What is the smallest prime?
"It seems that the number two should be the obvious answer, and today it is, but it was not always so. There were times when and mathematicians for whom the numbers one and three were acceptable answers. To find the first prime, we must also know what the first positive integer is. Surprisingly, with the definitions used at various times throughout history, one was often not the first positive integer (some started with two, and a few with three). In this article, we survey the history of the primality of one, from the ancient Greeks to modern times. We will discuss some of the reasons definitions changed, and provide several examples. We will also discuss the last significant mathematicians to list the number one as prime."
posted by escabeche
on Sep 18, 2012 -
Measure-theoretic probability: Why it should be learnt and how to get started.
The clickable chart of distribution relationships.
Just two of the interesting and informative probability resources I've learned about, along with countless other tidbits of information, from statistician John D. Cook
and his probability fact-of-the-day Twitter feed ProbFact
. John also has daily tip and fact Twitter feeds for Windows keyboard shortcuts
, regular expressions
, TeX and LaTeX
, algebra and number theory
, topology and geometry
, real and complex analysis
, and beginning tomorrow, computer science
posted by grouse
on Dec 5, 2010 -
The Zero Saga
contains a great deal of information about the concept of zero, and its relation to other numbers and concepts in mathematics. It was linked in Good Math, Bad Math
; which contains a variety of other informative articles on the numbers
that capture our imaginations
. (Note: You may want to skip past part 4 of the Zero Saga, as it contains replies to the site, and as such should probably be at the bottom of the page. But, to compensate, the comments on Good Math are better than most blogs I've read.)
posted by Eideteker
on Aug 3, 2006 -