People keep wondering how I journeyed from linguistics to math. Maybe they’re the same thing:

# Math

## Gender issues: a perspective from a Russian Jewish mathematician

“My mom used to tell me that most men do not like brainy women,” writes well-known mathematician Tanya Khovanova. Well-known in certain circles, anyway. Female, Russian-American, Jewish—there are a lot of possible identity issues here. I’ve written about Khovanova twice… Read More ›

## Wordle, Wheel of Fortune, Jotto, & the Mathematics of Information Theory

Apparently I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t play Wordle. I’m not entirely sure why I don’t, but I can think of a couple of possibilities: it’s far too competitive, it’s far too rigid, and it’s far too… Read More ›

## “God created the integers…”

No, it’s not about theology. It’s about math! The title of this book, edited by Stephen Hawking, is the first half of a famous quotation from Leopold Kronecker: “God created the integers, all else is the work of man.” Actually,… Read More ›

## Gulp. Are there (were there?) special math problems given only to Jews?

Yes, unfortunately there is (or was?) such a thing. The special problems were, of course, more difficult than the regular math problems. Much more difficult. I learned about this from Tanya Khovanova’s Math Blog, where she explains “how during entrance… Read More ›

## Math helps you flourish—but not in the obvious way!

My good friend and colleague Leah Gordon often likes the same books that I do. From time to time we make recommendations to each other. One of these is Francis Su’s Mathematics for Human Flourishing, which I have just finished… Read More ›

## Can you multiply 2573 by 389?

Pencil and paper only: can you multiply 2573 by 389? No calculators. And you have to get the right answer, of course. This is not a trick. “Of course I can,” you reply. “That’s a skill one never forgets!” Well,… Read More ›

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Why teach gerrymandering? And why teach it in a *math *course in particular?

Gerrymandering is a hot topic in certain circles. Right now I am in the midst of writing and modifying some gerrymandering activities for my summer course at Crimson Summer Academy (CSA). Although we have taught various voting methods since the… Read More ›

## The Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything* (*abridged)

Everyone needs to read this engaging, delightful, and informative book! Read it even if you’re not a math-and-science geek. Or maybe I should say especially if you’re not a math-and-science geek. Geneticist Adam Rutherford and mathematician Hannah Fry are well… Read More ›

## Are you smarter than a 7th grader?

Tip of the hat to Tanya Khovanova for sharing this problem: Is it possible to place seven points on a plane so that among any three of them, two will be at distance 1 from each other? This comes from… Read More ›