Carnival of Mathematics XIV

Welcome to the 14th editon of The Carnival of Mathematics: the metablogging navel-gazing issue.

Our mission statement mentions “Pure or Applied, Good or Bad, in Science or in Social Science, Academic or Popular”. Recent Carnivals have posted links almost entirely on the “popular” end of the “academic versus popular” polarity, and there’s been a call for a “Carnival of Research Mathematics”.

Meanwhile, our founder has longsince quit blogging altogether. We’ll see how it goes. For my part, I’m hoping the university-level stuff will stay—even though it does say “Math Ed” right there in my title. Anyhow. To business.

This fortnight’s links begin with these three posts by the tireless Mark Dominus at The Universe of Discourse. He’s been thinking a lot about polyhedra these days and has decided to discuss the thinking process itself (along with the results). Good stuff.

Then there’s Mr. Person’s discussion of the area of a trapezoid (at Text Savvy). Mr. Person’s an editor of K-8 mathematics textbooks and really knows how to make the graphics serve the text (unlike most elementary textbooks).

Polymathematics has been devoting more attention to The Advanced High School Math Project recently than his blog, but has found time recently to write up this clear and concise explanation of a mathematical model created by John H. Conway.

The US Department of Education recently decided not to participate in the next TIMSS (an international math & science exam), inspiring this amusing satirical piece by “maths teacher” (that’s Scottish for “math teacher”) at the proof is out there.

Finally (sort of), there’s a comment thread on “percent” problems at Dave Marain’s MathNotations.

But by “finally”, I don’t mean “that’s all” … oh, no. Just that that’s all the submissions I got directly (mostly via this gizmo at But I’ve got lots more recent math-blog stuff here in my notes, and I intend to use it.

There’s much more on “percent” problems over at Kitchen Table Math, for example, and Isabel on a classic algebra text at God Plays Dice. Also a priceless anecdote by Noah Snyder of the Secret Blogging Seminar. Ben Webster (also of the SBS) leads a discussion of publishing ethics in light of the recent mass defection of the editors of K-Theory. Arguing with other mathematicians is a discussion about dealing with cranks, made hard to read by WordPress’s patented randomly-interpret-carriage-returns algorithm (at abstract nonesnse, which proports to be a group blog but is evidently by one “ulfarsson” … also it’s hard to spell …). A Blackboard Under Arrest calls our attention to an unfortunate situation in Turkey (at Mathematics Under the Microscope). There’s some philosophical discussion of the Group Axioms at The Narrow Road.

Finally (I mean it this time), any remaining hardcore math-heads (and I hope you’re out there) will want to get a look at Weighted Graphs and the Minimum Spanning Tree (by Mark C. Chu-Carroll of Good Math, Bad Math), Group objects (at The Unapologetic Mathematician—one of an ongoing series on Category Theory), and Questions About Modules (by John Baez in The n-Category Cafe). Also Terry Tao reports on ICM 2006, where he seems to have won some sort of award.


  1. Now, how in the world is a procrastinator like me going to get something in the carnival if you go publishing it TWO DAYS EARLY! I’ll try again next time. Meanwhile, I’m off to read these great-looking articles…

  2. as i mentioned just before this entry,
    i didn’t mean to have posted this
    until tomorrow. sorry about that …

  3. To all the world’s procrastinating math junkies,

    Please submit your posts early to the next CoM at ‘a mispelt bog’ (and, yes, Alon did mispell ‘bog’ as ‘blog’) coming 24-Aug.

    Email me @ johnkemeny at yahoo dot com.


  4. Looking at recent editions of the carnival, a couple of thoughts occur to me…

    First, instead of submitting their own blog entries for consideration, people should be submitting any mathematical blog entry they’ve read that they think is worth sharing. I’ve never participated in any other carnivals so I don’t know what the typical protocol is, but clearly there is a bunch of worthwhile math writing out there that isn’t getting submitted for whatever reason.

    Second, in some of the previous carnivals there were a handful of submissions that probably weren’t worth sharing, so I wonder if the carnival host should be exercising any kind of editorial judgement? Or is that too onerous of a task?

  5. The standard protocol is that people should generally submit their own posts, and editorial judgment should be lax. Obviously there are variations, and if you see good math writing elsewhere, you should feel free to submit it, or to recommend to the writer that he submit it.

  6. Some of the comments on one of the earlier Carnivals complained that it was too hard to hit the Carnival deadline, or that the blog author was unwilling to change his schedule to accomodate the Carnival. I found this bizarre.

    My practice regarding the carnival has been: when I finish a math-related blog article, I submit it to the Carnival. When the Carnival. I don’t adjust my schedule at all. When the Carnival appears, it reports on the math articles I have posted since the previous Carnival. There is no problem to solve here.

    I would be sad at a split between “Carnival of Mathematics” and “Carnival of Research Mathematics” because then I wouldn’t know where to post my articles.

  7. Thanks a lot.

    I found this information useful.

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