Monday, May 22, 2017

Eugene Stern: How Value Added Models are Like Turds

Eugene Stern critiques the Value Added Model for teacher assessment thusly:
So, just to take another example, if I decided to rate teachers by the size of the turds that come out of their ass, I could wave around a lovely bell-shaped distribution of teacher ratings, sit back, and wait for the Times article about how statistically insightful this is.
Read more at MathBabe. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mercator Projection All the Way Down

Map facts: The Mercator projection is technically infinitely tall, and more warped as it goes down, so it must always be cropped somewhere. Below is a cropping somewhat lower than normal, so you can see: (1) Antarctica, (2) buildings at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, and finally (3) individual snowflakes.





Hat tip: Geoawesomeness.

Monday, April 3, 2017

No, we probably don’t live in a computer simulation

A lovely rant by Sabine Hossenfelder:
All this talk about how we might be living in a computer simulation pisses me off not because I’m afraid people will actually believe it. No, I think most people are much smarter than many self-declared intellectuals like to admit. Most readers will instead correctly conclude that today’s intelligencia is full of shit. And I can’t even blame them for it. 

At Backreaction

Monday, March 27, 2017

How To Ruin Your Favorite Sitcoms With Simple Math

Math does not exist to make things better. It exists to empower you to tear things apart.


I support this message. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

It Can Never Lie To You

An very nice interview with Sylvia Serfaty, Paris-based mathematician, and winner of the Poincaré Prize:
“First you start from a vision that something should be true,” Serfaty said. “I think we have software, so to speak, in our brain that allows us to judge that moral quality, that truthful quality to a statement.”

At Wired.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Francis Su: Math as Justice

“Every being cries out silently to be read differently.” 

To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics