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Blog 2 B'Read

This week's website is being suggested early in its development as a internet resource...because it has potential. That is, by starting to read its contents now, you can be involved from the ground-up.

Steven Strogatz, professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, is writing a math blog for the New York Times. The first article, "From Fish to Infinity," is now accessible and interesting.

Strogatz notes: "Ill be writing about the elements of mathematics, from pre-school to grad school, for anyone out there whod like to have a second chance at the subject but this time from an adult perspective. Its not intended to be remedial. The goal is to give you a better feeling for what math is all about and why its so enthralling to those who get it."

In this first blog From Fish to Infinity, he asks the question: Why do we have numbers anyway? For part of his answer, Strogatz uses a Sesame Street video for an answer, via Ernie and Humphrey at The Furry Arms hotel. While reading this first "regular" blog, you might look at some of his past efforts, such as "Loves Me, Loves Me Not (Do the Math)" and "Math and the City."

I might add that Strogatz has great credentials for this task. In 2007, he received the Communications Award, representing a lifetime achievement award for his ability to communicate mathematics to the general public. While a professor at M.I.T., he received the E.M. Baker Award, an institute-wide teaching prize selected solely by students. Also, he is the instructor on the 24-video series Chaos, produced in 2008 by The Teaching Company. Finally, he wrote The Calculus of Friendship, a book on my personal reading list. The book reveals his correspondence with his high school calculus teacher over a period of thirty years.