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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Math on the Web

I was just reminded of Wolfram's MathWorld ... The Web's most extensive math resource ... " . Consider for example their coverage of the Pythagorean Theorem, and the famous misstatement of it by the scarecrow in the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie: "The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side." (wrong)

It is notable that this is also covered by the Wikipedia article on the PT, with some additional examples of the PT as a cultural meme.

In general I have found the WP accurate for general overviews of math topics, though the way each topic is covered varies considerably. In some cases it assumes much, in some cases not. One of the early uses I found for the Web was using resources that SAS provided in the form of short, easy to digest, executive friendly descriptions of statistical topics. I used the availability of these resources as an argument for bringing Web access in house in the mid 90s. For a while, Web access had required VP approval.

Exploration inspired by Matthew Hurst in Data Mining.

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