## Wednesday, February 26, 2020

### A MATH WOMAN acrostic poem

Can one describe a MATH WOMAN in 9 words?
and, what if those words' first letters must spell MATH WOMAN?
Try it -- it's fun!

M  ultiplies
A  xioms
T  risects
H  yperbolas

W  rites
O  rthogonal
M  atrices
A   voids
N   egatives

## Monday, February 24, 2020

### Counting syllables, considering snowflakes

From Larry Lesser, a professor at The University of Texas at El Paso (a researcher in math education) and a poet and songwriter and friend, today's poem offers a thoughtful reflection on the properties of a snowflake--and the fragility of thought and weather patterns.  But first (and also from Lesser), here's a clever "2019" stanza (in which each line has the number of syllables of the corresponding digit in that year):

Silence

is
sometimes the strongest thing we can say.

SNOWFLAKE     by Lawrence Mark Lesser

Some say
‘‘no two alike’’,
others say
‘‘not too alike’’.

## Wednesday, February 19, 2020

### Which order is best -- or should I try them all?

This posting celebrates a new poetry collection --

(Counterpath, 2020).
This new collection starts with an idea from bell-ringing.  Some city towers have marvelous-sounding bells -- and sometimes these bells ring wonderful concerts for nearby inhabitants.  One of the traditional bell-ringing activities is called "ringing the changes" in which a collection of n bells are rung, in sequence, in all of the possible n-factorial bell-orders.  (Here, at Strickland's website, are some links to information about the art of bell-ringing.)

BUT, what if the goal were not to ring bells in sequence
but to generate (for a reader) sequences of words (thoughtful poetic phrases)?
This sort of art is what Strickland brings to us in Ringing the Changes.

## Monday, February 17, 2020

### Those trains in word problems -- who rides them?

A Problem in a Math Book     by Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000)

I remember a problem in a math book
about a train that leaves from place A and another train
that leaves from place B. When will they meet?
And no one ever asked what happens when they meet:
will they stop or pass each other by, or maybe collide?
And none of the problems was about a man who leaves from place A
and a woman who leaves from place B. When will they meet,

## Tuesday, February 11, 2020

### "Binary Heart" -- linking love and mathematics

From the xkcd webcomic by Randall Munroe -- and also shown on the cover of Strange Attractors: Poems of Love and Mathematics, we have this reminder of upcoming Valentine's Day.
 "Binary Heart" by Randall Munroe, at https://xkcd.com/99/
Munroe's clever drawings "of romance, sarcasm, math, and language" have appeared also in previous postings in this blog (here's a link) and his website is fun to visit.
The anthology, Strange Attractors; Poems of Love and Mathematics-- edited by Sarah Glaz and me -- was published in 2008 by AK Peters and contains more than 150 poems of math and love (including another -- "Useless" -- by Munroe.)  More about Munroe is available here.

## Sunday, February 9, 2020

### Valentine's Day -- a time for Love and Mathematics

Perhaps you are looking for a mathy Valentine
or a Valentine for a mathy person . . . or both.

and offers lots of math-poetic possibilities.

## Thursday, February 6, 2020

### Welcome DIVERSITY in mathematics

As February on the calendar brings BLACK HISTORY month and March brings WOMEN'S HISTORY month, I invite you to explore the contributions of diverse groups to mathematics.  In this blog, I celebrate links between a rainbow of math-people and poetry -- for example, in this posting, "Mathematicians are not just white dudes, (which includes links to math-poetry by Benjamin Banneker and Scott Williams).

## Tuesday, February 4, 2020

### Another prize-winning poem

It was not until after my posting yesterday that I got permission from the third of the winners in the AMS 2020 student poetry contest to post his work.  Here is "The Number Won" by Austen Mazenko.   (And here is a link to a YouTube video of the January 18 event in which each of the winning poets reads their winning poem.)
 Austen is a high school senior from Greenwood Village, CO. He loves words, numbers, and their patterns--and looks forward to pursuing mathematics in college next year.
THANK YOU to the American Mathematical Society for encouraging math-poetry!

## Monday, February 3, 2020

### Prize-winning math poems -- 2020 AMS contest

In 2020, for the second year in a row, the American Mathematical Society has held a math-poetry contest for students.  (Contest information is available here.)  The three winning poems in the 2020 AMS Math Poetry Contest are:

"Outlier," by Sabrina Little, Mackintosh Academy, Boulder
"The Number Won," by Austen Mazenko, Cherry Creek High School
"x² + y² = 1(ife)," by Chenyu Lin, Colorado Christian University

From Chenyu (aka "Emily") and Sabrina I have received permission to present their poems here:

 Lin's university studies include a major in Nursing. Her future plans include graduate study and either nursing education practice in under-developed communities or research in patient care.

 Sabrina is a thirteen-year-old from Louisville, CO. Her hobbies include drawing, painting, and martial arts.

Further information about the contest -- and last year's contest also -- is available here.