## Sunday, August 30, 2009

How to Read Mathematics, by Shai Simonson and Fernando Gouvea. Excellent. I'll definitely be using this with my students. (There's one little problem. They say 'term', about half-way down, when they mean factor.)

Check this out, by Alison Blank: Math is not Linear. Her blog is great, too.

Cool graphic of a wave, made using Mathematica.

Detexify lets you draw online. You draw one symbol, and it'll tell you what you drew. If you'd like to start using LaTeX online, this will find symbols for you. You can also use a site called sitmo. Maria explains that here. A few people have raved about Detexify. I'm not sure why. Is it just too cool that it does character recognition? Or is it more powerful than sitmo?

Video: Bobby McFerrin on the Pentatonic scale. I looked up pentatonic on Wikipedia, and the business about hemitonic or anhemitonic was beyond me. But I liked seeing the connection with the Orff method in kid’s music education.

Off the math topic, but on the I'm-writing-a-book topic: Uncertain Principles pointed me to this post about settling in to write.

1. Thanks for the link, Sue!

I love Detexify because when you are using LaTeX, not sitmo but actual LaTeX, you need to know the command for every symbol, and if you forget one it's very hard to look up. I mean, if all you know is you want a circle with a dot in it, what can you look up? On Detexify you just draw the symbol and it gives you the command you're looking for.

2. I guess I'm still a neophyte. I don't use LaTeX. If I wanted to put an equation on my blog, I could use sitmo for that, right? What do you use LaTeX for?

3. "the" pentatonic scale
is the five black notes
on a piano.

you can just bang at random
and it sounds tunelike.
and somehow "oriental".

try it when you next get to a piano;
you'll recognize the sound right away.

4. Yep, I saw that on Wikipedia I think. And I will try it.

The Orff part involves using xylophones with removable bars. Remove enough so just a pentatonic scale is left, and, as you say, the kids can bang away, and sound good.