My column from two weeks ago about Dartmouth post-doc Michael Barany’s research into why mathematicians love blackboards is one of the most popular things I’ve ever written, at least in a recurring-online sense. This week is showed up on reddit’s mathematics group, although so-and-so’s linked to my NHPR discussion about the topic rather than the whole column.
The discussion didn’t get as, shall we say feisty as reddit threads often do, but it did reflect the issue’s version of the Sunni-vs-Shia divide: People who hate chalk dust vs. people who hate the fact that you can’t tell when a whiteboard marker is about to run out.
(Speaking of discussions prodded by the research, a comment at the bottom of my column says there’s a blackboard over a urinal in the basement of at least one MIT building. Now you know.)