Friday, January 1, 2016

Math Links

1. Another take on the Pinker-Taleb "debate".
Narratives without statistics are blind, but statistics without narratives are empty. (Pinker)
2. Book review of Really Big Numbers
How big is 10^100 [a googol]? It’s bigger than the number of atoms that could in theory be packed into a volume the size of the observable universe, but not by much (that is to say, not by more than, oh, a dozen orders of magnitude — which is small potatoes when you’re talking about a number like a googol, which exceeds the number 1 by a hundred orders of magnitude). 
Schwartz points out that a googol is exactly equal to the number of ways to make a painting consisting of 100 colored squares, using a palette of 10 colors.

3. An impressive quartet of mathematicians attempt something very hard.
That is the case with these four mathematicians. They are all individually talented, and each has pursued his own research interests over the years. But they are also close friends with a shared background and a similar approach to mathematics. This has allowed them to prompt each other, teach each other, and make discoveries together that they might not otherwise have made so easily. These include several smaller papers they’ve written in tandem and now, most recently, their biggest collaborative discovery yet — a forthcoming result by Zhang and Yun that’s already being hailed as one of the most exciting breakthroughs in an important area of number theory in the last 30 years.

No comments: