...a companion blog to "Math-Frolic," specifically for interviews, book reviews, weekly-linkfests, and longer posts or commentary than usually found at the Math-Frolic site.

"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty – a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show." ---Bertrand Russell (1907) Rob Gluck

"I have come to believe, though very reluctantly, that it [mathematics] consists of tautologies. I fear that, to a mind of sufficient intellectual power, the whole of mathematics would appear trivial, as trivial as the statement that a four-legged animal is an animal." ---Bertrand Russell (1957)

******************************************************************** Rob Gluck

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The First Annual (maybe, only) MathTango Awards!!

There are certain math/science sites, writers etc. that I especially look forward to visiting. They deserve special recognition! And we all love awards ceremonies, right, so without further adieu... the awarding of Sheckies!: ;-))

1)  For popular science writing in a magazine format.... the Sheckie goes to:  Quanta Magazine


Of the dozen or more online sites I follow offering regular science writing (with a strong math/physics bent) in a magazine-like format, Quanta is almost in a league of their own, for clarity, consistency, visual appeal, and a stable of superb writers.  So Quanta Magazine, and all those associated with it, CONGRATULATIONS, and keep up the fab work!

2)  For popular mathematics publishing.... a Sheckie for:  Princeton University Press


The more I read, the more I appreciate the behind-the-scenes work of good editors, who really make the books we enjoy so enjoyable! They too-often go unsung. Several major presses regularly publish popular math works, but for consistency, presentation quality, and engaging the reader, Princeton readily tops my list here, and I often wonder, when reading math volumes from other publishers, what could Princeton have done with this!

3)  For science and thought-provoking writing in a blog.... this 2016 Sheckie to:  Shtetl-Optimized (Scott Aaronson)


I get feeds for ~200 math and science-related blogs that I regularly enjoy (a small sampling of what's out there)... still, there are only a few blogs that stand out consistently for their overall quality, range, depth, sincerity, insight, novelty, stimulating discussions and comments (and I say that even though there is plenty Scott writes about that I can't even comprehend). There is no blog I look forward to more than Aaronson's Shtetl-Optimized.
As an honorable mention here though I'll also note Brian Hayes' quirky, unpredictable, fun and always-interesting "Bit Player" blog: http://bit-player.org/

4)  For establishing a niche blog serving a long-needed function (reporting on fraudulent, plagiarized, erroneous, and otherwise retracted research; i.e. trying to keep science honest!), and doing it so well.... a Sheckie to Ivan Oransky and his Retraction Watch team:


This one will be no surprise to long-time readers:
5)  Specifically for popular mathematics-writing.... a Sheckie to:  Keith Devlin
For wonderful shorter pieces, two of Dr. Devlin's main blogs are here:


And a list of his prolific books over the years at Amazon here:

(he's also the math-guy on NPR radio as well)

Sometimes I feel I become an even bigger fan of Keith's with each new piece of his that I read. Maybe when Steven Strogatz or Jordan Ellenberg have a dozen+ books under their belt my choice will shift, but for now, once again for clear, incisive, instructive, thoughtful, logical math communication a big appreciative nod to Dr. Devlin.

6)  Finally, an easy one to give out, for popular presentation of mathematics in a video format.... this Sheckie to those wonderful folks at Numberphile:


They just keep churning out good, varied, high-quality, entertaining, educational math videos... really an outstanding body-of-work!

Anyway, applause for everyone! (next year I'll try to get Billy Crystal to host)
... and what prizes will all these fine winners receive:


uhhhh, bragging rights to recognition from this teeny corner of the blogosphere....
(and, a Sheckie may be in the mail... or, NOT)

But seriously, so much great stuff out there; had to take a moment to recognize some of it!

[pics via WikimediaCommons]

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