Weekly links for June 3

Lots of links this week! I’m not sure why it worked out that way.

Meena Boppana, a high school student who participated in RSI 2011, gives a talk on Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Math. (From TedXHunterCCS.)

Desmos, a free online graphing calculator.

Michael Sandel, Harvard professor and author of Justice: What’s the right thing to do?, asks in his new book What Money Can’t Buy: The moral limits of markets whether quantification is the first step to moral decay. Via getstats. I’d like to think he’s wrong; I haven’t read the book. You can also watch Sandel’s Justice lectures online.

Shai Simonson and Fernando Gouvea have an essay on how to read mathematics.

The University of Minnesota has a catalog of open access textbooks.

From fivethirtyeight.com: swing voters and elastic states.

For the last three weeks Andrew Gelman has been posting one question per day from the (28-question) final exam for his course in Design and Analysis of Sample Surveys. Here’s Question 1. Here’s Question 2, and the solution to Question 1. By editing the URL you can find a sequence of posts each of which contains Question N and the solution to Question N-1; so far he’s up to Question 23.

A paper I’m surprised I’d never seen before: Methods for Studying Coincidences by Diaconis and Mosteller. Via Samuel Arbesman at Wired.

Cosma Shalizi, guest-posting (?) at Crooked Timber: In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You.

Econ films is making short films about economics. Someone should do this for mathematics. (I would, if I knew how to make films.) Via Tim Harford’s twitter.

David Mackay: A reality check on renewables, featuring back-of-the-enveloep calculations on the mathematics of renewable energy. From TedXWarwick. “I love renewables, but I also love arithmetic”; the arithmetic shows that substantial fractions of the UK would need to be covered in wind farms or solar panels to have serious effects. For lots more of this see his book Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air which is available online.

The changing complexity of Congressional speech, from the Sunlight Foundation.

Better drinking through data, from Prior knowledge.

Mark Dominus asks at stack exchange Why does mathematical convention deal so ineptly with multisets?

David Speigelhalter on World at One on the effect of drinking; and his comments; does a unit of alcohol (10 ml, about half a US “standard drink”) cost five minutes of life?

It’s possible to win the US presidential election with 11 votes.

Multi-armed bandit algorithms vs. A/B testing, from Hacker News.

Forecast Advisor will tell you how accurate various weather forecasters are for your area.

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