Many people say that successful blogs stay on subject. Long time readers of SF will know that I cannot abide this rule. I often post on academic papers that interest me and other somewhat eclectic subjects. A recent example would be the post on George Polya. Much to my surprise this off topic post has brought hundreds of people to my blog through Google searches. If you would like to learn more about the ever popular George Polya, who has to be one of the funniest great thinkers in history, read Gerald L. Alexanderson's The Random Walks of George Polya.
(Polya is credited with first using the term "random walk", a popular concept in finance and statistics.)
If you care to understand why I read and write about mathematics and mathematicians, let me explain.
- All finance is now basically derivatives; derivatives are all about statistics and math
- Strategy is not understood until it is reduced to numbers (Lord Kelvin and Hacker)
- Technology starts with basic science, which is again almost all mathematics today
Last eclectic topic for today, again off point. If someone is looking for an interesting Ph.D thesis I think it would a fascinating and valuable study to show the inter-relationships between the thinking of Polya, Piaget and Papert. Seymour Papert was a renown MIT professor who combined the teachings of both Polya and Piaget to define a new concept of education for children using computers. (These concepts are the educational foundation for OLPC.) The thesis might be suitable for artificial intelligence, psychology, education, computer science or maybe even philosophy students.