Tuesday, April 11, 2023

April -- Mathematics & Statistics Awareness Month

      Found at the website of the American Statistical Association this fine page of resources for Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month for students and teachers.  

This photos shows resource topics available at the link given above.

     One of my own recent activities has been to revisit an old book, Poetry and Mathematics by Scott Buchanan (J. B. Lippincott, 1962), originally published in 1929.   Buchanan (1895-1968) was a philosopher who had majored in mathematics as an undergraduate; his career involved both teaching and consulting -- and work at a political think tank.  Here are some of his words:

From page 40:  Poetry is one of the finer arts and therefore, like mathematics and the other higher studies, has specialized and refined techniques.  It deals with selected language devices and aspires to the purity of form achieved only by music,  It is an esoteric art. Let no one enter who is ignorant of versification or prosody . . . .

From page 145:  Mathematics and poetry, as forms of thought, have a peculiar property which I have called expansiveness.  They are always restless and hungry for more.  

     I end with a mathy poem found in the anthology Against Infinity (details follow the poem):

          Function     by Esther Unger

          The human function is always to presume
          beyond the boundaries which meet the eye.
          A number's function is a point on a line,
          a static symbol fixed in space and time.

          We are not number, isolate,    
          nor lonely integer, jailed at a point.
          Why limit our presumptions?
          So much is found by saying -- Let us assume.

Esther Unger is a New York City poet who has been honored by the establishment of the Esther Unger Poetry Award at CCNY;  her poem "Function"  appears in the anthology Against Infinity, edited by Ernest Robson and Jet Wimp (Primary Press, 1979) -- and previously mentioned in this blog.  Here is a link to some previous blog postings that featured poems from that anthology.

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