120 episodes

Interviews with Mathematicians about their New Books
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New Books in Mathematics Marshall Poe

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 24 Ratings

Interviews with Mathematicians about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/mathematics

    Scott Gehlbach, "Formal Models of Domestic Politics" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Scott Gehlbach, "Formal Models of Domestic Politics" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Formal mathematical models have provided tremendous insights into politics in recent decades. Formal Models of Domestic Politics (Cambridge UP, 2021) is the leading graduate textbook covering the crucial models that underpin current theoretical and empirical research on politics by both economists and political scientists. This textbook was recently updated to reflect the wealth of new theory-building around the functioning of authoritarian regimes, as well as to include recent developments in the theory of electoral competition, delegation, legislative bargaining, and collective action.
    Author Scott Gehlbach is a professor at the University of Chicago, where he is the director of their new PhD program in Political Economy. He is a widely published political economist, with influential articles published in both economics and political science journal as well as two other books. Scott also has a regional specialty in the politics of Russia, Ukraine, and other postcommunist countries.
    In our interview, we discuss what formal models are, how they work, and illustrates their usefulness with several examples. We also speak briefly at the end about current Russian politics and the ideas he outlined in his February Washington Post Monkey Cage blog piece on the implications of the invasion of Ukraine.
    Host Peter Lorentzen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new Master's program in Applied Economics focused on the digital economy. His own research focus is the political economy of governance in China.
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    • 50 min
    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, "Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in LIfe" (Dey Street Books, 2022)

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, "Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in LIfe" (Dey Street Books, 2022)

    Today I talked to Seth Stephens-Davidowitz about his new book Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in LIfe (Dey Street Books, 2022)
    Looking for advice on how to get a date, how to have a successful marriage, or just how to have a happier life? Don’t trust your gut, don’t trust conventional wisdom, and put down that self-help book full of plausible arguments and compelling anecdotes that just happens to contradict the advice you got from the self-help book you. Instead, let Seth Stephens-Davidowitz guide you, using data!
    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a data scientist, author, keynote speaker, and recovering economist. His first book Everybody Lies, was a New York Times bestseller that showed how social scientists have used new data about our online behavior to gain new insights about who we really are and what we really think. His latest book, Don’t Trust Your Gut, is about how we can use data not just to understand other people but also how to get what we want in life, whether it’s health, wealth, attractiveness, or inner peace.
    Host Peter Lorentzen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new Master's program in Applied Economics focused on the digital economy.
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    • 1 hr
    Robert-Jan Smits and Rachael Pells, "Plan S for Shock: Science. Shock. Solution. Speed." (Ubiquity Press, 2022)

    Robert-Jan Smits and Rachael Pells, "Plan S for Shock: Science. Shock. Solution. Speed." (Ubiquity Press, 2022)

    Plan S: the open access initiative that changed the face of global research. 
    Robert-Jan Smits and Rachael Pells's book Plan S for Shock: Science. Shock. Solution. Speed. (Ubiquity Press, 2022) tells the story of open access publishing - why it matters now, and for the future. In a world where information has never been so accessible, and answers are available at the touch of a fingertip, we are hungrier for the facts than ever before - something the Covid-19 crisis has brought to light. And yet, paywalls put in place by multi-billion dollar publishing houses are still preventing millions from accessing quality, scientific knowledge - and public trust in science is under threat. On 4 September 2018, a bold new initiative known as 'Plan S' was unveiled, kickstarting a world-wide shift in attitudes towards open access research. For the first time, funding agencies across continents joined forces to impose new rules on the publication of research, with the aim of one day making all research free and available to all. What followed was a debate of global proportions, as stakeholders asked: Who has the right to access publicly-funded research? Will it ever be possible to enforce change on a multi-billion dollar market dominated by five major players? Here, the scheme's founder, Robert-Jan Smits, makes a compelling case for Open Access, and reveals for the first time how he set about turning his controversial plan into reality - as well as some of the challenges faced along the way. In telling his story, Smits argues that the Covid-19 crisis has exposed the traditional academic publishing system as unsustainable.
    Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Nikita Braguinski, "Mathematical Music: From Antiquity to Music AI" (Focal Press, 2022)

    Nikita Braguinski, "Mathematical Music: From Antiquity to Music AI" (Focal Press, 2022)

    What is mathematical music? In Mathematical Music from Antiquity to AI (Routledge, 2022), musicologist Nikita Braguinski discusses how mathematics has historically been used to make music, how it continues to influence musical composition, and the ways in which it may influence music in the future, including through artificial intelligence (AI). From pre-historic sounds to Gregorian chant to jazz to rock and beyond, from Mozart to M.C. Hammer, from the definition of an interval to time signatures to what gives human music its “soul,” Braguinski, a 2019-2020 Harvard University Music Department fellow, takes us on a fascinating journey.
    David Hamilton Golland is professor of history and immediate past president of the faculty senate at Governors State University in Chicago's southland. @DHGolland.
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    • 1 hr 6 min
    Mindy Capaldi, "Teaching Mathematics Through Games" (American Mathematical Society, 2021)

    Mindy Capaldi, "Teaching Mathematics Through Games" (American Mathematical Society, 2021)

    Games are an established aide in pre-college mathematics education. Meanwhile, innumerable popular books have investigated the mathematics of games. In a new edited volume for the AMS/MAA Classroom Resource Materials Series, topologist and NSF educational program director Mindy Capaldi and contributors join advanced topics with innovative lesson designs in possibly the first book of game-based mathematics education for college curricula. Teaching Mathematics Through Games (MAA Press, 2020) comprises lesson material for the full breadth of coursework taken by math students involving just as diverse and often surprising a breadth of games.
    I've become interested in how edited collections come about, especially in mathematics, so i took some time at the start to ask Dr. Capaldi about the conception and production of this project. We then discussed a selection of six of the book's seventeen chapters that offer a sense of its scope and a taste of its value. To touch briefly on some chapters we did not discuss: Christine Latulippe use the combinatorial format of Sudoku and dates in the history of mathematics to practice converting between numeration systems; and Jacob Heidenreich adapts the game play of Battleship to hone students' understanding of properties of functions.
    In addition to a detailed description of game play and how it ties in to the topic, each chapter contains exercises, problems, or activities that build upon the core lesson, and an online supplement provides material to support the lessons in practice. The book is designed specifically for instructors and provides rich material for an active learning curriculum, but avid and curious gamers and math geeks will also find much to enjoy.
    Suggested companion works:

    MAA Instructional Practices Guide

    Gathering 4 Gardner


    Mindy Capaldi is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Valparaiso University in Indiana. She completed her Ph.D. at North Carolina State University in 2010 and is currently on a leave of absence as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation.
    Cory Brunson is an Assistant Professor at the Laboratory for Systems Medicine at the University of Florida. His research focuses on geometric and topological approaches to the analysis of medical and healthcare data.
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    • 51 min
    Dashun Wang and Albert-László Barabási, "The Science of Science" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Dashun Wang and Albert-László Barabási, "The Science of Science" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Listen to this interview of Dashun Wang, Professor at the Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, and also with Albert-László Barabási, Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University. We talk about their new book The Science of Science" (Cambridge UP, 2021) and science, squared.
    Albert-László Barabási : "There is, of course, the need that you grow professionally. If you're a mathematician, you need to perfect your math. If you're a physicist, you need to do your physics. If you're a biologist, you need to develop your lab techniques. But no matter the magnitude of any discovery you might make, it's not impactful unless you can actually communicate it. And I think that this is where science lacks significantly. I would even go so far as to say, there is a counter-selection: People who are not necessarily the best communicators tend to prefer science because there's the impression that that is not the skill that you need — you just need to be able to solve problems in a meaningful way. But if you're not able to write your ideas down, if you're not able to share your ideas with your community, then it's really as if you didn't have the ideas at all. And you know, I have experienced this in my own career. When I got interested in network science back in 1994/95, for the first few years my papers got rejected one after the other, and not because it wasn't good science (as I would later realize) — no, my papers were getting rejected because I could not communicate to the community at large and to my referees in particular why we should care about networks. And it took me about five years to find the way into people's minds, to learn how they write papers about networks. I needed to learn the hard way about how the community of scientists appreciated and did not appreciate research on networks. And it took me so long because I'd never been offered the opportunity to study the communication of science."
    Watch Daniel edit your science here. Contact Daniel at writeyourresearch@gmail.com.
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    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

mr2048 ,

Great interviews with mathematicians

These are fascinating. Just finished listening to an interview with Ian Stewart. My only quibble/ suggestion would be for the interviewer to get a headset or microphone. Interviewees' audio is fine, interviewer's could be better.

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