Longtime readers know of my obsession with mathematical beauty, so it should come as no surprise to find me hopping up and down most eagerly and pointing you towards Matthew Milliner’s very immodest proposal in Public Discourse. My only quibble with the article is that the proportion of mathematicians I know who view their field as “an escape from religious questions” is vanishingly small.

While you’re doing that, I’ll be putting Matthew’s suggestions into practice. You see, a long-awaited copy of Tafeln Höherer Funktionen arrived today, courtesy of Mr. Daniel Viertel of Leipzig, so I’ll be spending the next couple of days enmeshed in it. Here’s a little sample, taken from page 13:

Gamma There’s something so unspeakably charming about hand-drawn graphs. I should hope that some enterprising individual has written a chunk of code that can turn sterile computer-generated curves into faux-authentic computer-generated curves, but if it hasn’t happened yet then you all should consider this to be a formal request.

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