Category Archives: mathematics

Truth, Trump, and Trisectors

What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and did not stay for an answer. —Francis Bacon Lately there’s been a lot of news about fake news (some of it, for all I know, fake). Critics are urging Facebook, Google, and Twitter … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics, modern life, off-topic | 6 Comments


This weekend I’ll be attending a workshop at the University of Vermont, “Kummer Classes and Anabelian Geometry: An introduction to concepts involved in Mochizuki’s work on the ABC conjecture, intended for non-experts.” It was the last phrase in this title … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics | 5 Comments

The 39th Root of 92

My new office space suffers from a shortage of photons, so I’ve been wiring up light fixtures. As I was snaking 14-gauge cable through the ceiling cavity, I began to wonder: Why is it called 14-gauge? I know that the … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics, technology | 12 Comments

Prime After Prime

Are the prime numbers sprinkled randomly along the number line, like windblown seeds?Of course not: Primality is not a matter of chance but a product of simple arithmetic. A number is prime if and only if no smaller positive integer … Continue reading

Posted in computing, featured, mathematics | 7 Comments

Number Factoids

The web sites and dish up a smorgasbord of facts about every natural number from 1 to 999,999,999,999,999. Type in your favorite positive integer (provided it’s less than 1015) and you’ll get a list of prime factors, a … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics | 5 Comments