Full Speed Ahead!

Hooray for summer! Now that finals are finally over, you can expect a lot more from me over the next few months. I’ve got a lot of exciting things planned, including

  • a description and explanation of an algorithm for finding square roots by hand (which most people don’t know anymore);
  • finally FINALLY for real finishing my series of posts on Recounting the Rationals (yes, Jason, this one is for you!);
  • going through a neat little paper by Ivan Niven giving a proof that pi is irrational;
  • a little number theory, focusing on the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic;
  • fun links to interesting mathematics around the web;
  • and whatever else tickles my mathematical fancy!

To get things started, here’s a link for you: Norman Wildberger’s MathFoundations, a series of videos explaining the foundations of mathematics. I don’t agree with all his opinions—particularly regarding infinite sets—but this is a subject on which I’m willing to agree to disagree; as a legitimate, published research mathematician who’s been doing mathematics longer than I’ve been alive, he’s certainly entitled to his opinions! And I certainly do agree with many of his opinions, especially regarding mathematics education. In any event, the videos are very well-done, and there’s lots of interesting stuff there!

About Brent

Associate Professor of Computer Science at Hendrix College. Functional programmer, mathematician, teacher, pianist, follower of Jesus.
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3 Responses to Full Speed Ahead!

  1. Blaise Pascal says:

    Oooh! Square roots by hand! It’s true that few people know anymore, but even more rare is the elusive hand algorithm for cube roots.

    I’m also interested in seeing a proof I can understand of the irrationality of pi.

  2. Brent says:

    Hand algorithm for cube roots! I’ve never heard of such a thing. Do you have a link?

  3. Dave says:

    Looking forward to all of this! Thanks Brent.

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