Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Math Rocks

(image from NYT)

The post title is intentionally ambiguous. In this case, rather than it being a full clause where math is the subject and rocks is the intransitive verb, it is a simple NP where math modifies the plural noun rocks. This is the better reading in relation to this post simply because I am referring to the second installment of Steven Strogatz's excellent NYT series wherein he explains the elements of mathematics to a lay audience. His first topic was the value of abstractness. His second, the value of rocks (or rather, the value of concrete teaching methods like using groups of rocks to demonstrate the meaning of squares, primes, odd vs even numbers, etc). This series is fast turning into a must read. In case anyone wonders why a linguist is referencing a math blog, read THIS.

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