Transitions: May → June

June 2, 2008

Wow… one month already. (Technically, slightly more than a month, since my first post was published on 21 April.) Pretty much everything on the site is new since that post, but a couple of things are worth mentioning.

Blogroll additions.

I’ve added the first four links to the blogroll.

  • God Plays Dice has been around since June 2007. Isabel Lugo’s posts range from the somewhat whimsical to self-contained discussions of mathematical topics. Always worth reading.
  • The only linguistics site I’ve added so far is Language Log, which moved to a new server a couple months ago where the new material is posted. As a bonus, they’ve kept their older material available as well. And yes, this is plural they; several well-known linguists author posts there.
  • John Armstrong started The Unapologetic Mathematician back in January 2007. Mathematical topics are explored in some depth over the course of several posts, much like I’m attempting to do. In fact, this is the site that showed me what can be done with a blog and inspired me to start writing here.
  • Topological Musings is, for me, the most recent discovery out of these four additions. Vishal Lama started writing this in November 2007, and was recently joined by Todd Trimble. I really like the idea of their Problem of the Week series, and just wish my current schedule allowed me enough time to participate.

Bibliography and glossary.

I’ve added a bibliography (12 entries at the end of May) and a glossary (4 entries at the end of May) to the site. I’d really rather have these in a limited-authorship wiki associated with the blog, but I’m not set up to do that at the moment.

Site design.

As some early readers are aware, I’ve changed the theme to something more \LaTeX-friendly. With some of the themes available here, the \LaTeX rendering process gives results that aren’t particularly legible. (Thanks for prompting me to take care of that, Vishal!) I’m still not exceptionally happy with the result (by default, the theme I’m using now puts a little bit of extra padding around each image, including rendered mathematics), so things may yet change again in the future when I have time to deal with the CSS.

One of the things I’d really like to do is distinguish visually between external links, links back to other posts here, and links to the bibliography and glossary. If I ever tackle the CSS project, that will be part of the design. In the meantime, I’ve started making sure that I put title text on every link. (In most browsers, you’ll be able to see it by letting your pointer hover over the link.) External links are now preceded by an arrow (→), and the text should make it obvious when a link leads to the bibliography or the glossary.

Copyright © 2008 Michael L. McCliment.

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Prologue

April 21, 2008

Greetings!

I’ll start with a quick introduction before jumping into the real content of this blog. My name is Michael, and I’m currently a graduate student in English linguistics at Arizona State University. I’m writing my master’s thesis this summer, and simultaneously applying to graduate programs in mathematics. Yes, the two are actually related; most of my research over the past four years has focused on the mathematics of various linguistic theories.

Mathematics and theoretical linguistics are also the twin themes of this blog. My plan is to write about pure mathematics (I’m particularly interested in algebra, graph theory, and foundations), linguistic theories (primarily syntax and semantics), and the connections between the two. For the most part, I expect I’ll be trying to explain the things that I’m actively studying. The best way I’ve found to figure out what I don’t yet understand is to try to explain it. Hopefully, the journey will be fun!

Copyright © 2008 Michael L. McCliment.