a math blog in the NY Times!

Tuesday 16 February 2010

I’ve had a lot of web pages opened and saved on my computer for a few weeks I’ve wanted to share with people but just haven’t gotten around to it, but I want to try and use these next few days to share.  I hope you can keep up!

First, two weeks ago I stumbled upon the creation of a weekly featured blog entry in the NY Times related to Mathematics!  I was so excited to see it and read it and share it (so now I’m doing part 3).

There have been 3 posts so far, with 15 total planned, and while the idea was exciting first — with the declared goal “to give you a better feeling for what math is all about and why it’s so enthralling to those who get it.” — I’ve felt a little underwhelmed with the results thus far.  While the topics thus far have been somewhat interesting for me, I don’t know if they’ve done a good job sparking a “better feeling” for math itself for those so inclined.  However, I also am probably not the best judge of that.

So, three weeks in, my excitement and joy of sharing this with you is a little muted, but maybe I’m selling it short, too.  I do enjoy work by the author, Steven Strogatz (also often featured on a favorite radio program of mine, RadioLab), so there’s no telling where it can go and I continue to keep reading.

Whether you’re a math person or not, check out the first three entries (links below) and see what you think.  Maybe I’m totally off and they’re much more accessible and enjoyable to non-math people than I realize — or maybe not.  Either way, at least now you know about it and can decide for yourself!

From Fish to Infinity (about the idea of counting and why numbers exist — includes a Sesame Street video clip!)
Rock Groups (dealing with adding and patterns)
The Enemy of My Enemy (a bit on subtraction and the idea of negative numbers)

List of all blogs on NY Times by Steven Strogatz


post 100!

Monday 21 April 2008

It’s official (well, according to the statistics wordpress does for me) — this is published Post #100!  It’s been a fun ride (at least for me) since I published my first blog entry back on my birthday last May, and I hope you’ve enjoyed things as well, too.  Since I’ve done 100 posts since I started, that’s an average of about one post every 3.5 days, or about two a week.  While in general that seems like a pretty good amount of posting, there are some things I have learned about the blogging world.

One is that if you post consistently every day or every few days, people seem to come back each day, but if you go a long spurt without posts, you seem to quickly lose many readers.  Some people seem to subscribe to the blog, meaning they are notified by some source when it is updated, and others just come back every day or so or whenever they think about it to see what they’ve missed.

Also, I’ve learned that reading other blogs and posting comments can bring in more readers (though if you’re not consistent — and if they’re not interested in what you’re writing — they quickly fade away).

But all this comes back to why I started this blog, and that was simply to get out some thoughts that people could read and think about if they wanted to, and if not, oh well.  As any writer, though, I do crave readers, so I’m constantly going between a desire to do things to bring more readers and not feeling pressure to write unless I want to, but even that’s a challenge.

I am a bit disappointed, though, that there aren’t more comments to my posts, which means either my thoughts and words don’t spark anything for the reader (which I desperately hope is not true) or people just aren’t interested or inspired enough to post a comment of affirmation or questioning or disagreement.  So I challenge you to make this blog partly your blog, too, and join me as I endeavor to write another 100, 200, 300, or more blogs in the coming months and  years.

Peace — eric