Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible


Jason Rosenhouse and Laura Taalman – Inspired by Math #3

Jason Rosenhouse is Associate Professor of Mathematics at James Madison University and author of The Monty Hall Problem: The Remarkable Story of Math's Most Contentious Brain Teaser.

Laura Taalman is Professor of Mathematics at James Madison University and co-founder of Brainfreeze Puzzles. She is the the author of Integrated Calculus and co-author of three books of original Sudoku puzzles.

More information about Taking Sudoku Seriously is available at the Oxford University Press web-site.

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William Cook – Inspired by Math #2

Episode 2 of "Inspired by Math" is an interview with William Cook, author of "In Pursuit of the Travelings Salesman."

William Cook is the Chandler Family Chair and Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. More information about his book is at the Princeton University Press site. More information about the free iPhone app is here. William Cook's Traveling Salesman Problem site is here.

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Matt Lane – Math Goes Pop!

I received this email yesterday from Matt Lane of Math Goes Pop! I really like what Matt is up to, exposing how Math is an integral (pun intended) part of popular culture. Matt is one of those Math geeks who is also an outstanding communicator - and he likes my blog - so, with his permission, I'm publishing his email.

Hey Sol,

My name is Matt Lane, I'm a PhD candidate in mathematics from UCLA, and am also the founder of Math Goes Pop! (www.mathgoespop.com), a blog that explores the (surprisingly rich) intersection between math and pop culture. Among other things, I've written about Futurama, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Parks and Recreation. I also have a paper coming out in a forthcoming collection of essays on math and pop culture (see here). More info about me can be found on the Math Goes Pop website. I just became aware of your site through your Keith Devlin interview, and wanted to drop you a line and let you know that you can consider me one of your newest fans. I dig your work, so I thought I'd introduce myself. Here's to making cyberspace a little less lonely!

All the best,

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Keith Devlin – Inspired by Math #1

Today, on St. Valentine's Day, I'm launching a series of podcasts which I call "Inspired by Math." In these podcasts I explore the two-part burning question - How is that some people are inspired by Math and how can we bottle that?

Keith Devlin gave me the gift of 32 minutes of his insights.

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Digital art by Eric Hayes

I received this email yesterday from Eric Hayes. I like what he's up to so I thought I'd give him a plug. Good luck, Eric.

My name is Eric Hayes, and I am a programmer and digital artist. I have written a software application called "Commander Crayon" which translates the elegance of mathematics to the beauty of art. Every image I create is a direct translation of sets of mathematical equations embedded within a program. To use an analogy of music, I am the composer (programmer) who writes the musical score (the program) that the band plays (Commander Crayon) to produce the music (picture) the audience hears (sees).

To get a preview of some of the images I have created, please go to my website.

I am writing you to announce the publication of the four volume series of my work called "Art, Love, and Mathematics." I hope that you will find the art contained within the books compelling and beautiful. Each book in the series contains over 100 images. The art explores mathematical topics such as Chaos Theory, Fractals, Iterated Function Systems, Strange Attractors, Nonlinear Equations, Statistical Distributions, and Geometry. I have included links to the ebooks below.

Author Website



Author Pages


Bookstore Links
Art, Love, and Mathematics (Volume 1)

Art, Love, and Mathematics (Volume 2)


Art, Love, and Mathematics (Volume 3)


Art, Love, and Mathematics (Volume 4)


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Plotting “traveling salesman problem” routes on an iPhone

Here's something quite remarkable, from the Princeton University Press Blog:

Twenty-four years ago a 2,392-city example of the TSP was solved in a 23-hour run on a super computer to set a new world record. This same problem now solves in 7 minutes on an iPhone 4 thanks to a free app: Concorde TSP Solver!

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/concorde-tsp/id498366515
Press release for Concorde TSP Solver: http://press.princeton.edu/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Cook-TSP-app.pdf

Bill Cook, author of In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman, has just launched a FREE app in the iTunes store called CONCORDE TSP SOLVER. The app allows users to plot TSP routes for an uploaded list of cities or any number of random cities.

The CONCORDE TSP SOLVER app is a powerful display of the potential to solve on mobile devices large examples of even the most difficult computational problems. This makes it an ideal tool for understanding and teaching the mathematics behind the most successful line-of-attack on the salesman problem. The colorful graphics show step-by-step how a tool called linear programming zeros in on the optimal route to visit a displayed collection of cities.

CONCORDE TSP SOLVER is a great companion to Cook’s book In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman for general readers and mathematics students alike.

I've received a review copy of the book from Princeton University Press but have not had a chance to read it yet. A couple of reviews are available at Amazon.com.

A table of contents and chapter one of the book are available at the publisher's website.

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