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Tony Phillips' Take · Recent on Blog on Math Blogs · Math Digest Archive

2014

Tony Phillips' Take

December
Alexander Grothendieck, 1928-2014
New Zealand robin arithmetic
"Solving for XX:" women and math in the Berkeley Daily Planet
Knots in physics
November
The math of the lasso
Lifesaving statistics
October
The Best Language for Math?
Gauss and the Art of Pizza Eating
Artur Avila in O Globo
September
Sphere packing in the New Scientist
2014 Fields Medals in the media
Putting more math into common discourse
August
Mathematics education in the New York Times
New equilateral polyhedra
Multimillion-Dollar Minds
June-July
Ramanujan, Ono in Scientific American
Sperner's Lemma helps split the rent
Spontaneous hemihelices
May
Mathematician = the best job
Mathematics and English literature
Math anxiety: in the genes?
"Going Gaga for Math," with Cédric Villani
April
"Fibonacci Mandala"
Quasicrystal, Penrose tiling
"Both Genders Think Women Are Bad at Basic Math"
Math and March Madness
More MoMath in the Times
March
Mathematicians, the NSA and domestic spying (cont.)
Homer Simpson, Math Wizard
Flipping pancakes with mathematics
The neurophysiology of the perception of mathematical beauty
February
Ancient Chinese multiplication table
Turing in the Times
"Bad Astronomy" takes on Math
Binary arithmetic in Polynesia
January
The mathematics of bee colony failure
After the PISA report
Is math boring, or what?
At least a little
What the Times doesn't know about math instruction
Edward Frenkel on math and borscht

2013

December
Sophie Kowalevski in the New York Times
How much math do we really need?
Mathematicians in Science: Bourguignon and Gauss
November
MoMath in the New York Times
Edward Frenkel in the media
Women in science (and in math)
October
Numbers on the brain
"Math Wars" analyzed in the New York Times
Love and Math in the Wall Street Journal
Mathematicians, the NSA and domestic spying
September
Moiré patterns and quantum fractals
The differential geometry of the Endoplasmic Reticulum
August
Random voltage improves math learning
Turing instabilities, hallucinations, and the beginnings of symbolic culture
Mathematical models of cancer therapy
"The Rosetta Stone of Mathematics"
PBS tackles: "Does math exist?"
June-July
Geometric Unity?
Twin primes on NPR, and on Slate
What it feels like to be bad in math
4D polytope gives 3D-printed puzzle
May
"We are in the midst of math all the time."
Great Scientist ≠ Good at Math?
"Mary, Queen of Maths"
April
The 3-body problem and free homotopy
Percolation and fractal dimension
"The Math Problem in Good Will Hunting Is Easy"
March
Leonardo, Michelangelo and the elevated dodecahedron
New prime in the news
"Chaos" in Le Monde
Is Algebra Necessary (Cont.)
February
Math Rap on NPR
3-manifolds in the Scientific American
"Topological colloids"
Discalculia in Nature
January
Discovery of an organic trefoil knot
MoMath in the press
The Atlantic takes on the Common Core Standards
Cédric Villani, mediatic medalist

2012

December
The pain of math anxiety
Information theory in biological cells
On arithmetic and the unconscious
American Educator takes on the Khan Academy
November
A new Strogatz series in the New York Times
Popularity in hyperbolic space
Soviet math (and anti-semitism) in The New Criterion
October
Emmy Noether in The New York Times
Grisha Perelman in Playboy
The "abc conjecture" in Nature, Science, and the N. Y. Times
The Museum of Mathematics in Nature
September
Visualizing the curvature tensor
Math in the plant physiology curriculum
Is Algebra Necessary?
New strategies for the Prisoner's Dilemma
August
Knots and slipknots in protein molecules
Plug for pure math in the Daily News
Add equations, lose citations
June/July
Szemerédi's Theorem in the Guardian
Topological analysis of basketball
functional MRIs of Math Anxiety
Goldbach Conjecture progress in the Scientific American and in Le Monde
New Math Institute in Senegal
May
Racism and mathematics
Frobenius on my mind
Topics in computational biology
April
Complexity theory in the New York Times
Spermatozoon calculus
Pi Day in Greenburgh
March
Graphics prize for complex graphs
Medieval Islamic quasi-periodic tilings (cont.)
"The Power of Numbers"
Turing at 100; math in Nature?
February
The mathematics of pasta
Correlation from information theory
The hit potential equation
Numerosity in neural networks
Splendeur et misère of mathematicians
January
Pigeon math in the New York Times
Of ants and basketball players
The Khan Academy in the math classroom

2011

December
"How mathematicians rule the markets"
"How to fix Math Education"
Fixing Math Education (cont.)
Why Science Majors change their minds, and why not
Monte Carlo methods in mammalian evolution
November
Math in the American Educator
Nobel Prize for Quasicrystals
Archimedes in the New York Times
String theory - the new calculus?
"Biology is too complex to be unified by mathematics"
October
A fax from Archimedes
"Pure mathematics - and that's the problem ..."
Random matrices against HIV
September
Dyscalculia
MoMath in the New York Times
Explosive percolation revisited
Fixing math education
August
"The unplanned impact of mathematics"
Modular DNA computation
Truncated octahedral supramolecular cages
Math and Art in the Hamptons
June-July
Taming Complexity
Capturing Rogue Waves
May
Geomagical squares
Early childhood math in the Times
The "innocent, unconscious" biases that deflect girls from math
April
Multicolor tilings in liquid crystals
How to grow a mind
Number and Language
The sound of π on NPR
John Milnor and the media
March
Enumerative combinatorics in the news
The shape of musical chords
February
Geometric order in Nature's zoo
Cellular automata, literally
Meanwhile, abroad
January
Plimpton 322 in the New York Times
... and the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus
Math and music in three dimensions
WikiLeaks and NP-completeness

2010

December
Math, Models and Mystification
Topology is not enough
Markov models for Bengalese finch songs
November
L'affaire Bogdanov back in Le Monde
Two (equally good) heads better than one
The calm before the tipping point
"Proofiness"
October
Original math on Futurama
The math of consciousness
September
The "rising star hypothesis" tested in math
"Street-fighting Math" on Boing Boing
A theorem in Biochemistry
P and NP, blogs and wiki
August
Lévy flight for fish
Hardy and Ramanujan at Lincoln Center
Electoral math in The New Yorker
June/July
Complexity, diversity and simultaneous diagonalization
"Hands-on and body-in geometry"
Laplacian dynamics on networks
A new use for instantons
May
Simple connectedness in the New York Review of Books
Abstract mathematician = psycho?
E8, cobalt niobate and the golden mean
April
Electronic topology of annulenes
"The Joy of x"
Issey Miyake meets William Thurston
Fermat's last stand
New math symbols
March
Eulerian circuits in the giant panda genome
The Joint Mathematics Meetings covered in Science
"We don't use algebra"
February
"Alice's adventures in algebra"
The wizard's clock
Packing tetrahedra into a quasicrystal
A weekly math column in The New York Times online
January
Le Monde: So few mathematicians, so much math
Basic instinct: math
Cognitive science applied to teaching math
Back to Antikythera

2009

December
Order from chaos in Monterey Bay
Math Ed in the City Journal
Homomorphic encryption
November
"Israel Gelfand, Math Giant"
Too much math in French schools?
"The Sophisticated Side of Elementary Mathematics"
Martin Gardner celebrated in the New York Times
"Masssively collaborative mathematics"
October
UK apologizes to Alan Turing
Markov chains for the Indus script
Hiding behind Hermite polynomials
Page-ranking the food chain
September
Progress on the Thomson problem
Math: "ubiquitous, supercool, ..."
"The Idolatry of Numbers"
Packing Platonic solids
August
The math of slithering
NYU's Abel Trifecta
Those evil mathematicians, again
Cortical circuits for mental arithmetic
June/July
Math on the Wild Side
"Intimidatingly awesome" knot theory project
Beyond Turing machines
May
Mersenne primes on NPR
"The identification of nontriviality"
Freeman Dyson's magic number
Of math and money
April
Math project wins Intel
Big earmark for mathematical talent detection
"Explosive Percolation"
Mirrors that don't reverse, and others
"The genius who came in from the cold"
March
Bees do it
Congresswoman Waters disses mathematicians
Barry Cipra at the Joint Meetings
February
"Cuddly Topology"
Hiding behind curvature
January
Netflix and the singular value decomposition
"physical reality embodies simple mathematical laws"
Math Ed in the news

2008

December
Random molecular tilings
Roach trigonometry
Math on the Fringe
November
"Samurai mathematician"
The diagonalization of physics
Science goes to MathFest
Math meets the campaign ad on YouTube
October
Solzhenitsyn mathematician
Non-verbal number acuity counts
NIMBioS
September
Antikythera link to Archimedes?
Archimedean approximation to Penrose tiling
"Swinging with math"
August
"Mathematics of the spheres"
E8 in The New Yorker
Geometry of the mental number line
"Girls = Boys at Math"
June/July
Aztec area algorithms
Polyhedral cages in nerve synapses
Teaching math with concrete examples?
May
Hearing molecular drums
Markov Clusters in the tree of life
The path to algebra: fractions
April
The hole truth?
Midge dynamics in Lake Myvatn
An 80-vertex polytope in Physical Review
March
Professor protagonist
Parallel transport for qubits
Physical Chemistry in 4D
Physical insight into a hard combinatorial problem
February
Numeral cognition and language
"The computational realization of gesture"
The mathematics of choosiness
"A Mathematical Gem"
January
Holographic algorithms
The Gömbök
Math and macromolecular architecture
"Everything in our world is purely mathematical - including you"

2007

December
cosmic geometries
Euclid in China, in 1607
First encounters in strange places
Math for the birds, or maybe not
November
How complex is mathematics?
Quantifying the evolutionary dynamics of language
Nash equilibria for bacteria
October
Hardy and Ramanujan - the play
Hardy and Ramanujan - the novel
Math: Gift from God or Work of Man?
Women, Girls and Math - on NPR
September
OMG! Math is cool!
Electrical geometry: the Elephant-nose fish
Origami pinecones
The Myth. The Math. The Sex.
August
"A Twist on the Möbius Band"
Geometry and the Imagination
Homer Simpson: "Mmm....p"
June/July
Too good at math?
Mathematical patterns in songs
Curvature and the growth of cells
May 2007
Computing with locomotives
Mathematical tools needed
Misaligned math tests
April 2007
E8 in the New York Times
E8 in the media
Intel silver and bronze for math projects
Cooking Gaussian curvature
"Journeys to the Distant Fields of Prime"
March 2007
Fibonacci music
Medieval Islamic quasi-periodic tilings
February 2007
Ricci flow on Science cover
x e-x in a tropical rainforest.
Sculptor and mathematician
"Proof at a roll of the dice."
January 2007
Nine lawyers and a mathematician
The math of swarms
Math propaganda on Bay Area TV
"I was a teenage angle trisector."
Mathematician becomes "Genome Sleuth"

2006

December 2006
Rebellion at Topology
Spidrons
"As Math Scores Lag ..."
Math, Podcast from the Ozarks
November 2006
The Emperor of Math
"Numbers are Male, said Pythagoras ..."
Next year in Marienbad: chaos
"Less happy + less confidence = good math student"
October 2006
The Geometry of Musical Chords
Epithelial topology
Mathematical error control
September 2006
Math: Whale Songs --> Kaleidoscopic Images
The Poincaré Conjecture on National Public Radio
... and in the New York Times
More math on NPR: encryption; soccer-ball design
August 2006
Summertime, when math losses come easy
Math at the World Cup
Gravitational waves in the news
Nanoscale Minimal Surface?
June/July 2006
"The N.S.A's Math Problem"
Void in a golden cage
Now Math Diplomacy - I
Now Math Diplomacy - II
May 2006
1+ 1 + 2 + 3 + 5 + 8 = a poem
"A Helix with a Handle"
Dynamics of Roach Congregation
April 2006
Counting Ben Franklin's magic squares
Chaos in the deep
The differential geometry of quantum computation
March 2006
Fractals finger suspect Pollocks
Plant growth and the Golden Ratio, re-evaluated
Mathematical Incompleteness in the Scientific American
February 2006
"The Geometry of the Jungle"
Deal or No Deal?
Cuboctahedral vesicles in eukaryotic cells
January 2006
The Euclidean metric and jail time
Mathematical patterns in asthma attacks
Atiyah pulls the strings

2005

December 2005
Penfield NY, a front in "the nationwide math wars"
Glacial climate cycles and the least common multiple
Math on the Millennium Bridge
November 2005
The math of meniscus mountaineering
Hermann Weyl, remembered in Nature
A new topology for the internet
October 2005
Math and the art of mattress flipping
Virus geometry
Dirac: algebraist or geometer?
September 2005
Math and narrative on Mykonos
World's largest nano-deltahedron
Fibonacci numbers on microstructures?
August 2005
Penrose tiling Down Under
Math and the Unicorn Tapestries
June/July 2005
Plaster math models as art
The math behind "Intelligent Design"
Archimedes palimpsest update
May 2005
The math beneath the Interplanetary Superhighway
Peter Lax in the New York Times
The math of craquelure
Proof checking by computer assistants
April 2005
Differential geometry and the Venus Flytrap
Wrong, Wrong and Wrong
Amateur math in ancient Japan
March 2005
More Origami Mathematics
Algorithmic complexity in evolution
Relativity. Incompleteness. Uncertainty.
Six degrees of self-similarity
February 2005
Crocheted Manifold
"Blood, math and gore."
More about "Numb3rs"
Terror Network Theory
January 2005
Ant Geometry
The Magic of Math, in Queens
Father of fractals

2004

December 2004
IT and the Riemann Hypothesis
Gödel's Theorem on ABC News
Making wavelets in the art world
November 2004
Math in a fly's eye
Tradition vs. Modernity
Topology and the Aharonov-Bohm effect
Solve the equation, get the job
October 2004
Mandelbrot and the Market
Math and the Gypsy Moth
Musings on the Math Olympiad
More on the 5th posulate
September 2004
The Math of Medical Marriages
Bird Logic
Calculus, the play
July/August 2004
Mathematical Origami
Local Boy Makes Good?
Mind, Music and Math
June 2004
The Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball
DNA does the twist
Understanding the ununderstandable
May 2004
More about Kepler's Problem
Math is hard!
Recent math history in the Chronicle
Inside gifted brains
The Bayesian revolution
Chaos in Nature
April 2004
Atiyah, Singer in The Boston Globe
Math Ed in Britain
Statistical Topology of Networks
March 2004
Google salutes Julia
Perelman in Nature
Groupoids and the leech heart
Love Model Equations
February 2004
Aromatic Möbius strip
Perelman in the Baltimore Sun
"Malignant Maths"
Bayesian athletics
Bayesian filters for spam
January 2004
Archimedes Combinatorist
Michael in India
Calculators vs. math skills
Largest prime yet
Mathe-musical instrument

2003

December 2003
Everything and More
The Most Important Problem
Who invented the electronic digital computer?
Far East Math Flap
Hilbert Hotel Onstage
Auxin and the Fibonacci Numbers
November 2003
Why math books are hot
At home in dodecahedral space
Math on the golf course
October 2003
Infinite Wisdom
Wolfram in Washington
African Institute
Paul Wolfowitz, "former mathematician"
September 2003
15 milliseconds of fame
Women at the EDGE
Death and the heptagon
A heap of trouble
"Please Pile on the Problems? This Has to Be Math Camp"
July/August 2003
New York State Regents Math Flap
"Pure Math - Pure Joy"
Gravitational caustics
Where do we do math?
Beyond Buckyballs
June 2003
Math in Nature
Imaginary numbers in The Observer
The Golden Mean in The New York Times
The Poincaré Conjecture (cont.)
Dog bites math
May 2003
The Poincaré Conjecture
Coot Math
Wolfram at the Cooper-Hewitt
"The Superformula"
April 2003
This doughnut universe
Knots in the Washington Post
Anthrax: the math
March 2003
4 log 3 - a new cosmic constant?
Ethnomath in the Times Magazine
Math reform in Russia
Quantum computing in The Economist
February 2003
Splits at Clay
Gödel in Science
"Math's Wild and Crazy Guy"
Figure Skating
Mathematical oncology
Democracy and despotism
January 2003
The Putnam in Time
Too much pi?
The best ways to lace
Freak waves

2002

December 2002
Locust neuron math
The topology of NOT
Elevens and nines on NPR
Computational Biology in Nature
November 2002
Football math
A mathematical phase transition
Ig Noble math
The next big thing
Bust to boom at Rochester
October 2002
Perfect Graphs
Algorithmic Architecture
Home on the Fractal Range
Ants vote for Wolfram
Neurons do Math
More primes in the Times
September 2002
The fifty-micron Möbius strip
Baby Math on NPR
Solving an Escher Puzzle
Primes in the Times
Post-mortem on the Geometry Center
143-Year-Old Problem
July/August 2002
The number line is real
Stephen Wolfram and the New York Times
Math in the USSR
A tough math problem in internet routing
June 2002
Moving with VIGRE
A new kind of science?
Math teachers with no math
New / old math probes the big bang
A differential equation for organism growth
Trig tables in verse
May 2002
"Computers, Paradoxes and the Foundations of Mathematics"
Flies, weeds and statistical mechanics
The Erdös Prizes
Nash sightings
DNA Computer solves a hard problem
Poincaré conjecture on NPR, and in the Times
Sidewalk math on NPR
April 2002
"Hi-IQ Math Hunks heat up films, plays"
Spinning eggs
Cellular automata at the seashore
Math plagiarism
More about Nash
March 2002
More backstage math
"Highly enjoyable and interesting people"
Math on 42nd street
Fourier transform of the fossil record
Large-scale sign error
"The Shape of the Universe: Ten Possibilities"
February 2002
Polyhedron Man
The Differential Equations of Pathogen Virulence
More about John Nash
Dynamic Catastrophe Theory
January 2002
A beautiful movie
Tiny computer factors 15
"Knot Possible"
A mathematician backstage
Waves of measles

2001

December 2001
Living and breathing fractals
More about hats
Biomolecular finite-state automata
A new Proof
Mathematica - the show
November 2001
Chinese characters
Evolution's mathematical rhythm
Haven't we had this conversation before?
Multiplication in the brain
Catastrophes in Nature
Drunk on fractals
October 2001
The Gordian unknot
Answering an Age-Old Cry: When Will I Use This Math?
The Abel prize
Photo Solitons
September 2001
Math Anxiety and Math Competence
What is Math about?
Tying and untying molecular knots
Wiles at the Olympiad
Is pi normal?
July/August 2001
Poor Richard's Magic Squares
Two Tony's for Proof
"I prove a theorem and the house expands ..."
ex on the Op-Ed page
Geometric Quantum Computation
"Surprisingly Square"
John Nash, and the movie
June 2001
Computing an Organism
Proof on NPR
Flat and Flatter
Why don't we have six limbs?
Complexity too simple?
Newton vs. Leibniz on the air
Physiological rhythms
Beyond the spherical cow
May 2001
What color is my hat?
Schools' "New Math" = Trouble for City Kids
Fun with Fermat
Alan Alda, math wannabe
Pulitzer for Proof
Benjamin Peirce in The New Yorker
"A Beautiful Mind" - the movie
April 2001
Math in The Lancet
Solitons in matter
Teenager finds new triangle theorem
God, Stephen Wolfram, etc.
Calculus with Mother Hen
March 2001
Unknotting the unknot
Knots on the air
Iannis Xenakis
Jock Math I
Jock Math II
Chaos? Complexity?
February 2001
Rereading Plimpton 322
"Loving Math Infinitely"
How do fish swim?
Digital Archimedes
Math teachers are nerds ... not
Math and Fiction. Incompatible careers?
January 2001
Race to settle Catalan conjecture
Prez mentions math
"Rhetoric and the Math Melodrama"
"Beautiful Minds"
Method and madness

2000

December 2000
That was the election that was
Fermat's Last Tango
Recognition for mathematics
The butterfly effect?
Math history on the web
31 Prime, 35 Past Prime?
The exhibit Art and Mathematics 2000
November 2000
The tiniest dodecahedron
Strange attractors onstage
Incompressible is incomprehensible
A new Federal encryption algorithm
The geometry of a fender-bender
October 2000
Online Math Quiz October 17
Computation with 2-dimensional DNA
More math into biology!
Math genes?
Slime-mould topology
Retinal Calculus
September 2000
Updating Ramanujan
Making RNA think
5 + 2 = yellow
Contentious disciples
A Figure-8 knot in a protein
Math in Los Angeles
July/August 2000
Roach Applied Math
Pinning down the Butterfly
The Joy of Sharing
June 2000
Math on Broadway
Honeybee Calculus and Analytic Geometry
Euler's Spinning Penny
May 2000
$1,000,000 revisited
Heinous math?
"The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem"
"Flexible Math Meets a Parental Rebellion"
April 2000
Double Bubbles
More Monkey Math
Squeeze in a few more?
How to win $1,000,000
March 2000
Pebbles to Microchips
Beyond Quadratic Reciprocity
Theory of Liquid Spikes
February 2000
Math Snow Sculpture Wins Prize at Breckenridge
Bubbles can sink in stout
More on Parrando's Paradox
"DNA Computer is created and does Complex Calculations"
More Chimp Math?
"The Curl of Agnesi"
January 2000
Microscopic predators and prey
Heads you lose, tails you lose
Math + Art = Dada
Bees know best

1999

December 1999
The most influential lecture ever given in mathematics?
Why does a negative times a negative equal a positive?
Things that go bump
November 1999
The crumpling catastrophe
How to slice a tort?
Beautiful dynamics
October 1999
"Systematic enumeration of crystalline networks"
Unexpected behavior from fractal drums
Fermat's Last Theorem
No room on the family tree
"Randomness Everywhere"
July/August 1999
Jackson Pollock's drip paintings
Fractals in the family room
Your cell phone may soon have a fractal antenna
Randomly ravenous rabbits?
"Connections between music and science are subtle and uncertain"
"Multifractality in human heartbeat dynamics"
June 1999
Written in stone
"Mathematical genius Kurt Gödel"
Unreadable but irresistible
"For math whizzes, victory equals respect"
"Brain's Math Machine Traced to 2 Circuits"
Math on the Web in MathML soon?
May 1999
The music of the spheres
Learn inference and logical rigor from a computer game?
Ada and the Bernoulli Numbers
Plot of Internet traffic against time gives a curve with the self-similarity of a fractal!
April 1999
Space could be finite
"Playful thinking can often lead to serious mathematics"
"Alan Turing's Forgotten Ideas in Computer Science"
"Why does the telephone cord always get twisted?"
A Knotty Mathematical Problem?
"Math Emerges Blinking Into the Glare of Popular Culture"
The Lagrangian Codes
The math of slime molds and ant bridges
March 1999
Snow Sculpting with Mathematics
A faster Web from group theory?
Real-world applications
Unknots that can't be untied
Symmetric singular sextic surface

1998

1998
"Mathematics is ... the fuel that NASA increasingly uses..."
"The Penultimate Conjecture," by Leonard Michaels
"A Multifractal Walk down Wall Street"
"Once upon a Number: The Hidden Mathematical Logic of Stories"
"Mathematical Recreations" of Ian Stewart
André Weil
"The Geometry of the Universe"
Peter Griffin, author of "The Theory of Blackjack"
Japanese Temple Geometry

1997

1997
Interview with Ennio DeGiorgi
The Proof program on Fermat's Last Theorem on PBS
The Bible Code
Mathematics and the "Science Wars"
AMS adopts stand on new immigration law
Beyond Numbers, a travelling museum exhibition about mathematics
Dr. Neal Lane, Director of the National Science Foundation
Breaking the Code to air on PBS
Paul Erdős dies at 83

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Books, plays, movies and television shows

The Reviews page lists and links to reviews of books, plays, movies and television shows that are related to mathematics (but are not aimed solely at the professional mathematician). The Reviews page is updated monthly.