Lots of links this week! I’m not sure why it worked out that way.
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.
Cosma Shalizi, guest-posting (?) at Crooked Timber: In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You.
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.
Mark Dominus asks at stack exchange Why does mathematical convention deal so ineptly with multisets?
Forecast Advisor will tell you how accurate various weather forecasters are for your area.