Archive for November, 2008
Blogging pays off in ways you don’t expect. Two years ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek way to cancel fractions. Early this year, book publisher Wiley Australia asked if they could put it in Maths Xpress 7 for VELS Level 5 Student Resource Book and eBookPLUS. Here’s the scan from my free copy.
I recently volunteered for an MRI study at Vanderbilt. I got to lay in the machine for 90 minutes while it made loud rattling and humming noises. It used a supposedly ultra-powerful magnet: 7 Tesla. The superpowers haven’t kicked in yet, but while we’re waiting, click the picture below for the rest of the slices.
Saturday morning, I gave a keynote at the 28th Annual Mathematics Symposium at Western Kentucky University. My talk, “How Big Can You Think?” began with a simple problem whose answer is so large it cannot be written down, even approximately, with elementary notation, such as towers of exponents. I tried to follow by saying that this inexpressability can be resolved with more powerful notation that greatly extends our ability to concisely describe numbers. I finished with an example (the “Harvey Friedman number”) which defies even the arrow notation used for Graham’s Number.
I met many interesting people, including
Finally, here’s a picture Natalie took of me just after I spoke.