CultureLearn

Today is National Pi Day, and we want to celebrate by highlighting some of history’s most amazing mathematicians (in addition to eating a big slice of pie!).

Some cool facts about Pi:

  • It has been represented using the Greek letter “π” for the past 250 years.
  • It is a mathematical constant that’s special, unique, and significant in its own way.
  • It is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
  • It never ends or settles into a repeating pattern.
  • It is the most recognized mathematical constant.
  • Computing the value of Pi is a stress test for computers.

Five of history’s most interesting mathematicians:

DN-SC-84-05971Grace Hopper (aka “Amazing Grace”) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. As a child Hopper would dismantle household gadgets, specifically alarm clocks, to figure out how they worked. During WWII Hopper decided to take a leave of absence from Vassar where she was working as an associate professor of math and was sown into the U.S. Navy Reserve as a volunteer. A pioneer in her field, she worked at Harvard University for the navy and was one of the first programmers to work on a computer called Harvard Mark I that was used in the war effort. On top of it all, she invented the first compiler for a computer programming language.

 

williamplayfairWilliam Playfair was the founder of graphical methods of statistics, in other words charts and diagrams. He was a Sottish engineer and political economist who invented four types of diagrams: the line graph, the car chart, the pie chart, and the circle graph. Born during the Enlightenment – a Golden Age when the arts, sciences, industry, and commerce were all thriving – Playfair was involved in many different careers. He was an engineer, accountant, inventor, silversmith, merchant, investment broker, economist, publicist, land speculator, editor, journalist, the list goes on.

adalovelace

Ada Lovelace is considered to be the world’s first computer programmer. She earned this title after working on one of the earliest mechanical general-purpose computers called the Analytical Engine. The notes she took on this project are recognized as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine. This has earned her the title of “first computer programmer.” As a young child Lovelace showed signs of being highly influence by math and science, and her parents pushed her to pursue this talent.

 

 

 

isaacnewton

Isaac Newton is best known for having developed the theory of gravity and physics, but he also invented calculus (as did Gottfried Leibniz, who he had many disputes with over this topic during his life). This Englishman formulated laws of motion and universal gravitation using mathematical processes. Born on Christmas Day, Newton was known to be an independent person who never married. His work in science and math are some of the core foundations on which many other developments were made.

 

 

 

sofiamath

Sofia Kovalevskaya was the first major Russian female mathematician. She contributed major original advances to analysis, differential equations, and mechanics. She was the first woman to ever be appointed to full professorship in Northern Europe and was one of the first women to work for a scientific journal as an editor. Born in Moscow, Kovalevskaya studied in Germany by auditing courses at a German university. For a long time she tried to build up her career but because she was a woman she was unable to. Finally she was accepted as a professor in Stockholm, Sweden.

 

 

Which leaders in math and science inspire you?

Image: Flickr, Grace Hopper, William Playfair, Ada LovelaceIsaac Newton, Sofia Kovalevskaya

CultureVolunteerism

What makes slam poetry so different? It’s an open diary. It’s no secret slam poetry leaves your skin goose bumped and your jaw dropped, at least a bit. Hearing passionate meaningful words leaves your mind with overwhelming memories, questions, and thoughts. Slam poetry originated forty years ago but has just risen in popularity. Poetry is honest – it’s what makes poetry. But slam poetry is more than honest- it is human. It is hedonistic: both liberating and torturous. Here are five other reasons to love and appreciate slam poetry:

1. Liberating

Genuine thoughts can become courageous words. Slam poets take the risk of being judged and questioned but the benefits outweigh the costs. Each recited poem is weight lifted from their shoulders and new ideas shared.

2. Remarkable

Listening to slam poetry does many things to us. But if we remember one main thing, it’s how it made us feel. Slam poetry touches the very depths of your feelings. I’ve had epiphanies because of the slam poetry I have witnessed. Poetry does not ask permission to express what needs to be said. Sometimes it makes you feel comfortable and other times it does just the opposite – that is part of what makes this form of art so remarkable.

3. Revolutionary

Slam poetry is perhaps the most excusable form of revolt since it is thoughts written on paper. Because it is thoughts that are soulful, wholesome, and permissible, the words get away with a lot. Freedom of speech does poets a lot of good when criticizing the pillars of our society, politics, and ideals.

4. Honest

The thing about writing is that it allows you to get things off of your chest. It essentially serves as the psychologist who doesn’t really exist. You tell this psychologist , aka journal, everything about your life: your feelings, emotions, opinions, angers, disappointments, excitements, happiness, sadness, achievements, criticisms, failures, regrets, and everything you experience in your day to day life. It becomes an art, an authentic art.

5. Impactful

When writing poetry, there is one goal: to write something meaningful. It doesn’t need to be prudent or polite. Slam poetry criticizes society, rethinks politics, and takes a stance on a controversy. It screams what may be deemed taboo and embraces what makes us feel upset. Writers want to leave you thinking and they want to leave thoughts lingering in the minds of their audience in order to plant the seed of change.

Slam poetry is practicing both writing poetry and performing on stage which, in unison, create a beautiful form of art. I encourage you to take the time to check out a local event – you won’t regret it!

Image: Flickr

Culture

When the lights went down on stage and the guitars started to hum behind the darkness, Carpe Juvenis could tell something special was about to happen. The jittery, high-strung excitement in the back room of Brooklyn’s Trash Bar was magnified by the cheers from fans and bright, random flashes of light from cell phone cameras.

As the lights went up, lead singer Connor Frost belted out the opening line of “Where Are the Children” from the debut 2012 album Sundial, and the crowd went wild. They seemed to be absorbing every note and beat of the drum, bopping and swaying to the jam. Tonight would be all about the music.

Dizzy Bats are unique because their punk-rock vocals and high-energy tempos are still relatable, enjoyable, and accessible to a listener who is unfamiliar with the intricacies and style of the genre. Take the track “These Kids I Teach,” for example, with its raw lyrics and straightforward attitude; the song has a vibe of its own that invites new listeners in and keeps the old fans wanting more.

IMG_1800

Following closely on the heels of his solo-West-coast tour, Frost shares with Carpe that he feels “more excitement around Dizzy Bats’ music in general” and that his latest tour “was unbelievably rewarding.” His gratitude and enthusiasm were both felt at the Girls 7” Release Party as the band opened up for the wildly popular Chicago-based funk/soul/rhythm group whysowhite.

Carpe dug around for some behind-the-show information and found out that each set list is fine tuned to take the audience on a ride. There is a certain “ebb and flow” Frost creates to hype the listeners up, mellow them out a bit, and then “amp the crowd back up” as he finished with a popular tune that everyone has been waiting for. That last song at this show was “Appendectomy” from the 2013 album release with the same name.

Something special is happening with Dizzy Bats – with a brand new album coming out this year and a quality sound making its way across the country, this band is not one to miss out on. Check them out at Bandcamp and iTunes.

Make sure to “Like” Dizzy Bats on Facebook to keep up-to-date on everything Dizzy Bats related!