oxford!

Here is some really big news: "Dame Frances Kirwan has been elected to the Savilian Professorship at the University of Oxford. Frances will be the 20th holder of the Savilian Chair (founded in 1619), and is the first woman to be elected to any of the historic chairs in mathematics."

This is a very big deal. (See the Wikipedia entry for a discussion of this professorship.)

I know Frances. (We were colleagues in the Mathematical Institute at University of Oxford, of course) She is awesome (both as a mathematician and as a person).

Frances is somebody who is well-known within mathematics but pretty much unheard of outside mathematics.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Headline: "Massive Wave of Butterflies Lights Up Denver Weather Radar"

How very chaotic. :)

At least the radar wasn't jammed.

(Tip of the cap to Ioana Marilena.)

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Infinite-Series Techniques: "A Good Psychological Restorative"

Yes, really—at least as prescribed by Drs. Bender and Orszag. Take two of these and call me in the morning.

Update (10/04/17): PBS is now involved (as you can see below).

Monday, October 02, 2017

RIP Tom Petty (1950–2017)

After experiencing cardiac arrest earlier this morning, and amidst conflicting reports earlier in the day, it's now been confirmed—unfortunately but unsurprisingly—that Tom Petty has died at the age of 66. (This is consistent with the recent shelf life of rockers. :( )

I got the chance to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in concert for the first time just 11 days ago, and they were awesome!

You can read more about Petty from Wikipedia page. He has a lot of awesome songs, and here's a link to Learning to Fly as just one of them. Because of the music video for Don't Come Around Here No More, Petty will also always be my vision of The (Mad) Hatter. There are many other awesome songs to which I could also link.

Here is the obituary, which includes some interesting tidbits that are not in the article above.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Awarded for Work on the Circadian Rhythm

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for discovering molecular mechanisms that control the circadian rhythm!