# Metafilter=(x-2)^2....March 7, 2010 2:59 PM   Subscribe

The inverse graphing calculator is for when you absolutely need a function that spells your name.
posted by blahblahblah (27 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

why so complicated?
posted by milestogo at 3:03 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

And the ladies, they call me ((x-2)^2(x-4)^2(....
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:16 PM on March 7, 2010

Now there needs to be one that integrates all continuous functions.
posted by Lucubrator at 3:20 PM on March 7, 2010

In my day we just let x = 5,318,008.
posted by dirk gently at 3:24 PM on March 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is awesome.
posted by sciurus at 3:34 PM on March 7, 2010

With that much math involved I was kind of hoping for serifs.
posted by ardgedee at 3:36 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

(y^2-6y+8+sqrt(y^4-12y^3+52y^2-96y+64)^2 seems to be in every equation for some reason.
posted by Green With You at 3:50 PM on March 7, 2010

I'm not a huge math nerd, but wouldn't there be a way of spelling out a word using only one equation, where it's undefined between the letters?
posted by dunkadunc at 3:51 PM on March 7, 2010

i think this is bogus...

for example "X" should be very simple (essentially y=±x w/ a few tweaks)

and the equations in general make no stipulations of x,y boundaries to keep the "functions" from running off to infinity

so, color me skeptical
posted by DavidandConquer at 4:00 PM on March 7, 2010

It doesn't generate "a "function" that gives Y a value for each X; it generates a relation between X and Y that's true only on the points spelling out the words you type in.
posted by grimmelm at 4:10 PM on March 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm not a huge math nerd, but wouldn't there be a way of spelling out a word using only one equation, where it's undefined between the letters?

That's what they're doing. It looks like many equations due to the line breaks and the bullet operators at the beginning of each line, but that's just to signify "the previous line multiplied by..." So despite your lack of being a huge math nerd, you are correct!
posted by battlebison at 4:11 PM on March 7, 2010

Ah, yes... calculator tricks. The only place where I am 8008L355.*

*Boobless
posted by Madamina at 4:12 PM on March 7, 2010

(y^2-6y+8+sqrt(y^4-12y^3+52y^2-96y+64)^2 seems to be in every equation for some reason.

There's a good reason for that, but it's somewhat obscured by the odd way it's written. The full equation always has the form a2 + (y2-6y+8+sqrt(y4-12y3+52y2-96y+64))2 = 0, where a is some complicated expression. This equation is satisfied if and only if both a and y2-6y+8+sqrt(y4-12y3+52y2-96y+64) are equal to 0. Some algebraic manipulation shows that y2-6y+8+sqrt(y4-12y3+52y2-96y+64) is equal to (y-4)(y-2) + sqrt( ((y-4)(y-2))2 ), which in turn is equal to (y-4)(y-2) + |(y-4)(y-2)|. This expression is equal to 0 if (y-4)(y-2) negative or 0, and it is positive otherwise. And (y-4)(y-2) is negative or 0 if y lies between 2 and 4. So this term ensures that the equation has no solutions above or below the band where the text is written.
posted by Tau Wedel at 4:17 PM on March 7, 2010 [10 favorites]

This could make great geek t~shirts but only for big people with short names.
posted by tommasz at 4:25 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

anybody have mathematica that can check this out?
posted by empath at 4:28 PM on March 7, 2010

Imagine all the swear words that could get lost in translation if someone is really bad in math...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:38 PM on March 7, 2010

We had to do a project similar to this in one of my high school math classes. I think the point was to use conic sections to draw a picture and then represent that picture as equations, or something to that effect. In other words, we were allowed to use more than one function. I was really into the Residents at the time and I drew an eyeball-head Resident wearing a top hat. I just remember thinking it was pretty badass to come up with equations to represent the bloodshot veins of a giant eyeball wearing a hat.
posted by little light-giver at 4:38 PM on March 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

I thought this would be something that would let you draw and come up with an equation for.

Also it would be a lot simpler if they used a parametric plot an did cursive.
posted by delmoi at 4:42 PM on March 7, 2010

Also this is less impressive when you realize that all the fonts you actually see on your computer all the time are done using Bézier curves, which are stored as parameters to mathematical formulas.
posted by delmoi at 4:48 PM on March 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

I've always been happy enough with x=1337.
posted by meinvt at 5:51 PM on March 7, 2010

Totally Nerdy. awesome
posted by ianiacocca at 9:22 PM on March 7, 2010

`x=53716`
in the language of upside-down calculators of the 70s
posted by Sparx at 12:53 AM on March 8, 2010

It doesn't generate "a "function" that gives Y a value for each X; it generates a relation between X and Y that's true only on the points spelling out the words you type in

OP never said "a function y of x" -- this remains a perfecly legitimate mapping of R2 onto {true, false}. That puts it in the same function space as the Mandelbrot Set, if you think about it, which is kind of cool.

Of course, also in this function space is simply rendering your name given any truetype font, but that's not as cool or nearly as cute.
posted by 7segment at 6:01 AM on March 8, 2010

I love this.
posted by treeshar at 11:10 AM on March 8, 2010

flagged as awesome
posted by mcstayinskool at 4:55 PM on March 8, 2010

i think this is bogus...
for example "X" should be very simple (essentially y=±x w/ a few tweaks)
and the equations in general make no stipulations of x,y boundaries to keep the "functions" from running off to infinity

Here he explains how to make a line segment out of an equation without using inequalities. Letters and words are then just the sum of many such equations
posted by jpdoane at 3:53 PM on March 9, 2010

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