Blogs

The one rule we’re setting out now is that in order to be advising the advisor, the blogs must stay current. There are tons of terrific blogs that have stopped publishing altogether, or whose last *new* post is many moons ago. As for those who try to be reasonably current, Ken and I know how hard it is to do. So we took a three-week horizon—that is, who has posted something this year, 2021. That said, here are some of our favorite blogs on math and CS theory—after the first they are alphabetical by writer(s).

What’s New Terence Tao

The best math blog of all time. If you must read one, then this is the one. If you read two or more math blogs, then this is still the one. If you read two or more posts on this blog, then you qualify as a mathematician.

Shtetl Optimized Scott Aaronson

Wonderful blog. A brilliant combination of results, comments, and opinions. We have “encoded” his name in the previous section—see if you can spot where and how.

Machine Learning Research Blog Francis Bach

Focused on connections between optimization and learning. I conjecture that the key to solving some of our deep questions—PNP—could be resolved by machine-learning technology. I recall a year ago while talking with learning experts at Chicago that they said: We think SAT should have an algorithm that runs in time for some .

Azimuth John Carlos Baez

Often goes into physics and policy, such as today’s third post in a series on environmental policy and climate change. But two recent posts were on Petri nets and higher abstractions of them.

Windows on Theory Boaz Barak

This was originally a joint blog by researchers at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Research Center before it closed in 2014. Last week’s post is also on machine learning and theory.

Mathematics under the Microscope Alexandre Borovik

See his book with Tony Gardiner, *The Essence of Mathematics*. The spirit of the book is seen in this quote from George Pólya: *It is better to solve one problem in five different ways than to solve five problems in one way.*

Turing’s Invisible Hand Felix Brandt, Michal Feldman, Jason Hartline, Bobby Kleinberg, Kevin Leyton-Brown, Noam Nisan, Vijay Vazirani

They have an annotated version of John Nash’s 1955 letter to the NSA about the complexity of crypto, which beat Kurt Gödel’s “lost letter” by a whole year. As we joked on 4/1/12, if we had known about it, GLL would have been NLL.

Peter Cameron’ Blog Peter Cameron

This is where I found out about the appointment of Lander to Biden’s cabinet. Peter is at St. Andrews and emeritus from Queen Mary University of London. Ken wrote about him in his memorial for Peter Neumann.

Quomodocumque Jordan Ellenberg

He asks: Am I Supposed To Say Something About The Invasion Of The United States Capitol? He does. We haven’t. (We are mulling a post on quantitative matters from the pandemic and election that have become political footballs.)

11011110 David Eppstein—the blog name is his initials DE in hexadecimal and his surname has a double-p.

Right now he has a wonderful list of open questions and known results. For example there is a discussion of USA flag arrangements, and also the recent claimed solution of an almost 50 year old conjecture: A proof of the Erdős-Faber-Lóvasz conjecture by Dong Yeap Kang, Tom Kelly, Daniela Kuhn, Abhishek Methuku, Deryk Osthus.

Explaining mathematics Joel Feinstein

He asks: When proving there exists statements, is it enough to give just one example or do you have to prove it using the definitions, and so on? Read on for more.

Computational Complexity Lance Fortnow and Bill Gasarch

The CS theory blog that started it all. Continues to be one of the top blogs. Lance’s post on Tuesday says that “the way of most suggestions I make in my blog [is] a quick road to nowhere,” but the one in that post went somewhere.

logic and more Joel Hamkins

He discusses the math tea argument—one heard at an afternoon tea. I miss these very much, even though I do not drink tea. The argument is: There must be some real numbers that we cannot define, since there are uncountably many real numbers, but only countably many definitions. Is it correct? Read on about the talk he is giving tomorrow “in” Warsaw for an explanation.

Combinatorics and more Gil Kalai

Gil’s wonderful blog is a great place to see announcements of new results. He’s had a year-long series, “To cheer you up in difficult times”; its 18th installment links to a wonderful, thoughtful, entertaining, and provocative post by Igor Pak about conjectures. The 17th installment was about the Erdős-Faber-Lóvasz news.

M-Phi Many authors

All of the recent entries have been by Richard Pettigrew but they have a long list of previous contributors. The recent posts catch Ken’s eye because they employ the Brier score to reason philosophically about inaccuracy. Ken has employed his group’s novel adaptation of the Brier score in chess cheating cases all through the pandemic.

Short, Fat Matrices Dustin Mixon

He discusses a problem by Mario Krenn. The problem has consequences for quantum computation—and comes with cash prizes—one is €3,000.

Turing Machine VZN

Just nipped under with a New Year’s Day post on the Collatz conjecture. Ken used to know VZN’s full name but can’t find it now.

Noncommutative Analysis Orr Shalit

The issues here are important to quantum computation, since for operators and , is usually not true.

in theory Luca Trevisan

The only theory blog—I believe—that quotes Homer Simpson: “Marge, I agree with you—in theory. In theory, communism works. In theory.”

Not Even Wrong Peter Woit

Mathematical physics, for the most part, growing out from his 2005 book of that title critiquing string theory.

We also link to sites such as John Awbrey’s Inquiry Into Inquiry and Pink Iguana that grow in beehive style, and sites with higher-volume politics and culture content such as prior probability by Enrique Guerra-Pujol.

Open Problems

We would be grateful for suggestions of additional mathematics and computing blogs that an advisor’s staff might consult.

]]>Would describing the transition function of conservative cellular automata as a _-net be useful? I guess the _-monoidal category would be a sort of “macroscopic” view? I wonder what CS-comonad-like functor that goes from local to global transitions looks like in this context.

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