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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Winner of the 2019 PROSE Award for Mathematics, from the Association of American Publishers | Book - Cambridge University Press

Be sure to check out the New edition of High-Dimensional Probability, An Introduction with Applications in Data Science by Roman Vershynin, University of California, Irvine. 

High-dimensional probability offers insight into the behavior of random vectors, random matrices, random subspaces, and objects used to quantify uncertainty in high dimensions. Drawing on ideas from probability, analysis, and geometry, it lends itself to applications in mathematics, statistics, theoretical computer science, signal processing, optimization, and more. It is the first to integrate theory, key tools, and modern applications of high-dimensional probability...

A broad range of illustrations is embedded throughout, including classical and modern results for covariance estimation, clustering, networks, semidefinite programming, coding, dimension reduction, matrix completion, machine learning, compressed sensing, and sparse regression.
  • Closes the gap between the standard probability curriculum and what mathematical data scientists need to know
  • Selects the core ideas and methods and presents them systematically with modern motivating applications to bring readers quickly up to speed
  • Features integrated exercises that invite readers to sharpen their skills and build practical intuition

Source: Cambridge University Press 

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The Voices of Black Mathematicians | Roots of Unity - Scientific American

Black History Month in the U.S. is a good time to celebrate these important people, observes Evelyn Lamb, Freelance math and science writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Six of the mathematicians featured on the Mathematically Gifted and Black website: Raymond Johnson, Suzanne L. Weekes, Mohamed Omar, Talithia Williams, Scott Williams, and Kimberley Sellers
Photo: Raymond Johnson, Suzanne L. Weekes, Mohamed Omar, Talithia Williams, Scott Williams, and Kimberley Sellers

February is Black History Month in the United States, and as such it is an excellent time to learn about black history, yes, but also to listen to black people when they talk about their lives today. As this is a math blog, I am going to focus on black mathematicians, but I hope you’re taking advantage of other black history month observances, including this literary series from Very Smart Brothas and Chelsea Green’s Instagram series of black women composers and musicians.

Mathematically Gifted and Black is a good place to start learning about living black mathematicians. (To save you time, here’s a link to Nina Simone singing “Young, Gifted and Black,” which I get stuck in my head every time I see the name of that website.) Mathematically Gifted and Black was founded in 2017 and features a short Q&A with a black mathematician every day in February. For information on both historical and modern black mathematicians, see Scott Williams’ website Mathematicians of the African Diaspora. The American Mathematical Society blog inclusion/exclusion recently published a post about the impact that site has had on African American math students and mathematicians...

In that spirit (and with only a sliver of shameless self-promotion), I want to point to the My Favorite Theorem podcast episodes Kevin Knudson and I have recorded with black mathematicians. Click through for audio, show notes, and links to transcripts. Emille Davie Lawrence told us why she loves the surface classification theorem. Mohamed Omar told us how to count symmetries using a clever lemma. Candice Price told us about DNA topology and mathematical “tangles.” John Urschel told us about graph sparsifiers.  Chawne Kimber told us about the Hahn embedding theorem. Nira Chamberlain told us about the Lorenz system of equations. This year and last year, the Notices of the American Mathematical Society has devoted its February issue to Black History Month and the work of black mathematicians. Find this year's articles here through the end of February 2019 and last year's here (pdf).

Source: Scientific American

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Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching | Education Week

This white paper is provided by Curriculum Associates.

Check out mathematics expert Dr. Mark Ellis "Knowing and Valuing Every Learner: Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching (CRMT)".

Culturally responsive mathematics teaching (CRMT) is about inviting all students into mathematics as participants because their ways of thinking and reasoning are worth sharing. It’s about ensuring each and every learner not only has success with mathematics, but also comes to see mathematics as a tool to examine the world.

We know from decades of research that:
• Student success with mathematics is primarily due to opportunities to learn meaningful
mathematics—and not due to innate intelligence;
• effective mathematics teaching cultivates the mathematics abilities of all students;
• equitable access and support in learning mathematics includes attention to students’
reasoning and identities (Boaler & Staples, 2008; Gutiérrez, 2013; Kisker, et al., 2012; Malloy &
Malloy, 1998; NCTM, 2014; National Research Council, 2009; Razfar, Licón Khisty, & Chval, 2009).

Read more... 

Source: Education Week

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Mathematicians report a way to optimize post-stroke therapy | Mathematics - Phys.Org

RUDN scientists have created a mathematical model describing changes in the properties of brain tissues after stroke, says Phys.Org

Photo: Natalia Deryugina/VSRao

The development will help clinicians to optimize post-stroke therapy by stimulating brain neurons and taking into account each patient's individual situation. The results of the study were published in Mathematical Biosciences.

Over 15 million people have strokes each year. A stroke is an acute blood circulation failure in the brain that kills neural cells. Patients who suffer a stroke often face partial or total speech loss, and find it difficult to move their limbs or the whole body. One rehabilitation method after a stroke is cerebral cortex stimulation with brain-implanted electrodes or magnetic impulses. The success of the therapy depends on many factors, including the area of the brain that is stimulated and the types of signals used. Currently, optimal therapy parameters are selected manually. RUDN mathematicians have created a theoretical model to base such selection on exact calculations.

"Our task was to develop a theoretical model describing how the speed of a nervous impact propagation (i.e. the excitation of the tissue) fades down due to post-stroke damage to the cerebral cortex. Moreover, we demonstrated that in certain cases electric stimulation of the brain may compensate for this process," said Vitaly Volpert, the author of the article, and the head of the laboratory of mathematical modeling in biomedicine at RUDN.

After a stroke, a so-called penumbra forms in the brain. It is an area where the blood supply is reduced compared to requirements for normal functioning, but which is still higher than the critical level after which an irreversible change occurs. Penumbra cells become less excitable and lose connection with other neurons, leading to changes in the shape and speed of the excitation wave. RUDN mathematicians calculated the conditions at which the speed of neural impulses may be restored to normal levels with the help of external stimulation.

The model is based on the continual nerve tissue theory.

Read more... 

Additional resources 
Mathematician calculates wave velocity for post-stroke therapy

A. Beuter et al. Modeling of post-stroke stimulation of cortical tissue, Mathematical Biosciences (2018). 
DOI: 10.1016/j.mbs.2018.08.014

Source: Phys.Org

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Monday, January 21, 2019

How one German city developed – and lost – generations of math geniuses | Science and Technology -

This article first appeared on The Conversation.

Anti-Semitism brought down one of the world's greatest centers for mathematical research, explains David Gunderman, PhD student in Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado.

Auditorium University of Göttingen, Germany
Photo: Daniel Schwen/Wikimeida Cmmmons [Licensed under CC BY 2.5]
There are two things that connect the names Gauss, Riemann, Hilbert and Noether. One is their outstanding breadth of contributions to the field of mathematics. The other is that each was a professor at the same university in Göttingen, Germany.

Although relatively unknown today, Göttingen, a small German university town, was for a time one of the most productive centers of mathematics in history.

Göttingen’s rise to mathematical primacy occurred over generations, but its fall took less than a decade when its stars were pushed abroad by the advent of National Socialism, the ideology of the Nazi Party. The university’s best minds left Germany in the early 1930s, transferring its substantial mathematical legacy to Princeton, New York University, and other British and American universities. By 1943, 16 former Göttingen faculty members were in the US.

The story of the rise and fall of mathematics in Göttingen has largely been forgotten, but names associated with the place still appear frequently in the world of mathematics. Its legacy survives today in other mathematical research powerhouses around the world...

Great mathematicians 
By the late 18th century, the university in Göttingen was a well-known center of scientific learning in Germany. Its enduring mathematical prowess, however, originated in Carl Friedrich Gauss. Often referred to as the prince of mathematics, his research at Göttingen between 1795 and 1855 spanned from algebra to magnetism to astronomy.

Gauss’s discoveries were groundbreaking, but the reputation that he started in Göttingen only grew as mathematicians from across Europe flocked to the town. Bernhard Riemann, the head of mathematics at Göttingen from 1859 to 1866, invented Riemannian geometry, which paved the way for Einstein’s future work on relativity. Felix Klein, the chair of mathematics from 1886 to 1913, was the first to describe the Klein bottle, a 3-dimensional object with just one side, similar to the Mobius strip...

The exodus 
Emmy Noether, who had been the first female professor of mathematics at Göttingen and was described by Einstein as the most important woman in the history of mathematics, left in 1933 to teach at Bryn Mawr College. Richard Courant left in 1933 to help found the top US applied mathematics institute at New York University. Hermann Wey, who had been appointed Hilbert’s successor as chair of mathematics in Göttingen,l moved to Princeton, where he helped to transform the Institute for Advanced Studies into a research powerhouse.


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Friday, January 18, 2019

Any Rubik's Cube can be solved in 20 moves, but it took over 30 years for anyone to figure that out | Strategy - INSIDER

  • The Rubik's Cube is an iconic puzzle toy.
  • But it is mathematically complicated — there are 43 quintillion possible configurations of the Cube.
  • Over 30 years after the Cube was invented, a group of mathematicians showed, using a bank of supercomputers at Google, that any cube could be solved in at most 20 moves.

The Rubik's Cube is a classic puzzle toy invented in 1974 by Hungarian architecture and design professor Erno Rubik, notes Andy Kiersz, senior quant reporter at Business Insider.

Competitors solve Rubik's cubes as they prepare for the world's largest Rubik's Cube championship in Aubervilliers, near Paris, France, July 15, 2017.
Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
The toy consists of a cube made up of 27 smaller cubes arranged in a 3x3x3 grid with colored stickers on the outer faces of the smaller cubes. A cube starts out in its "solved" configuration with the smaller faces each of the six sides sharing the same color. Each of the six faces of the cube can be rotated freely, moving the smaller cubes around.

The goal of a Rubik's Cube puzzle is to start with some randomized and shuffled messy configuration of the cube and, by rotating the faces, get back to the original solved pattern with each side being a single color.

Actually solving the puzzle is notoriously tricky. It took Erno Rubik himself about a month after inventing the cube to be able to solve it. 

Since then, several methods and techniques have been developed for solving a Rubik's Cube, like this basic strategy laid out on the official Rubik's Cube site. Practiced cube-solvers can complete the puzzle in a matter of seconds, with the current world-record holder solving a cube in 3.47 seconds.

Puzzles like the Rubik's Cube are the kind of thing that fascinate mathematicians. The toy's geometrical nature lends itself nicely to mathematical analysis...

As Erno Rubik put it in a recent interview with Business Insider, this question is "connected with the mathematical problems of the cube." 


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Best online e-learning courses for female entrepreneurs | Technology - JBKlutse says, There are thousands of e-learning courses to choose from, so it can be challenging to make the right choice and pick the one that will truly help you achieve your goals. 

Photo: JBKlutse

Having said that, if you’re looking for an online course designed for female entrepreneurs, you’ll find that it’s much easier to choose, as there aren’t so many such courses. Of course, there’s no reason not to enrol in any other course that’s not specifically aimed at women, because you can certainly learn a lot of useful stuff that can help you build a successful career. Nevertheless, we’ve created a short list of e-learning courses that are aimed at female entrepreneurs. Read on to check them out.
Read more... 

Source: JBKlutse

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E-learning course | College Notes - The Tribune

Ludhiana: Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, has been selected by SWAYAM-NPTEL to host a local chapter in the institution.  The National Programme on Technology Enhancement Learning (NPTEL), a project funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), provides e-learning through online web and video courses in engineering, Sciences, technology, management and humanities. 


This is a joint initiative by a number of IITs and IISc Bangalore and other selected premier institutions, which act as associated partner institutions.  Dr Monita Dhiman, Assistant Professor Zoology, has been nominated as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) from the college.  The main objective of the NPTEL is to facilitate students of various institutions through easier competitive means, which will aid in improving the Indian industry in the global market. SWAYAM-NPTEL is playing a vital role for enhancement of knowledge of both teachers and students. 

Placement drive  
The training and placement cell of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, organised a placement drive in collaboration with CONCENTRIX...

Career counselling for students

The career coaching cell of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, organised a seminar on ‘Career Guidance And Enhancement Of Employability Skills’. The seminar provided the opportunity to the students to learn and pursue various careers after graduation. 

Source:The Tribune

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Williams College students help Pownal 5th-graders learn coding | Berkshire Eagle

Computers know what to do — only if you tell them precisely what you want, summarizes Patricia LeBoeuf, Reporter at Bennington Banner.

Students in Taylor Robinson's fifth-grade class learn coding during the hour of code on Tuesday morning at Pownal Elementary School. 
Photo: Holly Pelczynski - The Bennington Banner
Students at Pownal Elementary School learned that lesson from Williams College students in a workshop Tuesday, part of a brand-new effort from the college to teach fifth-graders about coding.

"Have you guys ever baked cookies with your parents, or followed a recipe?" asked Francesca Hellerman, a Williams College student, of the students in Taylor Robertson's fifth-grade glass. Many hands went up.

"That's a lot like coding," she said.

Hellerman, along with another Williams student, Suzanna Penikis, conducted the workshops as part of a winter session course at the college, Hour of Code. The workshops run Tuesday and Thursday for an hour each at Pownal Elementary in Robertson and Traci Cristofolini's fifth-grade classrooms; they're also bringing the workshop to students in North Adams and Williamstown this month.

Students went through the coding exercises at their own pace, telling the program to do things like print words and make emojis — happy and otherwise...

Recipes for computers
An hour isn't a lot of time to actually teach computer science, he said. The workshops are intended to expose kids to the idea of coding, he said.

Students are given "a bunch of little recipes" to follow — basic coding.

"They're sort of drawing things on the screen," Barowy said. "We also have an extensive set of emojis."

Coding itself can be thought of like writing down a recipe for a computer to follow, he said.

And that's the challenge. 

Source: Berkshire Eagle

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Cleveland's New Musical Instrument Donation Drive Kicks Off MLK Day | Arts - Cleveland Scene

Thanks to expert tidier Marie Kondo's new Netflix series, people everywhere are purging their homes of unused and unneeded things this new year. 

Photo: via Wikimedia Commons
And in Cleveland, there's a new way to donate your dust-collecting musical instruments (think: that trumpet or violin you haven't touched since high school).

Starting Monday, five non-profit/public groups, including Arts Cleveland, the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, Cleveland City Council, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Cleveland Orchestra, have come together for a city-wide instrument drive for kids called Play It Forward. This year, all gently used instruments will go to children involved with rec center music programs in the Glenville neighborhood, but expansions are planned for the future.
Read more...  

Source: Cleveland Scene

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