I was going to stick an Update on my previous post (on Terry in the New York Times) but it’s sort of evolved into a full post. It turns out that my 大哥 has a shiny new WordPress. For example in his response to the NYT story, there’s a discussion about math education, and Terry says
“For instance, while teaching undergraduate linear algebra here in the U.S., I’ve found that students respond well to the story of how two Stanford graduate students in mathematics and computer science managed to exploit the theory of singular value decompositions of large sparse matrices to create a rather well-known multi-billion dollar web search company .”
For the non (linear algebraists) amongst us (not to be confused with the (non-linear) algebraists), he’s talking about PageRank and the Google. I’d also add computer graphics and games as another reason for the kids to wanna learn linear algebra. I can hardly remember what dull rag my MATH1001 professor waved to try and motivate us, but it was, by definition, forgettable.
He also has a rather interesting riff (this time for armchair physicists) on Lara Croft as an analogy for Quantum Mechanics. I always thought that her body defied the classical laws of physics.