Roots of Unity Turns 5

Five years ago today, I started sharing my thoughts about math with you here at Roots of Unity. The past 1826 days have allowed me to follow my curiosityplaymake mistakes, and grow as both a mathematician and a writer. As is the custom, I’m celebrating the blogiversary with a look back at the past year.

I started 2017 in Europe, where I tripped over translation surfaces and was delighted to find myself face to face with set theory in an art museumI visited Rue Sophie Germain on International Women’s Day and Pierre Fatou’s Paris residence on the first (and only until 2090) Fatou’s Day. One magical night, I watched a flatbed truck slowly remove a giant boat from the square outside our apartment and ruminated on how Kakeya’s needle problem gives me courage in difficult times.

Back in the states, I enjoyed writing about Babylonian trigonometry hype, what chores you should do based on your mathematical interests, and what the heck the abc conjecture is. Every month I write about a mathematical shape or space that strikes my fancy. A few of my favorite favorite spaces this year were the pseudosphereKovalevskaya topKoch snowflake, and humble circle.

But the biggest news for the blog (and my professional life) this year was the launch of My Favorite Theorem, the podcast I’m cohosting with Kevin Knudson. In each episode, we invite a guest to tell us about their favorite theorem and then pair it with a food, beverage, work of music or art, or other delight in life.

Check out some of my favorite episodes. (Yes, this is just an excuse to share all of the episodes with you because they’re all my favorite.)

Surfaces and ice cream plus ham sandwiches and beer
Calculus and mangoes
Archimedes and pizza
Surfaces, donuts, and coffee
Pascal’s triangle and Norwegian cheese
Symplectic geometry and avocados
Betti numbers and Stravinsky
Triangles and Navajo culture
Plato and Platonic solids
Ergodic theory with pasta and Steve Reich music

We have some great guests lined up for 2018. We’re excited that going forward, we’ll be releasing episodes twice a month instead of every three weeks. Find new episodes here, at Kevin’s website, or wherever you get podcasts, on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month.

Having my very own blog here at Scientific American for five whole years has been a great privilege. I have enjoyed sharing my math life with you and connecting with readers (and now podcast listeners) over emailTwittermy monthly newsletter, and Facebook. I’m looking forward to another trip around the sun with Roots of Unity, and I hope you’ll keep reading.