I've got my A-to-Z for the year under way, with a bit of a career-biographical sketch if Michael Atiyah:
My second A-to-Z topic for the year was the Butterfly Effect. Of course I slipped some comic strips into it.
My third A-to-Z topic was Complex Numbers. I've written about them before, so tried to think a bit about a different angle: why do we trust them?
The fourth of my A-to-Z topics was Delta. It's a big idea so I tried to trim it to two specific but not quite identical uses of the concept.
For my fifth A-to-Z topic, I got the suggestion of Exponential. I used the chance to work out a reason behind something we've gotten used to: why is the exponential of an imaginary number on the unit circle?
The sixth of my A-to-Z topics was Fibonacci. One of my readers hoped to learn a bit about Leonardo of Pisa's biography. This brought me to some amazing discoveries about Fibonacci's biography, and I share it here ...
I had another biographical note f or the seventh of my A to Z this year: J Willard Gibbs.
For the eighth of this year's A-to-Z essays I wrote about Hilbert's Problems, and about a question adjacent to David Hilbert's famous list.
The ninth of my A-to-Z topics this year was Imaginary Numbers. Yes, I found the Peanuts strip where Sally Brown imagines "overly-eight".
Also the one where that plush tiger has some suggestions.
The tenth of the A-to-Z this year? Jacobi polynomials. I was thinking to just get every function ever covered in one article.
Can I explain K-Theory in two thousand words? No, no I can not. But in the eleventh of my A-to-Z essays for the year I at least try to say why it's worth trying.
My wife hoped that for the letter L I would explain "Leibniz, the Inventor of Calculus". I could not in good conscience say 'the', but I could say other things too.
I did reach the letter M! For the A-to-Z this year I wrote about the Mobius Strip:
Also, it features more roller coaster pictures than any other mathematics blog post I've written yet.
For N, my A-to-Z this year reached into another biography-focused piece: John von Neumann.
No roller coaster pictures this time.
For the letter O, I wrote about O notation, both Big and Little.
And then I failed to follow up! Back on the A-to-Z, my next topic was Permutation.
For the letter Q, in this year's A-to-Z, I wrote about Quadratic Forms and finally, after decades, thought about what it is makes something a 'form'.
For the letter R, this year, I try to explain something about Renormalization. Difficulty level: I do not open with quantum electrodynamics.
Someone asked me to explain Statistics for the letter S. I got political, because the subject *is*.
When I got to the letter T for my 2020 Mathematics A-to-Z glossary, I picked Tiling, always a fun subject:
After it posted I discovered I had already written about it for my 2018 A-to-Z, so rf. It's cute, though, comparing what parts I figured were more important and what I could gloss over in the unintentional rewrite:
Join me in 2022 when I do tiling *again* for no good reason.
I apologize for slipping behind on this again. November's been a heck of a month.
For the 2020 A-to-Z the letter 'U' brought me to Unitary Matrixes:
It's a little rough because the first half of last week was not a good one for my focus.
For the letter V, my 2020 A-to-Z comes to the subject of Velocity:
Nearing the end of the 2020 A-to-Z! For the letter W, the Wronskian.
Also there's much I did not know about Józef Hoëne-Wroński and still don't.
One week closer to the end of the alphabet. For 'X', I used some creative license and wrote about extraneous solutions. Along the way, I started to understand them, at least a bit. Still not quite satisfied that I do, though.
I tried one last biographical piece for this year's A-to-Z sequence: Yang Hui. Along the way I discovered there's not much biographical stuff known, at least in the kinds of reference I can find, about him.
And the last of my A-to-Z topics for the year: the zero divisor! Which I had thought was just one of those things you know you should remember better, in Intro to Algebra, and then turns out to be more fun than that.
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