We’re having a dispute about the commonly understood meaning of the word “most.” Don’t look it up in a dictionary; just go by your own intuitive definition. Here’s a sample situation: You’re in a gathering of 12 people, with the following… Read More ›

Why “x”?

If it’s in a TED talk, it’s got to be correct. Right? Actually, not so much. But when the talk is about both math and linguistics, how could I resist? So I just had to watch Terry Moore’s four-minute TED talk… Read More ›

Who needs algebra? — A follow-up

Lucy Brownstein, a high-school student from Brooklyn, wrote a fine response to Andrew Hacker (see my post of February 7). You noticed that I didn’t say something like “a fine response for a high-schooler.” It’s a fine response, period. But still, it’s especially… Read More ›

Math is forever.

You can never take a holiday from math. Read this brief but wonderful paragraph from distinguished physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson (retired but still flourishing at age 92!): It’s the beauty of mathematics, as opposed to physics, that it’s forever. I published my… Read More ›