A mathematician’s happy diatribe about what happens when mathematicians gather

Doron Zeilberger cast a wary glance at the social gathering habits of his fellow mathematicians. He wrote a little, gleeful diatribe about it: Opinion 104: The Shocking State of Contemporary “Mathematics”, and the Meta-Shocking Fact that Very Few People Are Shocked I just came back from attending the 1052nd AMS (sectional) meeting at Penn State, […]

How well scientists understand how to figure out how the brain works…

An essay (in The Elusive Self blog) about a demonstration of how little anyone really understands how the brain works: False functional inference: what does it mean to understand the brain? A few days ago Eric Jonas and Konrad Kording [pictured here] (J&K) posted a thought-provoking paper on bioRxiv entitled “Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?” […]

Bee’s Treefrogs In an Assault on the Cocktail Party Problem

Treefrogs often find themselves faced with the Cocktail Party Problem. Those who study the Cocktail Party Problem have their own complicated mess to make sense of: They try to understand how someone amidst a yacketing group can understand one particular conversation even though many other conversations are equally audible. This study sees treefrogs as possibly being […]

Vaughn Bell: the power of appreciating not-understanding

The power of psychology can come from appreciating that psychologists truly understand only a tiny part of what makes people tick*. That’s the message of a nice essay by psychologist Vaughn Bell. His essay is part of a special BPS Research Digest special series called “Psychology to the Rescue“,  in which the editor “asked a […]