What We Are Reading Today: The Best Writing on Mathematics by Mircea Pitici

What We Are Reading Today: The Best Writing on Mathematics by Mircea Pitici
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Updated 25 November 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The Best Writing on Mathematics by Mircea Pitici

What We Are Reading Today: The Best Writing on Mathematics by Mircea Pitici

This annual anthology brings together the year’s finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2020 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else—and you don’t need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday aspects of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today’s hottest mathematical debates.

Here, Steven Strogatz reveals how calculus drives advances in virology, Paul Thagard argues that the power of mathematics stems from its combination of realistic and fictional qualities, and Erica Klarreich describes how Hao Huang used the combinatorics of cube nodes to solve a longstanding problem in computer science. In other essays, John Baez tells how he discovered the irresistible attractions of algebraic geometry.


What We Are Reading Today: Four Kings

What We Are Reading Today: Four Kings
Updated 23 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Four Kings

What We Are Reading Today: Four Kings

Author: George Kimball

By the late 1970s, boxing had lapsed into a moribund state and interest in it was on the wane. In 1980, however, the sport was resuscitated by a riveting series of bouts involving an improbably dissimilar quartet: Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran.
These four boxers brought out the best in each other, producing unprecedented multimillion-dollar gates along the way. Each of the nine bouts between the four men was memorable in its own way and at least two of them — Leonard-Hearns I in 1981 and Hagler-Hearns in 1985 — are commonly included on any list of the greatest fights of all time. The controversial outcome of another — the 1987 Leonard-Hagler fight — remains the subject of heated debates amongst fans to this day.
Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran didn’t set out to save boxing from itself in the post-Ali era, but somehow they managed to do so. In Four Kings, award-winning journalist George Kimball documents the remarkable effect they had on the sport and argues that we will never see their likes again.