is a running contest of programming challenges to hone your algorithm skills.
"Each problem is designed according to a 'one-minute rule', which means that although it may take several hours to design a successful algorithm with more difficult problems, an efficient implementation will allow a solution to be obtained on a modestly powered computer in less than one minute."
posted by Wolfdog
on Aug 20, 2005 -
is an interesting geometric construction that seems to lend itself to folding, dissection, and space-filling in two and three dimensions.
posted by Wolfdog
on Jul 17, 2005 -
Very few people will ever need to learn the value of pi
beyond a handful of digits, but some people are more obsessed than others. They call themselves Piphilologists,
and all the pi-memorization writings you could ever possibly want have been compiled into one massive Piphilogical text file.
And today, Piphilologists the world over must surely bow in tribute to Akira Haraguchi, who has just recited pi from memory to 83,431 places
posted by Faint of Butt
on Jul 4, 2005 -
The Logic of Diversity
"A new book, The Wisdom of Crowds
] by The New Yorker
columnist James Surowiecki, has recently popularized the idea that groups can, in some ways, be smarter than their members, which is superficially similar to Page's results
. While Surowiecki gives many examples of what one might call collective cognition, where groups out-perform isolated individuals, he really has only one explanation for this phenomenon, based on one of his examples: jelly beans [...
] averaging together many independent, unbiased guesses gives a result that is probably closer to the truth than any one guess. While true — it's the central limit theorem
of statistics — it's far from being the only way in which diversity
can be beneficial in problem solving." (Three-Toed Sloth)
posted by kliuless
on Jun 20, 2005 -
Saunders Mac Lane
, has died
, age 95. Winner of the National Medal of Science, Vice-President of the National Academy of Science, President of the American Mathematical Society, author of three of the canonical texts
in algebra [reg. maybe req., here's a local copy]
, Mac Lane was also mathematical ancestor to over a thousand mathematicians
, father of category theory
and homological algebra
, and expert in topology
, topos theory
, group cohomology, logic, and applied mathematics. He was one of the towering figures of postwar mathematics. Remembered by his students
and all of us who were affected by his work and his life.
posted by gleuschk
on Apr 22, 2005 -
The Geometry Center
at the University of Minnesota, while now closed, maintains an awesome website with tons of math resources.
I like sphere eversion
, i.e. turning a sphere inside out. Link is to script of video, which explains things pretty well. Here is a clip
[QT]. Also good: notes
from a class on geometry and the imagination that John Conway and some friends gave awhile back. Old but good.
posted by mai
on Mar 1, 2005 -
Hypothesis as thought-crime
...Now, however, a new brouhaha has erupted [at Harvard]and it seems impossible that Summers [the president]will emerge from this one without serious erosion of his moral authority. The trigger was a statement he made at a conference, suggesting that the reason there are more men than women in the mathematical sciences at top-flight institutions has to do with a small statistical difference in inate ability, which becomes a pretty large disparity when one looks at the 'high end' of the respective distribution curves...
The fatal words did not set forth his main theme, but merely constituted a brief aside, thoroughly hedged and qualified. Nonetheless, they touched off a firestorm of indignation, the most striking aspect of which was the intemperate response of a number of feminist scientists, who offered no counter-arguments, but simply declared the whole idea misogynistic and therefore forbidden intellectual territory.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 31, 2005 -
From MathNet to that silly song about the number nine, Square One
was one of my all-time favourite programs as a kid. It hasn't been released on video or DVD, but luckily there are plenty of fansites
with video clips, pics, and other media to take you on a trip down mathematical memory lane.
posted by sanitycheck
on Jan 18, 2005 -
The Mathematics Genealogy Project.
A service of the Department of Mathematics
at North Dakota State University
, the project intends to "compile information about ALL the mathematicians of the world. [...] It is our goal to list all individuals who have received a doctorate in mathematics." Seven generations from one of my recent professors back to Gauss
, six back to Felix Klein
(of Erlangen Program
fame), eight back to Jacobi
, and nine back to Poisson
, then Lagrange
, then Euler
, then the Bernoulli brothers
, then Leibniz
, and then it blew up at infinity.
posted by gramschmidt
on Dec 21, 2004 -
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. That's all there is to it. It doesn't sound like much, but it's as addictive as hell. The Times
is one publication with a daily puzzle (may be unavailable to overseas readers.) There a tuturial and sample puzzle here
posted by salmacis
on Dec 10, 2004 -