jrosenhouse

Jason Rosenhouse

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.

Posts by this author

Farewell to EvolutionBlog!
October 17, 2016
Folks, I'm done. A recent story in the news involves the decision by FIDE, the world chess federation, to hold the Women's World Championship in Iran. That's a bit awkward, since Iran imposes certain religion-inspired dress requirements on women. This has led some players, most notably the…
POTW 5
October 2, 2016
I've just posted the new Problem of the Week, along with an official solution to last week's problem. But this one will have to hold you for a while, since I'm taking next week off.
POTW 4!
September 27, 2016
Better late than never! A small technical SNAFU yesterday interfered with the well-oiled machine that is Problem of the Week. But now we're back on track! The fourth problem has now been posted. The official solution to last week's problem will be up by tomorrow.
A Review of Undeniable, by Douglas Axe.
September 22, 2016
Do you remember those commercials, from a few years back, for Excedrin headache medicine? There was a whole series of them. In each, some very normal-looking and totally relatable person would talk straight to the camera, explaining that he or she suffered from terrible headaches and had tried…
Sully is Fiction
September 19, 2016
Kevin Drum has a short post noting that Trump has taught other Republican politicians how to lie more brazenly. Politicians have never been noted for their honesty, but we are seeing something new this time around. It is very aggravating that Trump simply makes it up as he goes along, while…
POTW 3!
September 19, 2016
Just want to poke my head up to mention that I have posted a new POTW for you. You get three for the price of one this week. The official problem is pretty straightforward, I think, so I gave you two bonus problems just for fun. Enjoy!
POTW 2 Posted
September 12, 2016
The second Problem of the Week has now been posted. It's a harder version of last week's problem, but perhaps it is good for a bit of amusement. By its nature, it might be a bit hard to describe the solution in a comment, but have a look anyway.
When Did it Become a Big Joke to Run For President?
September 8, 2016
On Morning Joe today, Mike Barnicle asked Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson what he would do about Aleppo. Johnson's reply was, “What is Aleppo?” We're done here. Johnson should withdraw from the race, go home, and never show his face in public again. When did running for…
A Lovely Move From the Chess Olympiad
September 5, 2016
I realize that I never finished the story of how I achieved the exalted rank of expert at chess. Suffice it to say that I played two more games beyond the ones I have already reported on. Both were against 1900 rated players and both were rather dissatisfying draws. In the first I had the black…
The Return of Problem of the Week!
September 5, 2016
In a technical, legalistic sense, the semester started last week. But as far as I'm concerned, the semester doesn't really begin until Problem of the Week returns! Our theme for this semester: Clock Problems. That's not code for modular arithmetic or anything. I mean it literally. Every problem…
Back to School!
August 26, 2016
Classes start on Monday. I knew that intellectually, of course, but I had it brought home to me a few days ago when I innocently drove onto the campus, only to find a traffic jam and crossing guards directing the cars. Students were moving into the dorms, you see. Higher education is beset with…
Another Fake Clinton Scandal
August 24, 2016
The AP is breathlessly reporting that 85 out of 154 people coming from private interests (as opposed to governmental functionaries) who met with Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State were also donors to the Clinton Foundation. The headline: “Many Donors To Clinton Foundation Met With Her…
Expert! Part Three.
August 21, 2016
I have previously mentioned that the Washington International was the best run and most enjoyable tournament I have ever played in. One reason was the fact that all equipment, sets and clocks, was provided. And not just any equipment! Look at these beautiful wooden chess sets we were given to…
Expert! Part Two
August 19, 2016
My reward for winning in Round One was to be paired up for Round Two. My opponent was the top seed in the section, with a rating of 2179. I received my second white in a row. Here's what happened. I started with my usual king pawn, and he replied with the Modern Defense. This was a fine how…
Expert! Part One.
August 17, 2016
I know I haven't been around for a while. Sorry about that. A bit of the summer doldrums I guess. But now I have big news to report, for the handful of people who like my chess posts. As big a chess fan as I am, I have been mostly retired from tournament play for a number of years. Sure, I…
The Darkness Will Persist...
July 5, 2016
I had a book deadline this past Friday. Making that deadline, which I did, thank you very much, has been all consuming for the past two weeks. And now I am on the road until July 16. So, the blog darkness will persist for a while. Sorry about that...
My Talk At MoMath
June 20, 2016
In April I gave a presentation on the Monty Hall problem, at the Museum of Mathematics in New York. That talk has now appeared on YouTube. Here it is: The talk is about fifty minutes, with twenty minutes of questions afterwards. There's also a short introduction by Jason Rosenfeld, who is a…
Blitz Expert!
June 19, 2016
Back to chess! My quest for the expert title continued at the Continental Class Championship in Herndon, Virginia this weekend. Full report to come. While I was there, I played in the big Saturday night blitz tournament. Blitz chess is rated separately from regular chess, and with good reason!…
Why Aren't Atheists More Depressed?
June 13, 2016
Edward Feser thinks we atheists have overlooked a few things: The mentality is summed up perfectly in the notorious “Atheist Bus Campaign” of 2009 and its preposterous slogan: “There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” As if atheism promised only sweetness and light. As…
Sunday Chess Problem
June 12, 2016
The latest issue of The Problemist showed up in my mailbox recently. It contained a very nice selfmate that I've chosen for this week's problem. This is one of those really clever ideas that I think you can only show once. The problem was composed Alexei Oganesyan, and was awarded this year. It…
ID Isn't Science, But That's the Least Of Its Problems
June 9, 2016
Speaking of the intellectual collapse of ID, its other major blog, the Discovery Institute's “Evolution News and Views” also seems to have fallen on hard times. How else to explain the presence of this article, by Steve Laufmann? Laufmann addresses the question, “Is Intelligent Design Science?”…
A Delusional List Of Alleged Atheist Delusions
June 8, 2016
At various times over the last few years I have declared ID to be dead. One of my reasons for saying that is the complete intellectual collapse of Uncommon Descent (UD). When William Dembski started the blog, it was intended as an outpost for serious commentary on intelligent design and related…
Hillary Clinton Clinches the Nomination
June 7, 2016
The inevitable has now occurred. Barring something earth-shattering, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President. She is the first woman to become the nominee of a major political party. In fact, she is the first woman even to be a serious candidate for President. In her…
The Cherry Blossom Classic, Conclusion
June 1, 2016
Time for the big finale. The Monday morning game. Since I had already requested a bye for the final round, this was my last chance to make a respectable result. Here's how it went down. I was playing black. My opponent sported a rating of 1983. But he also had a formidable Russian name, and I…
The Cherry Blossom Classic, Part Two
May 31, 2016
After my win in round two I was excited for round three. My opponent sported a 1952 rating, and he had white. He opened with 1. e4. Now, over the years I've tried most of the major defenses to e4. I was an aficionado of the Dragon Sicilian for a while, until I noticed I kept getting mated on h7…
The Cherry Blossom Classic, Part One
May 30, 2016
No Sunday Chess Problem this week, but I do have a good excuse. It's because I just spent the past few days participating in the Cherry Blossom Classic chess tournament. Enough with made-up chess positions! Sometimes it's good to experience the real thing. For about ten years now I've been…
Political Blues
May 24, 2016
I think in the end Hillary will win in November, but I become less confident about that by the day. Donald Trump's latest is to bring up Vince Foster. Those of us who remember the nineties will recall this as one of the many fake scandals the right-wing noise machine just invented from whole…
From the Department of Self-Promotion
May 23, 2016
I may not blog as much as I used to, but I do still sometimes put myself out there. I just did a podcast with Jim Stein, posted over at the New Books Network. Jim is professor of mathematics at California State University at Long Beach. The conversation was about the book I coedited with Jennifer…
Sunday Chess Problem
May 23, 2016
Yes, I know it's Monday. But it's still Sunday Chess Problem. Deal with it. One more from the files of Milan Vukcevich for you. This problem was published in 1994 and calls for selfmate in five: Recall that in a selfmate, white plays first and tries to force black to give mate in no more than…
Focusing on What's Really Important
May 18, 2016
I was going to write a real barn burner of a post about the big election, but then I came across this: Folks, sometimes you just have to focus on the good things in life.