08 October 2009

Evidence that mathematicians have a big Internet presence

If you google genealogy, the first hit is The mathematics genealogy project. In some sense, according to "the Internet", mathematical genealogy is more important than real genealogy! (I have a feeling that the biological parents of mathematicians would be offended by this, so I won't tell my parents.)

If you google AMS, the first hit is the American Mathematical Society. (Societies of meteorologists, musicologists, Montessori schools, etc. show up further down the list.) I have a musicologist friend that I joke with this about, claiming that the mathematical society is the real AMS.

I suspect this is because mathematicians found the Internet early, and seem to be more likely to have personal web pages than even most other academics.

Edit, 4:18 pm: In a comment by Boris, I'm reminded that Google personalizes search results, so what I've said is not true.

6 comments:

Boris said...

Although the AMS is indeed the first result for "AMS", the mathematics genealogy project is nowhere near the first result for "genealogy". I think you've encountered Google's personalized search.

If you go to the bottom of the page and click "More details" followed by "without these improvements" (or just log out of Google/clear cookies), you'll see that the mathematics genealogy project is about 20th or so (i.e. not even on the first page of results if you have 10 results per page).

Genealogy is WAY too common of a layman's search to get the math project first.

Michael Lugo said...

Most of the time when I'm searching for "genealogy" it's because I can't remember the address for the mathematical genealogy page. (And even if I weren't, much of my googling is math-related.)

unapologetic said...

Most of the time when I'm searching for "genealogy" it's because I can't remember the address for the mathematical genealogy page.

You know it's about genealogy (obviously), and hosted by the AMS. What else is there to remember?

Michael Lugo said...

I'm pretty sure they used to be at a harder-to-remember address.

unapologetic said...

Used to be at NDSU's website, but it's been hosted by AMS for years now. Maybe old habits die hard.

Anonymous said...

Forgetting to factor in personalization of search in Google, that's got to hurt!