Links and recommendations


This is a (somewhat random) collection of mathematics- and science-related stuff on the internet that I found interesting or entertaining. All are intended for a general audience, so feel free to browse around regardless of your background.


Educational YouTube channels and videos


Veritasium: a YouTube channel hosted by Derek Muller, a guy with a background in physics and education. His videos are mostly (but not exclusively) physics- and engineering-related. Some highlights:

  • The Science of Thinking - this is my favorite video on all of YouTube, about how the brain thinks and learns. A must-see for everyone learning mathematics. (And for lecturers looking to feel better about their near-illegible blackboard writing.)
  • Is Most Published Research Wrong? - in the realm of life sciences, the answer is sadly and perhaps surprisingly yes, the video explains the phenomenon and the reason.
  • What is NOT Random? - a collaboration with Vsauce investigating causation, information, and ultimately, free will.
  • How Special Relativity Makes Magnets Work - electromagnetism explained by special relativity in a collaboration with minutephysics.

Vsauce: a very interesting channel hosted by Michael Stephens. Videos cover some the most baffling concepts in science, psychology and mathematics. They often have a philosophical vibe. Some highlights:

  • The Banach-Tarski Paradox - an actual proof of the famous Banach-Tarski paradox about reassembling pieces of a ball into two balls of the same size as the original.
  • The Zipf Mystery - the video revolves around an interesting phenomenon: in any language, the nth most frequenetly used word is used n times less than the most frequently used word.
  • Mind Field - this is a video series on YouTube Premium about some of the most exciting psychological phenomena. It is available for free until the end of 2019.

Minutephysics: a physics-centered channel, occassionally including mathematics. Videos are very visual, they are narrated over stop-motion animated sharpie drawings. Some highlights:

3Blue1Brown: a highly visual channel featuring mostly mathematics. Videos are all computer animated, resulting in high-quality visualizations. The channel has both stand-alone videos and video series intended to provide a visual introduction to some topics in highler level mathematics, such as linear algebra or neural networks. Some highlights:

Numberphile: the most well-known mathematics channel on YouTube. It is different from all of the above in that videos are presented by different people, often by researchers on their own area of expertise. Many videos are concerned with numbers. Some highlights:

AlgoRythmics: this is a very unique channel in which a group of Transylvania-based dancers demonstrate computer algorithms with dancing. Some highlights:

Miscellaneous:


Websites


To read

  • xkcd: undoubtedly the most famous science-themed comic strip on the internet. Some are quite informative, for instance here is their illustration of the average global temperature in the past millenia.
  • What if?: the thought experiment blog of the creator of xkcd.
  • A Friendly Introduction to the Riemann hypothesis: a hilarious and thourough exposition of the most famous open question in mathematics.
  • Infinity plus one: a mathematical blog exploring deep topics like measure theroy and Gödel's incompleteness theorem in an accessible way.
  • Math with Bad Drawings: a funny blog about some basic concepts in mathematics and math jokes. Entires are usually short and don't venture very deep into theories.

Interactive

  • MinuteLabs: an extension of the YouTube channel minutephysics, containing interactive animations such as the Brownian motion or planetary systems.
  • Seeing theory: an introduction to statistics using interactive, visual tools. A very good resource for educational purposes.
  • The Scale of the Universe: an interactive Flash website about the scale of different objects in the universe, from quarks to galaxies.


Games


Online

  • Ouverture Facile: this is an amazing website of puzzles/riddles, you are presented with one at a time and they get increasingly more difficult. It used to be quite popular around 2007. The puzzles are the kind you would nowadays encounter in escape rooms, they are very simply presented but require all sorts of decoding and creativity.
  • TUDOD: this is a riddle website I created with a couple of collegues, and was largely inspired by Ouverture Facile, except the puzzles are all somehow related to some mathematical theorem or concept. It is in Hungarian, but Google translate does a decent job on it. Read more on my POPULAR MATH page.

For Android/iPhone

  • Euclidea: this is a puzzle game about Euclidean constructions. You are challenged with constructing certain geometric objects from given ones in a minimal number of steps. It gets quite hard quite quickly, and it certainly helps if you remember your high school geometry theorems. Free to play, no ads. It also has an online version.

For PC

  • SpaceChem: probably my favorite puzzle game. You have to create new molecules out of given ones using visual programming: you can send atoms and molecules on prescribed paths labeled by instructions such as `grab', `drop', `rotate', `bond' or 'unbond'. As the atom or molecule passes through an instruction, the action is performed. The main challenge is that your space is limited, and of course you can always optimize your `program' for running time or the number of symbols used. The game tells you how optimal your solutions are compared to other players'.
  • Miegakure: this game is still under development, and has been for the past 10 years. It will be a single player puzzle-platform game that takes place in the 4 dimensional Eucledian space, which the player sees and navigates via its 3D intersections. The reason it is on the list despite not being out is because I wanted to mention two related games:
  • 4D Toys: this is a sandbox game running on Miegakure's physics engine that basically allows you to throw 4D objects around, and see how their 3D intersections behave.
  • FEZ: this is essentailly a 3D-version Miegakure: it is a puzzle-platform game in 3-space which the player navigates via its 2D intersections.
  • Braid: a very artistic puzzle-platformer with a philosophic story and time-manipulating mechanisms.
  • Portal and Portal 2: these two are probably the most well-known puzzle games for PC. They are 3D platform games where you have to solve puzzles using a device which allows your character to create portals between two flat surfaces. They have fun stories and fun characters as well. Portal 2 has a multiplayer version.

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