What I Learned Doing My 2018 Mathematics A To Z


I have a tradition at the end of an A To Z sequence of looking back and considering what I learned doing it. Sometimes this is mathematics I’ve learned. At the risk of spoiling the magic, I don’t know as much as I present myself as knowing. I’ll often take an essay topic and study … Continue reading “What I Learned Doing My 2018 Mathematics A To Z”

What I Wrote About in My 2018 Mathematics A To Z


I have reached the end! Thirteen weeks at two essays per week to describe a neat sampling of mathematics. I hope to write a few words about what I learned by doing all this. In the meanwhile, though, I want to gather together the list of all the essays I did put into this project. … Continue reading “What I Wrote About in My 2018 Mathematics A To Z”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Zugzwang


My final glossary term for this year’s A To Z sequence was suggested by aajohannas, who’d also suggested “randomness” and “tiling”. I don’t know of any blogs or other projects they’re behind, but if I do hear, I’ll pass them on. Zugzwang. Some areas of mathematics struggle against the question, “So what is this useful … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Zugzwang”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Yamada Polynomial


I had another free choice. I thought I’d go back to one of the topics I knew and loved in grad school even though I didn’t have the time to properly study it then. It turned out I had forgotten some important points and spent a night crash-relearning knot theory. This isn’t a bad thing … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Yamada Polynomial”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Extreme Value Theorem


The letter ‘X’ is a problem. For all that the letter ‘x’ is important to mathematics there aren’t many mathematical terms starting with it. Mr Wu, mathematics tutor and author of the MathTuition88 blog, had a suggestion. Why not 90s it up a little and write about an Extreme theorem? I’m game. The Extreme Value … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Extreme Value Theorem”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Witch of Agnesi


Nobody had a suggested topic starting with ‘W’ for me! So I’ll take that as a free choice, and get lightly autobiogrpahical. Witch of Agnesi. I know I encountered the Witch of Agnesi while in middle school. Eighth grade, if I’m not mistaken. It was a footnote in a textbook. I don’t remember much of … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Witch of Agnesi”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Volume


Ray Kassinger, of the popular web comic Housepets!, had a silly suggestion when I went looking for topics. In one episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Crow T Robot gets the idea that you could describe the size of a space by the number of turkeys which fill it. (It’s based on like two minor … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Volume”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Unit Fractions


My subject for today is another from Iva Sallay, longtime friend of the blog and creator of the Find the Factors recreational mathematics game. I think you’ll likely find something enjoyable at her site, whether it’s the puzzle or the neat bits of trivia as she works through all the counting numbers. Unit Fractions. We … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Unit Fractions”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Tiling


For today’s a to Z topic I again picked one nominated by aajohannas. This after I realized I was falling into a never-ending research spiral on Mr Wu, of Mathtuition’s suggested “torus”. I do have an older essay describing the torus, as a set. But that does leave out a lot of why a torus … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Tiling”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Sorites Paradox


Today’s topic is the lone (so far) request by bunnydoe, so I’m under pressure to make it decent. If she or anyone else would like to nominate subjects for the letters U through Z, please drop me a note at this post. I keep fooling myself into thinking I’ll get one done in under 1200 … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Sorites Paradox”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Randomness


Today’s topic is an always rich one. It was suggested by aajohannas, who so far as I know has’t got an active blog or other project. If I’m mistaken please let me know. I’m glad to mention the creative works of people hanging around my blog. Randomness. An old Sydney Harris cartoon I probably won’t … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Randomness”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Quadratic Equation


I have another topic today suggested by Dina Yagodich. I’ve mentioned before her YouTube channel. It’s got a variety of educational videos you might enjoy. Give it a try. I’m planning this week to open up the end of the alphabet — and the year — to topic suggestions. So there’s no need to panic … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Quadratic Equation”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Pigeonhole Principle


Today’s topic is another that Dina Yagodich offered me. She keeps up a YouTube channel, with a variety of educational videos you might enjoy. And I apologize to Roy Kassinger, but I might come back around to “parasitic numbers” if I feel like doing some supplements or side terms. Pigeonhole Principle. Mathematics has a reputation … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Pigeonhole Principle”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Oriented Graph


I am surprised to have had no suggestions for an ‘O’ letter. I’m glad to take a free choice, certainly. It let me get at one of those fields I didn’t specialize in, but could easily have. And let me mention that while I’m still taking suggestions for the letters P through T, each other … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Oriented Graph”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Nearest Neighbor Model


I had a free choice of topics for today! Nobody had a suggestion for the letter ‘N’, so, I’ll take one of my own. If you did put in a suggestion, I apologize; I somehow missed the comment in which you did. I’ll try to do better in future. Nearest Neighbor Model. Why are restaurants … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Nearest Neighbor Model”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Manifold


Two commenters suggested the topic for today’s A to Z post. I suspect I’d have been interested in it if only one had. (Although Dina Yagoditch’s suggestion of the Menger Sponge is hard to resist.) But a double domination? The topic got suggested by Mr Wu, author of MathTuition88, and by John Golden, author of … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Manifold”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Limit


I got an irresistible topic for today’s essay. It’s courtesy Peter Mander, author of Carnot Cycle, “the classical blog about thermodynamics”. It’s bimonthly and it’s one worth waiting for. Some of the essays are historical; some are statistical-mechanics; many are mixtures of them. You could make a fair argument that thermodynamics is the most important … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Limit”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Kelvin (the scientist)


Today’s request is another from John Golden, @mathhombre on Twitter and similarly on Blogspot. It’s specifically for Kelvin — “scientist or temperature unit”, the sort of open-ended goal I delight in. I decided on the scientist. But that’s a lot even for what I honestly thought would be a quick little essay. So I’m going … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Kelvin (the scientist)”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Jokes


For today’s entry, Iva Sallay, of Find The Factors, gave me an irresistible topic. I did not resist. Jokes. What’s purple and commutes? An Abelian grape. Whatever else you say about mathematics we are human. We tell jokes. I will tell some here. You may not understand the words in them. That’s all right. From … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Jokes”

My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Infinite Monkey Theorem


Dina Yagodich gave me the topic for today. She keeps up a YouTube channel with a variety of interesting videos. And she did me a favor. I’ve been thinking a long while to write a major post about this theorem. Its subject turns up so often. I’d wanted to have a good essay about it. … Continue reading “My 2018 Mathematics A To Z: Infinite Monkey Theorem”