“I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’ news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.
I’m very good at integral and differential calculus;
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.”
Major-General’s Song, Gilbert and Sullivan
This is a sociologist’s research blog about mathematics. More precisely, it is about mathematical labour, the learning and teaching of mathematics, the jobs, careers and lives of mathematicians and computer scientists, sociology of science and sociology of work and employment. And the occasional fascinating fact about mathematics and computers. Oh, and of course, obscure mathematical jokes. Odd mixture? Read below to find out more. Feel free to look through the different categories and leave comments! (and correct any mistakes in the maths).
Science careers is about anything related to work and careers in the natural, social and mathematical sciences, both in academia and industry. For now – mostly useful readings, although original posts might begin lurking in the bushes soon.
Sociology of work is where I bookmark general useful readings about work, employment, labour markets, not necessarily to do with the sciences.
Coffee and chalk is a page about the daily work of mathematicians as they chip away at the rock face of science (I didn’t coin this phrase, a mathematician I know did!). The page will have field notes about day-to-day mathematical labour (mainly as a fly on the wall in mathematics lectures and seminars) and notes on readings on the sociology and ethnography of science.
The life of μ contains the diary of a budding mathematician. I may never become a mathematician (in fact, I most probably won’t), but we sociologists call this autoethnography, and it is a fun and useful, if very slow, research method which allows us to study transformations of identity through looking at everyday practice. To this end, in October 2013 I started learning some mathematics at university. Depending on how it goes, this page might be full of mathematics, anguish, or both.
Factoids is for random interesting titbits of mathematical or computer knowledge.
Sandbox is stuff I’ve written, including underbaked ideas that do not (yet) fit anywhere else, and my own musings about stuff other people have written. Its purpose is to help me keep track of emerging ideas that might eventually fit somewhere else.
Fun (Maths NSFW) is the home of mathematical jokes, non-serious mathematics, and things that are not even wrong. Some may be funny even to non-mathematicians; and some may make your boss raise her eyebrows if she sees you browsing them in your working hours. You’ve been warned.
Links has weblinks to websites about mathematics and sociology that you must go and see at once.