Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A New Feature: Name That Mathematician (and more...)

Update2: Only one submission thus far (and a good one!) so I will give our readers another day to email me some fascinating fact about 'A'! Ironically, Isabel, over at God Plays Dice, has a humorous post on attaching names to faces of current mathematicians. What are the odds! As with all experiments, we'll see how this challenge is responded to before making it a regular feature!

Update: Mathmom, reminded me that one can right-click on a PC and see the name of the image file. Working on a MAC, I forgot that. Well, this first picture might be a freebie, but you still need to wow me with some esoteric fact about him! Next time, I'll rename that file!! I also removed the personal info requirement (again, thanks to mathmom's astuteness!).

Starting today, we are introducing a different kind of challenge. Look at the image near the top of the sidebar. Here are the rules (read these carefully before submitting):

DO NOT NAME THE FAMOUS MATHEMATICIAN IN A COMMENT! (If you did already, I will delete it!).
Instead, send me an email at "dmarain at gmail dot com" with the following information:

(a) The name of the person
(b) One fascinating fact about her/him; it doesn't have to be what made that person famous -- I'm looking for the unusual or curious here, be it mathematical or something personal...
(c) Please cite your source for this fact (include the link) - I need to verify its authenticity

I will choose the top responses received within 24-48 hours of the time the picture first appears. Earlier submissions may receive higher ranking than later submissions. I will announce the winners in a couple of days and, of course, include the fascinating facts as well.

Note: I realize that students today have extraordinary online research skills (although one cannot enter an image in Google!), but, remember, the winners are not only determined by giving a name. Feel free to share this with students. They can enter too!


mathmom said...

I'm curious why you want so much personal information from respondents. I wouldn't let any of my children respond to this challenge if I didn't already "know" you. We are very cautious about allowing our kids to give out personally identifying information online. Also, I believe that if anyone under 13 replies, you may be violating COPPA. Be careful about that.

Dave Marain said...

Thanks, mathmom! I stand corrected and have deleted that requirement and added another. I would never publish personal information but I'm always curious about the background of respondents, however, I should have known better when it comes to students!

Also, thanks for reminding me that one can see the file name of the picture which gives it away, but I still want a curious fact about him (and references must be cited).

Next time, I'll know better. I'm hoping that it will take some digging in general to match the picture to a name!