36 Methods of Mathematical Proof

Proof by clever variable choice “Let A be the number such that this proof works. . ” Proof by tessellation “This proof is the same as the last.” Proof by divine word “And the Lord said, ‘Let it be true,’ and it was true.” Proof by stubbornness “I don’t care what you say-it is true!” –36 Methods of Mathematical Proof (BlueMoon.net) Thanks, Josh… this makes a great companion to Twenty Special…

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Is Gwyneth Paltrow a Genius?

Beside the fact that math professors in the movie wear ties — “never,” said Kontorovich — and “there are no blackboards,” noted Stechmann – who laughed when Hal called a proof “hip,” – the aspect of the movie the students found strangest was that it centered on an argument over whether Catherine could have done a certain bit of mathematics that she kept secret for years. Kontorovich said keeping work…

Reflection on Wojtyla's The Jeweller's Shop

Reflection on Wojtyla’s The Jeweller’s Shop (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog) Last night, I read Karol Wojtyla The Jeweller’s Shop for the first time. I knew it was mostly a collection of monologues with little action, in part because it was written to be performed in secret, in Nazi-Communist-occupied Poland. It is a poetic drama, in which the spoken word dominates over all other components of theater. (I’m reading it in translation, of…

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What Small Colleges Really Want

Finally, don’t even think about applying to a small college unless you love teaching. Students will eat you up. Their need for your time and your energy could overwhelm you, and if you don’t love the idea of the enthusiastic undergraduate student just sitting in your office, sipping coffee with you, while you talk about voice in Faulkner or imagery in Toni Morrison when all your papers are just sitting…