Saturday, May 29, 2021
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
You send me showers of verses, which I receive with much pleasure, as do we all; yet have we fears that this employment may seduce you from the path of Science, which you seem so destined to tread with so much honour to yourself and profit to others. Again and again I must repeat, that the composition of verse is infinitely more of an art than men are prepared to believe, and absolute success in it depends upon innumerable minutia, which it grieves me you should stoop to acquire a knowledge of.
Current investigation into the life of Hamilton has suggested that parts of Graves' work has been misinterpreted and that -- over time -- Hamilton's reputation has undeservedly declined; here is a link to a 2017 article by Anne van Weerden and Steven Wepster, "A most gossiped about genius: Sir William Rowan Hamilton" -- an article that adds new insights into the Hamilton story.
Monday, May 24, 2021
Lawrence "Larry" Lesser is a professor in the Mathematical Sciences Department at the University of Texas in El Paso and a widely published creator of mathy poems. Here are the opening stanzas of a poem that appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics (TEEM), a journal of the NCTM affiliate organization TODOS: Mathematics for ALL.
₵EL by Lawrence Mark Lesser
Cancel is from Latin for ‘make like a lattice’,
like crisscrossed wood fencing
in our backyard where we safely
dine with friends,
or like COVID-caused crossouts
a cancelled appointment (dis-appointment)
or music event (dis-concerting).
Teachers don’t like saying ‘cancel’
lest students get carried away,
cancelling sixes of 26/65,
which does equal two-fifths
Friday, May 21, 2021
New York's Museum of Mathematics celebrated National Limerick Day on May 12 with an online program of contributors reading their mathy limerick stanzas. I did not learn of the reading in time to apply for participation but here is a sample I might have submitted.
In baseball the diamonds are square--
And the ball has the shape of a sphere.
Nine guys make a team--
So, two teams make eighteen--
And fans cheer when plays come in pairs.
The limericks read at the May 12 MoMath program may be found here -- and here is a link to the results of a SEARCH in this blog for "limerick." The sample offered above was posted long ago, back in April 2010.
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Dividing Together by Adaobi Chiemelu
The cake was holy communion
You picked one piece not fatter than your two fingers
You watched as the next person went on to do same
and put the same in their mouth
You thought of pi
Monday, May 17, 2021
The first steps in mathematics . . . COUNTING!
I grew up on a farm and keeping track by counting happened often -- counting chickens, counting sheep, counting the number of weeks until the early transparent apples will be ripe . . . and when I read Tom Wayman's poem in Poet Lore I found a similar habit of relentless counting. I have not been able to obtain more than short-term permission for posting -- and so I offer here just a sample and, beneath, a a link to the full poem.
from Fifty Years of Stacking Chairs by Tom Wayman
Two of these chairs at a time
are easily manageable, so back at the empty rows
I fold three and haul them with both hands
across the space. Next trip I try
four: fingers on each hand curved
under the metal backrests of
two chairs. Fifty years
Thursday, May 13, 2021
During recent days, one of my special enjoyments has been finding time to read Marian Christie's blog -- a delightful collection of poetry and poetic musings with frequent connections to mathematics. Christie's biographical sketch (available here) indicates that she, like me, grew up enjoying both poetry and math. She became a math teacher and, after her years of teaching ended, she turned her attention to poetry. Below I present a sample of her mathy poetry, followed by links to several of her postings.
Today, in a season that is approaching summer, I coolly offer Christie's "Midwinter" poem (found here in her blog) -- a stanza in which the poet uses Pascal's triangle to pattern her words:
|a Pascal-triangle poem -- find it and lots of other mathy poems here.|
Here, next, are links to several of Christie's math-poetry blog postings. ENJOY!
Monday, May 10, 2021
|Book info available at this link.|
With my head in an oven
And my feet on some ice,
I’d say that, on average,
I feel rather nice!
Read more and enjoy . . .
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Ideas become internalized when we WRITE about them -- and I encourage students AND all of us to write about climate change and efforts to save our planet. And then to act on our words! Here are three small syllable-squares, first appearing in a post more than ten years ago and expressing my ongoing concerns for precarious imbalances we have created within our natural environment.
Monday, May 3, 2021
2 year's the
4 birthday of the
6 for Women in Mathe-
7 matics. Join celebrations --
8 hear lectures, game with playing cards,
9 interview, write essays that feature
10 math women you admire. Speak up -- cheer girls
11 who do well in math class; look back, remember,
12 laud stars of the past -- support A W M.
The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) is a national organization devoted to encouraging women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences. Founding in 1971 and celebrating math-women with outreach, networks and partnerships, playing cards, essay contest (for students in middle school through college) . . . and so much more.