3. What’s it like to teach an advanced college math class (Modern Algebra) without a textbook? Professor Robert Talbert intends to find out. UPDATE: link to Robert’s post now fixed.
4. Happy Zoroastrian New Year!
5. University of Chicago Computer Science Professor Lance Fortnow announced that he is ending his interesting math and CS blog, Computational Complexity. Presumably the fun and useful introduction to complexity theory will remain viewable.
6. At Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen defend fellow economist Steven Levitt against Noam Scheiber’s charges (subscriber only) that “Freakonomics is ruining the dismal science”. Subscribers to The Economist can read more about instrumental variables here. MAJOR UPDATES: Full versions of the article have been reprinted (legally?) here and here. Harvard economist Greg Mankiw weighs in here. Cowen adds more, and points to Joshua Angrist’s piece. Most importantly, Professor Levitt defends himself on his Freakonomics Blog. A glance through the entire Scheiber piece reveals several glaring factual inaccuracies. In particular, the following assertion is blatantly false: “Chicago had never been an ideal place to do empirical work. Nobel Prizewinning theorists like Gary Becker and Robert Lucas disliked dirtying their hands with data.” More on this later…
7. One of Andrew Sullivan’s readers offers a neo-conservative critique of the Bush administration and the Iraq debacle.
8. Daniel Drezner agrees with Cass Sunstein (almost). Unfortunately, the topic in question is the non-viability of the Internet as a medium for serious and thoughtful information-sharing…
9. Did the extinction of the dinosaurs help mammals? New research reported here.