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The Group Group

The focus for this week's website(s) is quite unusual...and may or may not be of interest. So be it!

It all began with a video of a group of graduate student from Northwestern University singing the song Finite Simple Group (of Order Two), which was viewed a great many times (more than 100,000 times) on both YouTube.com and CollegeHumor.com. After viewing the video, you might want to browse through the large number of comments, many on the order of "This touched me deeply. This is the coolest things ever. Even though I skipped math because I sucked at it" (by Toftdal).

Now, due to their great success, the singing group has officially banded together under the name The Klein Four. As they describe themselves: "Intended originally to be a forum for us graduate students to amuse ourselves and occasionally enact institutional change within our department, we soon realized we weren't the only ones laughing at us." Thus, the a cappella group was born and their fame continues to grow.

The Klein Four now have their own official web site, are selling their 14-song CD Musical Fruitcake, and offer unique merchandise such as apparel and gifts around mathematical themes (some understandable and some not understandable).

If you want to view some more videos of their performances, try Calculating or Power of One on their web site (media page) or at their original web site as they describe their music...it doth "weave back and forth between classic rock, funk, R&B, and even western styles of music - all a cappella, and all guaranteed to make you forget you're listening to mathematics."

So where does all of this lead? First, why not have a group of mathematics teachers or students band together and sing their own paradies? Both YouTube.com and fame are waiting in the wings! And second, why not investigate.,..what does the Klein Group even mean mathematically...and what is special about "order two"?