Jason Rosenhouse received his PhD in mathematics from Dartmouth College in 2000. He subsequently spent three years as a post-doc at Kansas State University. Currently he is Associate Professor of Mathematics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. This blog is about science, religion, math, politics and chess, roughly in that order.

Sunday Chess Problem

With the students returning tomorrow I’m afraid I have to blog and run. But I do want to continue my look at Circe problems this week. So here’s a minor effort of mine, published in the U. S. Problem Bulletin all the way back in 1994. The stipulation calls for mate in ten. But remember…

Pi Day!

Today’s date is March 14, 2015. That’s 3/14/15. That’s the first five digits of pi! And if you’re using 12-hour time, then you have two chances to be reading this at 9:26:53. That’s the first ten digits of pi! Oh happy day! And a welcome chance to stick a thumb in the eye of all…

Article Processing Charges

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I wanted to use spring break to make progress on various writing and research projects. One of those projects is based on one of the Darwin Day talks I gave in February, in which I discussed some of the mathematical arguments used by anti-evolutionists. In my preparations I gathered…

Sunday Chess Problem

Blogging will continue to be light around here for at least another week. It’s spring break, you see. That’s hard to believe considering that Thursday and Friday of last week were both snow days, meaning that our spring break opened with a raging blizzard. Spring break is a good time to make progress on various…

Sunday Chess Problem

One of the underappreciated aspects of chess composition is that some problems have a sense of humor. Sure, the real classics show deep and surprising ideas and do so with impressive constructional finesse. But other problems just bring a smile to your face. This week I have two such problems for you. Neither is difficult…

Leonard Nimoy Has Died

Sad news: Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83. His wife,…

Fry On the Problem Of Evil, Part Two

There’s lots of good blog fodder out there, but I don’t want to let too much time go by before finishing my discussion of Stephen Fry’s presentation of the Problem of Evil. See Part One for the full context. Of all the responses I’ve seen to Fry’s interview, there was one that was so bizarre…

Academic Freedom

Let’s consider a hypothetical situation. Professor Jones, who has tenure, learns that a graduate student in a different department has conducted a class in a manner he finds objectionable. So Jones writes a blog post in which he attacks the graduate student by name. He uses incendiary rhetoric he could reasonably know would lead to…

New POTW, and Funny Science Videos

The fifth Problem Of the Week has now been posted at the big website. I’ve also posted an “official” solution to Problem Four. POTW will be taking two weeks off after this one, so you will have to make this last. (Spring break is almost upon us, which seems incredible considering how cold it is…

Fry On the Problem Of Evil, Part One

My favorite philosophical conundrum has been back in the news lately, thanks to a recent interview with British actor Stephen Fry: Asked by the interviewer what he would say to God were he to discover, after his death, that He existed, Fry replied: I’d say, bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you?…

The Epic USATE Post!

All my hard work in Baltimore, and all the frustrations of the various drives, paled to insignificance upon arriving at the Parsippany Hilton. You see, it was time for another go at the U. S. Amateur Team East chess tournament. It’s one of the biggest chess parties of the year, with more than 1300 players…

Adventures in Baltimore

It’s snowing again. Pretty hard, actually. So, since it looks like I won’t be going anywhere today, how about I tell you about my recent travels? My adventures started last Thursday. I hopped into the Jasonmobile around noon, and headed out to Baltimore. This entails driving on I-495, better known as “The Beltway.” When you…

New “Problem Of The Week”

My recent travels, to Parsippany, NJ via Baltimore, MD, which involved three talks in two days, followed by multiple games of chess, bookended by two long drives, came to a dramatic conlcusion yesterday when I had to drive home in the snow. Not fun! There was so much snow on the road that you frequently…

New “Problem of the Week” Posted

The third problem of the week is now up at the big website. I’ve also posted the official solution to Problem Two. So go have a look and let me know what you think. Feel free to present solutions in the comments. Unless, of course, you just want to pick micronits with the problem statement.…

Darwin Day Approaches!

I will be in Baltimore at the end of week to give a couple of talks in honor of Darwin Day. On Thursday, February 12, I will be speaking to the Baltimore Ethical Society. Pot luck dinner at 6:30 pm, with the talk beginning at 7:30. I will give a talk entitled Among the Creationists;…