## The Media and the Genius Myth

We should not let portrayals of "genius" mathematicians keep the rest of us out of mathematics.

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We should not let portrayals of "genius" mathematicians keep the rest of us out of mathematics.

February 5, 2015 — Evelyn Lamb

The basic reproduction number and why it matters

January 31, 2015 — Evelyn Lamb

Last semester, I began my math history class with some Babylonian arithmetic. The mathematics we were doing was easy—multiplying and adding numbers, solving quadratic equations by completing the square—but the base 60 system and the lack of a true zero made those basic operations challenging for my students...

January 26, 2015 — Evelyn Lamb

I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum in September. Modeled after the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, it brings together recipients of prestigious awards in mathematics and computer science and young researchers in those areas...

January 19, 2015 — Evelyn Lamb

I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd annual Heidelberg Laureate Forum in September. Modeled after the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, it brings together recipients of prestigious awards in mathematics and computer science and young researchers in those areas...

January 12, 2015 — Evelyn Lamb

It’s the season for family, hot chocolate, and year-in-review lists. Guess which one this is! Roots of Unity has been around for two years now, and I’m so glad I have a place to share some of the weird and wonderful math I think about...

December 31, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

For Halloween, I wrote about a very scary topic: higher homotopy groups. Homotopy is an idea in topology, the field of math concerned with properties of shapes that stay the same no matter how you squish or stretch them, as long as you don’t tear them or glue things together...

December 25, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Now is your chance to prove some theorems without knowing what they mean! Chris Staecker, a mathematician at Fairfield University, created the game Nice Neighbors to get crowd-sourced solutions to problems from a field called digital topology...

December 23, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

I wrote a post yesterday about the missing fundamental effect. It’s a startling auditory illusion in which your brain hears a note that is lower than any of the notes that are actually playing...

December 10, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Telephones lie about sounds because odd numbers aren't even. Once again with those integers and sound perception! Telephones can only pick up frequencies above 300 or 400 Hertz (cycles per second, also called Hz), but most adults’ speaking voices are lower than 300 Hz (approximately the D above middle C)...

December 9, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

We can't tune pianos because prime numbers

November 30, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Looking for a gift that says, "Hey, I know you like math"? Look no further. There is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to wonderful mathematical things to give to people, but here are some of the coolest items I've seen this year...

November 23, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

This proof of the math fact of Rolle, I wrote it down; here was my goal: Use just words with one part. (So it won’t sound too smart.) Please tell me if you find a hole.

November 17, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Enter the world of 3-dimensional holes in 2-dimensional objects.

October 31, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

My math history class is currently studying non-Euclidean geometry, which means we've studied quite a few "proofs" of Euclid's fifth postulate, also known as the parallel postulate.

October 28, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women in science, technology, engineering, and math. If you’d like to read about women in math for the occasion, you're in serious danger of coming across an article about Hypatia, Emmy Noether, Sophie Germain, or Sofia Kovalevskaya...

October 14, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Later this month, people will be gathering at museums and schools around the world to build giant Menger sponges as part of a global fractal extravaganza called MegaMenger.

October 9, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

The world's favorite number is seven, at least if the result of a poll conducted by Alex Bellos is to be believed. Some people like it because it is prime, some because they have a lot of sevens in their birthdates...

September 29, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Samuel Arbesman recently wrote about incorrect mathematical conjectures. I wanted to add one of my favorites, which came up in my math history class a couple weeks ago.

September 26, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb

Believe it or not, I do have friends who would describe themselves as not liking math, and every so often one of them will share this meme on Facebook: And then Satan said, "Put the alphabet in math." There are different background pictures each time the meme pops up, but the text is always the [...]..

September 24, 2014 — Evelyn Lamb