Bloomberg: Math Knowledge Is Another Casualty of the Pandemic. “Shalinee Sharma can track the impact of Covid-19 on students’ math achievement on a daily basis by checking Zearn, the nonprofit company of which she is chief executive and co-founder. Students go to Zearn to take math lessons and to earn badges, which they get for a perfect score on a quiz. Early in the pandemic she and her staff noticed that high-income students were using Zearn more than ever, but the low-income students that Zearn is most concerned about were dropping off. The gap seemed to narrow at the start of this school year, but lately it has widened again.”

# mathematics

# ‘Classified knots’: Researchers create optical framed knots to encode information (Phys .org)

Phys .org: ‘Classified knots’: Researchers create optical framed knots to encode information. “In a world first, researchers from the University of Ottawa in collaboration with Israeli scientists have been able to create optical framed knots in the laboratory that could potentially be applied in modern technologies. Their work opens the door to new methods of distributing secret cryptographic keys—used to encrypt and decrypt data, ensure secure communication and protect private information.” *I tried to look up framed knots but I was hit over the head with a mathematics cudgel. Wikipedia has an overview*.

# Ars Technica: The unreasonable effectiveness of the Julia programming language

Ars Technica: The unreasonable effectiveness of the Julia programming language. “I’ve been running into a lot of happy and excited scientists lately. ‘Running into’ in the virtual sense, of course, as conferences and other opportunities to collide with scientists in meatspace have been all but eliminated. Most scientists believe in the germ theory of disease. Anyway, these scientists and mathematicians are excited about a new tool. It’s not a new particle accelerator nor a supercomputer. Instead, this exciting new tool for scientific research is… a computer language.”

# Quanta Magazine: Building the Mathematical Library of the Future

Quanta Magazine: Building the Mathematical Library of the Future. “Digitizing mathematics is a longtime dream. The expected benefits range from the mundane — computers grading students’ homework — to the transcendent: using artificial intelligence to discover new mathematics and find new solutions to old problems. Mathematicians expect that proof assistants could also review journal submissions, finding errors that human reviewers occasionally miss, and handle the tedious technical work that goes into filling in all the details of a proof. But first, the mathematicians who gather on Zulip must furnish Lean with what amounts to a library of undergraduate math knowledge, and they’re only about halfway there.”

# The Next Web: A beginner’s guide to the math that powers machine learning

The Next Web: A beginner’s guide to the math that powers machine learning. “At some point in your exploration and mastering of artificial intelligence, you’ll need to come to terms with the lengthy and complicated equations that adorn AI whitepapers and machine learning textbooks. In this post, I will introduce some of my favorite machine learning math resources. And while I don’t expect you to have fun with machine learning math, I will also try my best to give you some guidelines on how to make the journey a bit more pleasant.”

# Phys .org: When does a second COVID surge end? Look at the maths

Phys .org: When does a second COVID surge end? Look at the maths. “Mathematicians have developed a framework to determine when regions enter and exit COVID-19 infection surge periods, providing a useful tool for public health policymakers to help manage the coronavirus pandemic. The first published paper on second-surge COVID-19 infections from US states suggests that policymakers should look for demonstrable turning points in data rather than stable or insufficiently declining infection rates before lifting restrictions.”

# Thomson Reuters Foundation News: New website by Senegalese AI expert spotlights Africans in STEM

Thomson Reuters Foundation News: New website by Senegalese AI expert spotlights Africans in STEM. “Growing up in a trading town in Senegal, Adji Bousso Dieng loved school and had a particular talent for maths. But with a dearth of career role models, she had no idea which path to follow. Some two decades later and a research scientist working on artificial intelligence at Google, Dieng wants to give young Africans the inspiring examples she missed out on….This month, Dieng launched a website called ‘The Africa I Know’, which features profiles of successful African professionals working in fields such as science, technology and engineering.”

# CNN: Parents’ biggest frustration with distance learning

CNN: Parents’ biggest frustration with distance learning. “Helping your child navigate Zoom tech support can be daunting. So can balancing work and household duties with making sure your children are engaged and learning. But the single biggest challenge, many parents say, are the math topics taught through Common Core — a standardized teaching method rolled out in 2010.”

# The Conversation: Is mathematics real? A viral TikTok video raises a legitimate question with exciting answers

The Conversation: Is mathematics real? A viral TikTok video raises a legitimate question with exciting answers. “While filming herself getting ready for work recently, TikTok user @gracie.ham reached deep into the ancient foundations of mathematics and found an absolute gem of a question: How could someone come up with a concept like algebra? She also asked what the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras might have used mathematics for, and other questions that revolve around the age-old conundrum of whether mathematics is ‘real’ or something humans just made up. Many responded negatively to the post, but others — including mathematicians like me — found the questions quite insightful.”

# SciTechDaily: Carnegie Mellon Tool Automatically Turns Math Into Beautiful and Instructive Illustrations

SciTechDaily: Carnegie Mellon Tool Automatically Turns Math Into Beautiful and Instructive Illustrations. “The tool enables users to create diagrams simply by typing an ordinary mathematical expression and letting the software do the drawing. Unlike a graphing calculator, these expressions aren’t limited to basic functions, but can be complex relationships from any area of mathematics. The researchers named it Penrose after the noted mathematician and physicist Roger Penrose, who is famous for using diagrams and other drawings to communicate complicated mathematical and scientific ideas.”

# Rochester Institute of Technology: RIT researchers create easy-to-use math-aware search interface

Rochester Institute of Technology: RIT researchers create easy-to-use math-aware search interface. “Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology have developed MathDeck, an online search interface that allows anyone to easily create, edit and lookup sophisticated math formulas on the computer. Created by an interdisciplinary team of more than a dozen faculty and students, MathDeck aims to make math notation interactive and easily shareable, rather than an obstacle to mathematical study and exploration.”

# Disease modeling: How Math Can Help In A Pandemic (GAO WatchBlog)

GAO WatchBlog: Disease modeling: How Math Can Help In A Pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new attention to models of infectious disease. These models are critical tools that scientists—including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—use to anticipate health care needs and explore options for responding to an outbreak. Today’s WatchBlog looks at the basics of infectious disease modeling, which we reviewed in a recent 2-page Spotlight. It also looks at our recent report on how federal agencies like the CDC use modeling, and how they might improve their use.”

# EurekAlert: Carnegie Mellon tool automatically turns math into pictures

EurekAlert: Carnegie Mellon tool automatically turns math into pictures. “Some people look at an equation and see a bunch of numbers and symbols; others see beauty. Thanks to a new tool created at Carnegie Mellon University, anyone can now translate the abstractions of mathematics into beautiful and instructive illustrations. The tool enables users to create diagrams simply by typing an ordinary mathematical expression and letting the software do the drawing. Unlike a graphing calculator, these expressions aren’t limited to basic functions, but can be complex relationships from any area of mathematics.”

# Phys .org: Mathematical curves predict evolution in COVID-19 spread

Phys .org: Mathematical curves predict evolution in COVID-19 spread. “Efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic are now the top priority of governments across the globe. As they make these life-saving decisions, it is particularly crucial for policymakers to accurately predict how the spread of the virus will change over time. Through research published in EPJ Plus, Ignazio Ciufolini at the University of Salento, and Antonio Paolozzi at Sapienza University of Rome, identify a clear mathematical trend in the evolution of daily new cases and death numbers in China, and use the same curve to predict how a similar slowdown will unfold in Italy.”

# North Carolina State University: Free Math Mapper Tool Helps Parents, Teachers Advance Mathematical Learning for Middle Grades Students at Home During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

North Carolina State University: Free Math Mapper Tool Helps Parents, Teachers Advance Mathematical Learning for Middle Grades Students at Home During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic . “As schools in North Carolina have moved toward remote learning to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Jere Confrey, Ph.D., Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor of mathematics education at the NC State College of Education, and the Scaling Up Digital Design Studies (SUDDS) team are offering an online mathematics diagnostic tool for free to the public. The Math Mapper tool offers free diagnostic practice problems and assessments designed to evaluate middle school students’ mathematical progress on learning trajectories to determine what students know and what they still need to learn.”