On my mathematics blog I'm trying an A to Z run, writing one essay for some mathematical topic for each letter of the (English) alphabet. The start of the series was A, for abacus, per a reader request.
I apologize for the delay in following up. My second A to Z essay, on Buffon's Needle, is up at https://nebusresearch.wordpress.com/2019/09/05/my-2019-mathematics-a-to-z-buffons-needle/
This one is also based on a reader request, from Peter Mander of the https://carnotcycle.wordpress.com thermodynamics blog.
The third of my A to Z essays came out Tuesday: Category Theory, as explained by a person who's just knowledgeable enough of the subject to know he shouldn't be writing an essay about category theory.
The fourth topic asked for in my A-to-Z this year was Differential Equations. I had some fun thinking about what they are and why they're interesting.
I got asked to say something about encryption schemes for the A-to-Z and did my best to say things that weren't too wrong.
My series got up to the letter F and, by several requests, Fourier series. My unstated challenge in this: see how far I could go without writing 'sine' or 'cosine' at all.
For the letter G: Green's Function. Also, I learn how much I don't know the actual rules about what LaTeX you can do in a free Wordpress blog.
I took a couple pages from an analysis book for the next of my A-to-Z essays: the Infimum.
Is it possible to write about Julia Sets without including any pictures? Of course. Is it wise? This is a hard question.
Continuing through the alphabet: the Koenigsberg Bridge Problem.
And in my A-to-Z ... I got asked to explain linear programming. I can give it a try at least.
The letter 'M' brought my A-to-Z for the year to martingales, because the other request was the Mittag-Leffler function and I couldn't think of any way to explain *that*.
And my last A-to-Z essay for the past week, getting me into the second half at last, was a free choice. I went with the Norm.
The letter 'O', for my A-to-Z essay sequence this year, was represented by the operator. This is another topic I figured I could touch the high points of in about 800 words, and then sprawled to about twice that.
Oh, goodness. I'm sorry; I fell behind on announcements here.
Well, the letter 'P' in my A-to-Z was Platonic, which I mostly used to talk about Platonic solids. There's some connected other topics, though.
For the ever-challenging letter Q in my A-to-Z this year I went to Quadrature, a concept both ancient and kind-of modern-ish.
I apologize for slipping on my A-to-Z posts and shall try to catch up.
For the letter R, I took a request from a birdsite friend to say something about Relatively Prime:
And there was another birdsite request for the letter S. From my A-to-Z for this year: sample space.
For the letter T, I was asked to say something about Taylor Series. This fits well with my desire to insist that everything in mathematics is polynomials.
For the letter U, the most interesting suggestion was for Unitizing. It's one of those things I had not consciously noticed was a thing, which made for an interesting essay challenge.
The letter V let me get into some of my peculiar favorite things: obscure trigonometric functions and numerical convenience. Here's some words about the Versine.
I was asked to say something about Wallis Products. This let me discover just how the heck Wallis could have discovered such a thing. So here goes:
For the letter 'X', an A-to-Z has to take a loose interpretation of things. For example, by going to Greek: the Chi-Squared test.
The suggestion I had for the letter Y was a game. It's one that I like, without having ever played. I just like the theory of it.
And now the end of my 2019 A to Z, and my fitful self-introduction to Mathstodon: Zeno's Paradoxes. I only get about halfway through them. This may be a joke, but it's not one I made deliberately.
@nebusj I don't know that the ancient Greeks were so practical in their mathematics, but I'm pretty sure the Egyptians and Babylonians studied how to calculate areas of plots of land for tax purposes. That also suggests an alternative explanation for the emphasis on rectangular shapes.
@nebusj I didn't know it was a thing either, so thanks for this one.
@11011110 Thank you! It's neat to run across something invisible like that.
@nebusj Congrats on finishing, and thanks for the interesting reading! A number of your entries encouraged me to read at least a little more deeply about an interesting topic to which I hadn't previously given much consideration.
@jsiehler Thanks kindly. These sequences are always exhausting to do, but they're also great fun. They always force me to look and think about things I hadn't paid attention to, and that's such a good experience.
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