I’m Looking For The Final Subjects For My 2019 A-To-Z


And now the most challenging part of doing an A to Z series: the time after the end of Daylight Saving, when I absolutely positively have to have my final copy ready to go at 1 pm, rather than 2 pm. I’m looking for nominations for what to write about for the last half-dozen letters of the alphabet.

These letters do include X. There’s no getting around that. After about two iterations of this the choices for ‘X’ I was running out of candidates on Mathworld’s dictionary of topics. Last year I opened up ‘X’ as a wild card topic, taking subjects from other letters. It’s just coincidence that we then went with ‘extreme’, like it was the 90s or something.

And I do thank everyone who makes a suggestion. As much as I sometimes feel crushed by the attempt to write two 800-word essays that both blow up to 1900 words each week, they get me to learn things, and to practice thinking about things, and that’s such fantastic fun.

Please nominate topics in comments here. I have a better chance of keeping nominations organized if they’re all together. Also please, if you do suggest something, let me know if you have a blog or YouTube channel or Twitter or Mathstodon account, or even a good old-fashioned web site, that you’d like to show off. I do try to credit ideas and let folks know what the people who give me ideas are doing that’s worth showing off, too.

Cartoony banner illustration of a coati, a raccoon-like animal, flying a kite in the clear autumn sky. A skywriting plane has written 'MATHEMATIC A TO Z'; the kite, with the letter 'S' on it to make the word 'MATHEMATICS'.
Art by Thomas K Dye, creator of the web comics Projection Edge, Newshounds, Infinity Refugees, and Something Happens. He’s on Twitter as @projectionedge. You can get to read Projection Edge six months early by subscribing to his Patreon.

Here’s the essays I’ve written in past years for the letters U through Z.

U.

V.

W.

X.

Y.

Z.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

9 thoughts on “I’m Looking For The Final Subjects For My 2019 A-To-Z”

  1. Unitizing is a huge concept for elementary. (But utility functions are cool…)
    How is Variable unused?
    Wave equation – ooh, Wavelets!
    XOR?
    Yang Mills. Wolfram has a lot of Yff stuff I know nothing about.
    Zero? Zermelo Frankael Set Theory? (opposite ends of a spectrum there?)

    Like

  2. Universal Cover
    Versine (a pleasingly archaic-sounding term which affords an opportunity to talk about spherical trigonometry and the haversine formula)
    Waring’s Conjecture / Waring’s Problem (number theory)
    The game of ‘Y’ (a relative of Hex and other such connection games)
    Zorn’s Lemma

    My wildcard (and sort-of ‘x’) candidate would be the eXtended binary Golay code.

    Like

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