Math Digest
On Media Coverage of Math
Edited by Allyn Jackson, AMS
Contributors: Mike Breen (AMS), Claudia Clark (freelance science writer), Lisa DeKeukelaere (2004 AMS Media Fellow), Annette Emerson (AMS), Anna Haensch (Drexel University), Allyn Jackson (Senior Deputy Editor, Notices of the AMS), and Ben PittmanPolletta (Harvard Medical School)
2014 Math Digest
December 2014

Mirzakhani Makes Nature's Top Science Stories of 2014, by Annette Emerson
"Surface Explorer" (part of "One Year, Ten Stories. Newsmakers of the Year"), Nature, 18/25 December 2014

On fun (calendar) dates, by Claudia Clark
"After 12/13/14, What Are the Next Fun Dates for Math Lovers?" Smithsonian Magazine, 11 December 2014

Nailing Down the Primes, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"Prime Gap Grows After DecadesLong Lull," Quanta Magazine, 10 December 2014

On surveys of mathematically gifted teens, 30 years later, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"Unequal fates for maths superstars,” Nature, 4 December 2014

"Show and Tell": Google turns pictures into words, by Anna Haensch
"How Google 'Translates' Pictures Into Words Using Vector Space Mathematics," MIT Technology Review, 1 December 2014

On modeling the immune system's response to the flu, by Claudia Clark
"Immunity's Illusion," Scientific American, December 2014
November 2014

Making A Big Production Out of Optimizing Fluid Flows, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"The Chemistry of Math," Lab Manager, November 29, 2014

On making mathematicians glamorous, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"Dispatch From the Oscars of Science," Slate, 19 November 2014

On a report about sexism in mathintensive fields, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"No sexism in science? Not so fast, critics say," Science, 14 November 2014

Free Your Eyes, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"The Illusion Machine That Teaches Us How We See," Nautilus, 13 November 2014

Terence Tao appears on The Colbert Report, by Claudia Clark
Terence Tao, guest, The Colbert Report, Comedy Central, 12 November 2014

On how math explains why hipsters look alike, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"The mathematician who proved why hipsters all look alike," Washington Post, 11 November 2014

Combining Food and Formulas, by Claudia Clark
"Mouthwatering Math: Culinary Creations Combine Food and Formulas," LiveScience, 10 November 2014

On Bletchley Park cryptanalyst Joan Clarke, by Allyn Jackson
"Joan Clarke, woman who cracked Enigma with Alan Turing," BBC, 10 November 2014

He ought to be in papers, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"What's Missing From 'The Imitation Game'," The New Yorker, 6 November 2014

Musicians and Birds Converge on the Harmonic Series, by Anna Haensch
"This Bird's Songs Share the Same Mathematical Qualities as Human Music," NOVA, 4 November 2014

On the complexity of Candy Crush, by Claudia Clark
"Candy Crush's Puzzling Mathematics," American Scientist, NovemberDecember 2014
October 2014

Matt Parker turns math into standup comedy, by Anna Haensch
"'Standup mathematician' Matt Parker is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences," The Independent, 30 October 2014

On the sexiness of math, by Allyn Jackson
"Math is the sexiest science around," DW, 30 October 2014

Black men in STEM, by Allyn Jackson
"STEM Stories," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 October 2014

On an app that solves math problems, by Mike Breen
"This app will help kids cheat on math tests," Quartz, 21 October 2014

On an event at the National Museum of Mathematics, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"Billionaires and Mathematicians Crack Jokes at the Geekiest Event of the Season," The Wall Street Journal, 19 October 2014

On shipping in Britain, by Allyn Jackson
"Why you need to be a maths genius to post a parcel," BBC Business News, 10 October 2014

"What comes next?" Sloane's database of sequences delivers an answer, by Anna Haensch
"Neil Sloane: the man who loved only integer sequences," Alex's Adventures in NumberlandThe Guardian, 7 October 2014

On discovering the art of mathematics, by Claudia Clark
"Teaching Math to People Who Think They Hate It," The Atlantic, 6 October 2014

Age Tables Behind Bars, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"New theorem determines the age distribution of populations from fruit flies to humans," Science Codex, 6 October 2014

On the occasion of Martin Gardner's 100th Birthday, by Mike Breen and Annette Emerson
"Math Games of Martin Gardner Still Spur Innovation," Scientific American, October 2014

Among The 'Brilliant Ten,' A MathLoving Biologist, by Anna Haensch
"The Brilliant Ten of 2014," Popular Science, October 2014
September 2014

2014 Shaw Prize winner George Lusztig talks about the beauty of math, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"When problems equate to happiness," South China Morning Post, 30 September 2014

Bayes hits the big time, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"The Odds, Continually Updated," The New York Times, 29 September 2014

On a scale from 1 to 10, student evaluations get a 1, researchers say, by Anna Haensch
"Scholars Take Aim at Student Evaluations’ ‘Air of Objectivity’," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 18 September 2014

On a math teacher who won one million dollars on Wheel of Fortune, by Mike Breen
"Silver Spring math teacher, Sarah Manchester, wins $1million on 'Wheel of Fortune,'" WJLA ABC 7, 17 September 2014

Math geniuses, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"Meet the 2014 Winners of the MacArthur 'Genius Grants'," National Public Radio, September 17, 2014

On the Lévy flight movements of sharks, by Annette Emerson
"Sharks Act Like Math Geniuses, Discovery News, 16 September 2014

On Jim Fowler and his online MOOCulus, by Claudia Clark
"Forget Cat Photos: This Prof Is Making Calculus Go Viral," Forbes, 10 September 2014

New mathematics gallery to open at Science Museum (U.K.), by Mike Breen
"Science Museum unveils £5m plan for 'world's foremost' mathematics gallery," The Guardian, 10 September 2014

On the math behind how crustaceans swim, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"Math Explains How Lobsters Swim," Discovery News, 9 September 2014

Using Math and Google to Study Disease and More, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"A safer world through disease mathematics," Santa Fe New Mexican, 8 September 2014

Going from math professor to university president, by Mike Breen
"A Professor in the President's Chair: Pushing for a 'Friendly Revolution'." People, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 September 2014

On Vladimir Voevodsky and his new approach to verifying mathematical proofs, by Claudia Clark
"A new foundation for mathematics," R & D Magazine, 3 September 2014

Math Explains How Your Old Water Bottle Made It All the Way to a Beach in India, by Anna Haensch
"Math Might Help Nail Oceans' Plastic 'Garbage Patch' Polluters," nbcnews.com, 2 September 2014

On a 19thcentury paperandpencil approximation to Pi, by Claudia Clark
"Pencil, Paper, and Pi," American Scientist, SeptemberOctober 2014
August 2014

On a math teacher who's running for the U.S. Senate, by Mike Breen
"Newsmakers: Three Q's," Science, 29 August 2014

Math Bytes Shows Fun And Tasty New Ways To Teach Math, by Anna Haensch
"Davidson College Professor Teaches NonTraditionally With 'MathBytes'," WCCBTV (Charlotte), 28 August 2014

A Famous Graph Makes an Appearance on a Very Small Stage, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"Materials scientists, mathematicians benefit from newly crafted polymers." R&D Magazine, 26 August 2014

On the mathematical landscape, by Lisa DeKeukeleare
"On the mathematical landscape,” The News on Sunday, 24 August 2014

On bicycle sharing, by Lisa De Keukelaere
"Wheels when you need them," Science, 22 August 2014

Study shows practicing multiplication tables definitely worth it, by Anna Haensch
"Brain scans show how kids' math skills grow, Detroit Free Press, 19 August 2014

Take my peer review... please, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"Proof confirmed of 400yearold fruitstacking problem," New Scientist, 12 August 2014

Coverage of the 2014 Fields Medals, by Allyn Jackson
Extensive coverage of the 2014 Fields Medalists

On fonts from puzzles, by Claudia Clark
"Fatherson mathematicians fold math into fonts," Science News, 10 August 2014

Background on the Fields Medal, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"How Math Got Its 'Nobel'," The New York Times, 8 August 2014

On a Google Doodle saluting John Venn, by Mike Breen
"John Venn's 180th birthday is commemorated with a Google Doodle," 4 August 2014

Five reviews in The New York Times, by Mike Breen
"The Shortlist: Math," The New York Times Book Review, 3 August 2014
July 2014

The sheep of Wall Street, by Anna Haensch
"Math nerds are taking over Wall Street," CNN.com, 26 July 2014

Grigory Perelman Doesn't Care If You Like It*, by Ben PittmanPolletta
"Evolutionary advance or dead end?," Business World Online, 23 July 2014

On majors and jobs, by Mike Breen
A fresh look at the STEM workforce," News, Science, 18 July 2014

Strawberry fields forever, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"How math is growing more strawberries in California," PBS News Hour, 11 July 2014

A profile of James Simons, by Lisa DeKeuekelaere
"Seeker, Doer, Giver, Ponderer," New York Times, 7 July 2014

On preventing collisions between whales and ships, by Allyn Jackson
"I'm modelling whale ways to keep them safe from ships: Interview with Asha de Vos," New Scientist, 7 July 2014

The AllTime Ultimate Greatest Ever, by Ben Polletta
"The 12 Mathematicians Who Set The Stage For The Modern World", Business Insider, 3 July 2014

On the world's largest origami convention, by Claudia Clark
"Video: Origami Artists Don't Fold Under Pressure," Wall Street Journal, 2 July 2014
June 2014

MIT Prof. Making Sense of Big Data, by Anna Haensch
"Mathematical patchwork," MIT News, 27 June 2014

On Emmy Noether, by Claudia Clark
"The Most Important Mathematician You've Never Heard Of," io9, 25 June 2014

On creating 3D equations, by Claudia Clark
"This Is What Math Equations Look Like in 3D," Wired, 25 June 2014

On the first Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"The MultimillionDollar Minds of 5 Mathematical Masters," New York Times, 23 June 2014

From Neymar to Nash, World Cup Soccer Equals Economics At Play, by Anna Haensch
"The Beautiful Data Set," New York Times, 13 June 2014

On Richard Tapia, by Allyn Jackson
"Minority voice," Science, 6 June 2014
May 2014

Going All the Way Back with Computing and Art, by Ben Polletta
"The forgotten history of CGI," io9, May 31, 2014

Monte Carlo Isn't Just for Gamblers, by Ben Polletta
"About to make a big bet? Don't crash out, cash in with the power of maths," The Register, 29 May 2014

On soap films, by Anna Haensch
"Soap films with complex shapes shed light on the formation of mathematical singularities (w/ Video)," Phys.org, 27 May 2014

On German research minister Johanna Wanka, by Mike Breen
"Doing the math in Berlin," Science, 23 May 2014

On gerrymandering, by Anna Haensch
"Can math save Illinois from gerrymandering?" Chicago SunTimes, 18 May 2014

On parents' frustration with the Common Core, by Lisa DeKeukeleare
"2+2=What? Parents rail against Common Core math." The Wall Street Journal, 15 May 2014

On Maria Klawe, a "fascinating Angeleno," by Lisa DeKeukeleare
"Maria Klawe: The ForwardThinking President of Harvey Mudd College," LA Weekly, 14 May 2014

On math, art, and video games, by Claudia Clark
"An Iranian developer's entrancing game about his culture and the mathematics of art," Polygon, 12 May 2014

On discovering that seven cylinders can touch, by Claudia Clark
"A tale of touching tubes," Science News, 3 May 2014

Populationlevel cyclic motions is not the name of a dance troupe, by Ben Polletta
"How to win at rockpaperscissors," BBC News, 2 May 2014

On Penrose tile cookware, by Lisa DeKeukeleare
"Impossible Cookware and Other Triumphs of the Penrose Tile," NautilusSymmetry Issue (issue 13), 1 May 2014

On fair division, by Claudia Clark
"Math Shall Set You FreeFrom Envy," NautilusSymmetry Issue (issue 13), 1 May 2014

Lies, Damned Lies, and Quantum Computing, by Ben Polletta
"The Quest for Randomness," American Scientist, MayJune 2014

Is There Anything Ken Ono Can't Do?, by Anna Haensch
"One of Srinivasa Ramanujan’s Neglected Manuscripts Has Helped Solve Longstanding Mathematical Mysteries," Scientific American, May 2014
April 2014

On mathematicians, the NSA, and GCHO, by Allyn Jackson
"Maths spying: The quandary of working for the spooks," New Scientist, 23 April 2014

Is "Mathematician" the best job?, by Annette Emerson
"The Best And Worst Jobs For 2014," Wisconsin Public Radio, 21 April 2014; "The best (and worst) jobs for 2014," by Cindy Perman, CNBC, USA Today, 19 April 2014; and video segment "Lumberjack vs. Mathematician" on CNBC, 21 April 2014

Media take notice of "PseudoMathematics and Financial Charlatanism" article in May Notices of the AMS, by Annette Emerson
"Ban pseudomathematics from investing," Financial Times, April 16, 2014 and "Computer Models Often Use Unsound Math, Researchers Say," Bloomberg News, April 11, 2014

On using math to investigate suspicious lottery wins, by Anna Haensch
"'Math detective' analyzes odds for suspicious lottery wins," Phys.org, 15 April 2014

Mathematicians researching cancer look past the genes, and the cure, by Ben Polletta
"The cancer equation: Mathematically modelling the cure," The Independent, 8 April 2014

Edward Frenkel's appearance on the Colbert Report, by Claudia Clark
"The Colbert Report, an interview with Ed Frenkel, Comedy Central, 7 April 2014

On big data, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data,” New York Times OpEd, 6 April 2014

On Kansas University math professor Bozenna PasikDuncan's activities to communicate the beauty of mathematics, by Claudia Clark
"Lawhorn’s Lawrence: The beauty of math," Lawrence JournalWorld, 5 April 2014

On the spiritual history of calculus, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"The Secret Spiritual History of Calculus," Scientific American, April 2014
March 2014

Celebrating Freeman Dyson on his 90th Birthday, by Ben Polletta
"At 90, Freeman Dyson Ponders His Next Challenge," Quanta Magazine, 31 March 2014

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Extrapolate The Ways, by Anna Haensch
"TEDx: 'The Mathematics of Love'," Binghamton University Pipe Dream, 31 March 2014

A standup mathematician, by Allyn Jackson
"Dream Job: Standup mathematician," New Scientist, 27 March 2014

Math used in the search for the Malaysian Jet, by Allyn Jackson
"How 'groundbreaking' number crunching found path of Flight 370" CNN, 25 March 2014, and "MH370 Malaysia plane: How maths helped find an earlier crash," BBC News Magazine, 22 March 2014

A profile of math writer Dana Mackenzie, by Mike Breen
"Dana Mackenzie, Santa Cruz County Stories: Chess champion balances science writing, hula dancing," Santa Cruz Sentinel, 23 March 2014

On statistician Nate Silver and FiveThirtyEight, by Annette Emerson
"Hey Sports Fans, It's Time for Math Class," Time, 17 March 2014

On ways to get more girls into math, by Annette Emerson
"Calculating women: How to get more girls into math," Christian Science Monitor, 14 March 2014

On perceptions of women’s ability in math, by Annette Emerson
"Study: Women Who Can Do Math Still Don’t Get Hired," New York Times, 11 March 2014, and "Can women do math? New study finds both sexes believe men are better  regardless of a person's actual ability," Daily Mail, 11 March 2014

Sloan Fellow Seizes the Surprising Power of Symmetry, by Anna Haensch
"Magic and symmetry in mathematics," news@Northeastern, 11 March 2014

On Tim Chartier's Bracketology, by Mike Breen
"Math whiz unlocks NCAA bracket formula," New York Post, 10 March 2014

To Understand the Stock Market, Start by Learning Physics, by Anna Haensch
"Stock prices fluctuate like particles doing a Brownian motion dance," New Scientist, 5 March 2014

Preserving the Internet in a disaster, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"Mathematical Proof Reveals How To Make The Internet More EarthquakeProof," MIT Technology Review, 3 March 2014

Obituary for Lee Lorch, by Allyn Jackson
"Lee Lorch, Desegregation Activist Who Led Stuyvesant Town Effort, Dies at 98," The New York Times, 2 March 2014

Ed Frenkel on an outdated curriculum, by Mike Breen
"How our 1,000yearold math curriculum cheats America's kids," Los Angeles Times, 2 March 2014

On some interesting curves, by Claudia Clark
"Twisted Math and Beautiful Geometry," American Scientist, MarchApril 2014
February 2014

On a proof carried out by a computer that's too big for humans to check, by Allyn Jackson
"Wikipediasize maths proof too big for humans to check,” New Scientist, 17 February 2014

On U.S. President Garfield's mathematical proof, by Annette Emerson
"The time President James Garfield wrote a mathematical proof," io9, 13 February 2014

On mathematicians who see beauty in equations, by Lisa DeKeukelaere
"Mathematics: Why the brain sees maths as beauty," BBC News, 12 February 2014

On how scientists worked out wave equations, by Claudia Clark
"Sound, light and water waves and how scientists worked out the mathematics," Guardian, 8 February 2014

On 177,147 ways to tie a necktie, by Ben Polletta
"Matrix villain spawns 177,000 ways to knot a tie," New Scientist, 7 February 2014

On mathematical modeling behind an Honorable Mention winner in the 2013 Science Visualization Challenge, by Mike Breen
"Science 2013 Visualization Challenge: The Life Cycle of a Bubble Cluster: Insight from Mathematics, Algorithms, and Supercomputers," Science, 7 February 2014

On media coverage of an equation that requires "a lecture's worth of qualifying assumptions and definitions," by Ben Polletta
"In the End, It All Adds Up to – 1/12," New York Times, 3 February 2014

On mathematical laws behind coincidences and expected events, by Claudia Clark
"Never Say Never," Scientific American, February 2014
January 2014

"Kazakh mathematician may have solved $1 million puzzle," New Scientist, 22 January 2014

How A Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love," Wired.com, 21 January 2014

"The British amateur who debunked the mathematics of happiness," The Guardian, 18 January 2014

"Mathematicians converge on Baltimore to discuss the science and art of numbers," The Baltimore Sun, 15 January 2014

"Tomorrow's catch," Science News, 15 January 2014

"Researchers Reduce the Secret of Lifeor, at Least, of Conflictto a Simple Formula," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 10 January 2014

"Enabling Optical Analog Computing with Metamaterials," Science, 10 January 2014

Ancient times table hidden in Chinese bamboo strips," Nature, 7 January 2014