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A mathematical farmer’s market

April 29, 2006

Every few weeks since ’92 or so, first on Usenet, now on the Web, John Baez of U Cal Riverside has published This Week’s Finds in Mathematical Physics. He slogs through the original research papers so you don’t have to, and then he explains the good parts. I’ve just added it to my link list.

Why do I call it a “farmer’s market”? Because it’s always fresh and tasty, it comes from many fields and vineyards, and he gives it his own local flavor. The intended audience is fools like me: with an undergrad degree in math or physics, and a desire to deceive ourselves into thinking that we’re keeping up. If it’s to do with string theory or quantum gravity, he’s on it.His gifts for exposition, and for fun, are enormous.

This week he takes up the quincuncial mapping of the sphere (see figure) and its connection to rational tangles. His homepage has links to other good stuff.

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