Monday, July 31, 2023

The geometry of pleasure . . . .

     My late-July days have been wonderfully busy with family activities -- time with my children and grandchildren (and not much time for this blog).  Poetry that I have recently enjoyed is this selection at from "Pink Waves" by Sawaka Nakayasu.  Many thoughts have been stimulated by its opening and its final lines:

          it was a wave, it was infectious  . . . .
                      . . . .  geometry of pleasure  

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Winning Math-Communication with Haiku

     Each spring at MoMath (The National Museum of Mathematics in New York City) a contest is held -- for the Stephen Strogatz Prize for Math Communication -- inviting entries in Art, Audio, Performance, Social media, Video, and Writing.  This year's deadline was April 28, 2023 and winners are posted at this link(Info about mathematician Stephen Strogatz is available here.)

     This year's winner in the Writing category was "An Exploration of Communicating Math Concepts Through Haiku" by Anaya Willabus  -- a selection from her runner-up entry is shown below and the complete creation by Willabus is available here.

Winning math communication by Anaya Willabus

Previous mentions in this blog of the Strogatz Prize may be found at this link.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Remembering Amy Uyematsu . . .

     This is a time of sadness in the math-poetry community as we  mourn the loss of poet and retired mathematics teacher, Amy Uyematsu (1947-1923).  Here is a link to an obituary that celebrates her life and scrolling down at this link leads to information about Uymatsu's scheduled contribution to an upcoming BRIDGES Math-Arts Conference.

     It was my delight to connect with Amy lots of years ago and I have featured her and her work often in this blog (This link leads to Blog-SEARCH results for Uyematsu.)  

     A frequently-discussed question in math circles is "Is mathematics discovered or invented?" -- and below I offer the opening stanzas of Uymatsu's poem, "The Invention of Mathematics."  The entire poem is available here in my blog posting for September 29, 2010.

The Invention of Mathematics        by Amy Uyematsu

                         A man who is not somewhat of a poet
                         can never be a mathematician.
                                      Karl Weierstrass, German mathematics teacher

     / one

               one is the only true number
               the I in the eye
               each baby the god
               in a mother's sigh       

Thursday, July 13, 2023


      As a follow-up to my recent posting about OEDILF (Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form), I can't resist posting my limerick that appears on that site.  Years ago when I first learned of the dictionary I submitted several limerick-definitions but the only one that has survived is this definition of "factor":

This limerick is found here at the OEDILF site

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Mathy Limericks . . .

     One of the fun-to-visit poetry resources on the internet is the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form, a website resource that has for a goal the inclusion of at least one limerick for each meaning of each and every word in the English language.  Here is a link to an earlier mention of OEDILF in this blog and here, from the OEDILF site, are a pair of limericks about Calculus -- limericks that are currently awaiting dictionary approval.

          "Was it Newton or Leibniz?" I asked
          My professor. He smiled and then tasked
               Me to find more about
               My small calculus doubt.
          I researched and the truth was unmasked.     

Thursday, July 6, 2023

A Pioneering Woman

      Born in Washington DC in 1924, Evelyn Boyd Granville graduated from Smith College in 1945 and in 1949 became the second African-American woman to receive a PhD from an American university -- from Yale.  She worked primarily in computing.  (July 7 update:  from this morning's Washington Post I have sadly learned that Granville has passed -- on June 27, 2023).

Details of Granville's achievements may be found here and here.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Math Class -- Express POINT OF VIEW with a POEM

       Often students in a math class feel hesitant about expressing their point of view about the subject -- and these attitudes may emerge more easily via a writing assignment.  A writing format that many students respond to easily is an acrostic poem.  Such a poem is obtained by first selecting a relevant math term -- perhaps INTEGER or ADDITION or EXPONENT or  . . . and using each of its letters as the first letter of a line of poetry.  Here is a brief sample using MATH --  one of many examples I found as the result of an internet search using the terms "acrostic poem on mathematics".

Available at this link

Go here for lots more:   Acrostic Poem On Mathematics - Bing images