Links for November 9

Pierre Cartier wrote a long profile of Grothendieck for the new journal Inference: International Review of Science.

Jonathan Touboul wrote a paper The hipster effect: why nonconformists all look the same. Here’s apopular summary by Gabe Bergado at Mic. Basically, if you don’t want to look like everyone else, but it takes you some time to figure out what everyone else is doing, you’ll end up synchronizing with the other people with the same preference for nonconformity,

Portrait of the Hilbert curve by Aldo Cortesi.

Becca Cudmore and Jennifer Daniel at Nautilus show us five ways to lie with charts.

Here’s an interesting paper on best practices for scientific computing. One of the authors, Greg Wilson, is from an organization called Software Carpentry which teaches programming to scientific researchers.

From Natalie Wolchover and Peter Byrne at Quanta, In a multiverse, what are the odds? (First in a series; the second one should be out tomorrow.)

jasmcole has written about the mathematics of stereographic lampshades, which are made so that the light that shines through them makes interesting patterns on your walls. This was inspired by a blog post of Alex Bellos on the work of Henry Segerman and Saul Schleimer. Of course this can be made into reality with a 3-D printer, and you can buy it at Segerman’s shapeways store.

Is it professional for a professor to ask “surprise” questions on a test?, from Academia Stack Exchange. (Short version: the question is poorly phrased, but yes, and perhaps it is part of the professor’s duty, because being able to figure out things you haven’t seen before is usually one of the things you should learn in a course.)

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