Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Be Guided by BEAUTY!

      When a person speaks of mathematics and poetry in the same sentence. I am interested -- and recently I came across an early-May financial article by Jason Ma which met that condition; its title and subtitle are:

Quant KingJim Simons (1938-2024) was a math and investing genius, but also a management wiz. Here are some of his lessons on leadership . . .

The article contains five "guiding principles" -- and I have grouped the words of the 3rd principle (which includes mathematics and poetry)  into the following syllable-count triangular poem:

       by beauty --
       true in doing
       mathematics or
       writing poetry, but
       also true in fashioning
       an organization that runs
       extremely well, accomplishes its 
       mission with excellence. Hope for good luck!

Here is a link to the full article by Ma.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Haiku in Math Class

      One of my recent discoveries of math-poetry is in the activities of Hofstra University professor Johanna Franklin,   Franklin asks her students to compose Haiku and she has recently sent me the following material from various courses and semesters:

Math equals patterns
patterns not everyone sees
patterns we all need.
        (introduction to proofs, Spring 2023)

Why do I have my math students write haikus at the end of the semester? Because I love both poetry and playing with words, and the American conception of a haiku strikes me as a perfect poem for a mathematician: the counting of syllables, the symmetry.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Finite vs. Infinite

     One of my frequent interesting reads is the Quote of the Day #QOTD posted on Twitter by Mathematics & Statistics at St Andrews, @StA_Maths-Stats.  A few days ago I found there the following mathy-poetic and thought-provoking quote by Polish mathematician Stanislaw Ulam (1909-1984):

     The infinite 
          we shall do right away. 
     The finite
               may take a little longer.

  [Quoted in D MacHale, "Comic Sections" (first published in Dublin 1993)]

Friday, May 17, 2024

Which of us have ARITHMOMANIA?

     One of my favorite email subscriptions is to A.Word.A.Day --  a day-to-day collection each week (gathered by Anu Garg)  of five related terms to learn anjoy.  On April 15, I learned the new word arithmomania  -- and quote the following from Garg's posting.

arithmomania     PRONUNCIATION: (uh-rith-muh-MAY-nee-uh)

MEANING:   noun: An obsessive preoccupation with numbers, calculations, and counting.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Scientific American feature-- METER

Richard Blanco:     “An engineer, poet, Cuban American… his poetry bridges cultures and languages – a mosaic of our past, our present, and our future – reflecting a nation that is hectic, colorful, and still becoming.”

President Joe Biden, conferring the National Humanities Medal on Blanco

RICHARD BLANCO is a professional civil engineer and a poet. He read his poem “One Today” at the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, who selected him to serve as the fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet in U.S. history.  Blanco's inauguration appearance is reported at this link and connection to his inaugural poem is offered there.

    One of my current favorite math-poetry sources is Scientific American -- edited by feminist science writer Dava Sobel and presented each month under the heading Meter.  The selection for December, 2022 was "Uncertain-Sea Principle" by Richard Blanco.  Here are it's opening lines: 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

2024 AMS Math-Poetry Contest Winners

     Each year the American Mathematical Society sponsors a student poetry contest-- looking for submissions from students in three categories -- junior high, senior high and college.  This year's winners are:

“An Intriguing Mystery” by Jera Feem V. Forro,  University of the Philippines Visayas Iloilo City High School  

“Meditation on Mathematics” by Chelsea Zhu, Richard Montgomery High School

"Infinity Is Known by Many Names" by Jasmin Mundi, American University

    A poster of the winning poems (shown below) is available for order at this link -- where one also finds You-Tube videos of the poets reading their winning poems.  For more information about the contest and names of honorable-mention poets and previous years' winners, go here.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Happy Birthday, AWM!

      An organization that I celebrate -- though not often enough -- is the Association for Women in Mathematics which celebrates its 53rd birthday today.  Join me in a visit to the AWM website to explore their programs and a visit to this blog post from 3 years ago that celebrates AWM with a poem.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Wordsmith theme -- words from Geometry

      A delightful stimulus to expand my vocabulary is my subscription to "A.Word.A,Day" by Anu Garg -- and each Monday-through-Friday I get an email notification of a new word.  This week's theme is "Words from Geometry" and today's word is tangent -- go here to read, learn, and enjoy Garg's discussion of this word.

    And here is a link to this blog's earlier postings  that include poetic consideration of the term tangent.