Columns of Numbers

I like columns about numbers. My new favorite columnist is Walter Hickey, who writes Significant Digits for 538.com. He tweets here and here’s more about him.

Hickey’s list is, of course, one more variation on the classic Harper’s Index list. But he makes it his own. If you aren’t familiar with it, Harper’s magazine crafted the perfect number list feature, with subtle connections between items.

I like columns of numbers, but I even more like math columns, especially math puzzle columns, and the best forever is the “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American by Martin Gardner. Now you can get all of them on a disc!

Then there’s Dennis Shasha, or Dr. Ecco, whose math puzzles appeared in Dr. Dobb’s and elsewhere.

And keeping us mathematically honest is John Allen Paulos, the tireless campaigner against mathematical illiteracy.

Author: Michael Swaine

Michael Swaine is a writer and editor. He helped launch the first personal computer newsweekly, InfoWorld. He co-authored Fire in the Valley, the seminal tech history book on which the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley was based. He was editor-in-chief of Dr. Dobb’s Journal and has written for and edited several other magazines. His latest creation is PragPub for The Pragmatic Programmers. He and his partner Nancy Groth own Summer Jo’s, an organic farm, restaurant, and bakery in Grants Pass, Oregon.