This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.



February 2004

(Minter vs Page) and Mathematics

My father’s site is apperantly getting some attention. One of his posts was talked about in comparison with a Clarence Page piece in the Washington Times. The person doing the comparison was a Professor from Indiana University in an opinion piece in the Indianapolis Star.

A link between reparations, forgiving African debt
(Philip Rutledge, Indianapolis Star)

A few days later, William Minter’s somewhat crusading AfricaFocus Bulletin ( arrived, with the headline, “Africa: Who Owes Whom?” In addition to Minter’s own analysis of the debt situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the electronic Bulletin reposts extensive material from the Web site of the American Friends Service Committee ( and other sources, painting a sordid picture of “odious debt” and alleged misdeeds by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, with some myopia by U.S. officials.

(via AfricaFocus)

The article where my father mentioned the editorial, is also interesting, highlighting some arward winning Internet efforts coming out of Africa, where Internet penetration is still far less than in other parts of the world. My favorite part of the article are actually the added notes on the Botswanan Basket Weavers, where the patterns are linked to Mathematics!

Africa: Internet Creativity

The intricacy of the patterns are illustrative of a subject that also well represented in sources on the web: the history of mathematics in Africa. See, among the many sources:

(1) African Mathematical Union, Commission for the History of Mathematics in Africa

(2) Plaited strip patterns on Tonga handbags in Inhambane (Mozambique), by Paulus Gerdes
Non-mathematicians can enjoy the patterns and skip the math.

(3) Review of Women, Art, and Geometry in Southern Africa, by Paulus Gerdes

My father and I do have *some* interests in common you know. :-)

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