New video posted in the VIDEOS section

The interview was recorded in February last year, in Belgrade, Serbia, but was only recently published on Youtube. You can find it on the site VIDEOS page. The accompanying text translates more or less as follows:

“An exclusive interview given in February last year to the 12th edition of the Elements magazine, published by the Center for the Promotion of Science.
In a comprehensive interview with Aleksandar Ravas and Tijana Markovic, published in the 12th Element, Devlin spoke about mathematical thinking, mathematics education, predicting the future, the difference between false stories in mathematics and the reality, and many other interesting and socially engaged topics.”

New podcast on mathematical outreach

BBVA tweet, May 9, 2019

The latest podcast in the “We learn together” (Aprendemos juntos) series sponsored by the BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, a multinational bank) features an interview they recorded with me a few months ago. This is actually the audio track from a video that will be published shortly.

Much of the interview focuses on my work on mathematical outreach, including what led me to devote so much effort to that enterprise.

— KD

The Misconceptions About Math That Are Keeping Students From Succeeding

That’s not my title above. It’s the headline to an article published by Forbes two days ago. It’s a must read for all students, teachers and parents.

SUMOP addresses the biggest of the myths. (Actually, all of them, but the biggest one jumps right out.) Not by saying it is myth. Not by explaining why it’s a myth. Rather, by showing it’s a myth. With relevant, contemporary, real-world examples.

Pacioli’s “Summa” in San Francisco

Setting up to give the talk under the watchful eye of Picasso

On April 24, SUMOP visited San Francisco’s new arts complex in the old dockland area to give a short talk about the background and importance of Luca Pacioli’s 1494 book Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalita. The occasion was a public showing of one of the few remaining first edition copies of the book by Christie’s, who are auctioning the book in New York in June. Giving a talk with a life-sized painting of Picasso behind me and original paintings by Renoir and Monet to my left (the total estimated value of all three at auction is $27M) was a new experience for me.

But I got an even greater thrill from spending a few moments before the event taking a close look at the book that initiated the modern commercial world by providing business leaders and financiers with the modern accounting methods necessary to run large organizations. Without the methods described in Pacioli’s book (which Christie’s expects to fetch between $1M and $1.5M), there would not be a financial system to give those paintings their much greater financial value. (Clearly, while I share with many the appreciation of fine art, the value I put on brilliant mathematical innovations is not mainstream.)

For a greatly expanded, written version of my talk, see the forthcoming May 1 issue of my regular Devlin’s Angle commentary for the Mathematical Association of America. (The April 1 post had a preview of the Christie’s event.)

Here are a few photos from the event. Two of the pictures show me examining one of the examples of double-entry bookkeeping in the textbook that first taught that method to the world.