Links for November 23

Mona Chalabi and Andrew Flowers figure out the most common name in America, using some data by Lee Hartman to correct for the fact that first name and last name are not independent, but tend to cluster based on ethnicity. A fun fact: apparently people avoid alliteration. Does this extend to martial name-changing? For example, say my wife’s first name starts with an L, as does my last name; does that make her less likely to have changed her name upon marriage? She didn’t, but I can’t attribute that to the alliteration.

From Jawbone via the Atlantic, people don’t exercise when it’s cold. (A bit less obvious in the data is that they don’t exercise when it’s hot, either.)

David Mimno at Cornell has a fun word similarity tool based on a corpus of pre-1923 books.

Michael Harris at Slate writes about the Breakthrough Prize, which are trying to be the “Oscars of science”. He’s got a book coming out called Mathematics Without Apologies, which is at least the second in a line of titles riffing on A Mathematician’s Apology, after The Unapologetic Mathematician. (And don’t forget Second-Rate Minds (expositors, according to Hardy).

Tim Hersterberg at Google has written on What Teachers Should Know about the Bootstrap: Resampling in the Undergraduate Statistics Curriculum

From Todd W. Schneider (who’s on fire lately): the Reddit front page is not a meritocracy. (Disclaimer: Schneider, or someone with his same name and similar demographic history, was a year behind me in high school.)

Christian Perfect linked to a short documentary, Logically Policed by Damiano Petrucci, about mathematicians.

Rob Hyndman on visualization of probabilistic forecasts.

Mark Jason Dominus on teaching his daughter algebra.

Emilia Petrisor writes (with code – an iPython notebook) on domain coloring as a way of visualizing complex-valued functions

Mike of mikemathspage and his kids made some videos on the Collatz conjecture and a variation on it due to Conway. (The Conway variation is in his paper “On Unsettleable Arithmetic Problems”.)

From Pip ( = Dick Lipton + Ken Regan) at Gödel’s Lost Letter and P = NP: two vs. three. Why is two so special?

Rasmus Bååth and Christian Robert wrote a A Brief Review of All Comic Books Teaching Statistics in Chance.

There’s a second edition of Skiena’s Algorithm Design Manual.


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