October 31, 2014

2:38 AM | Neil White: 1945 – 2014
Guest post by Gary Gordon Those with memories of Neil White are invited to share them in the comments below. Neil White passed away on Aug. 11, 2014. Neil was an inspiring teacher and one of the key contributors to … Continue reading →
2:13 AM | Jobs at Amazon
I do not normally post job adverts, but this was very specifically targeted to “applied time series candidates” so I thought it might be of sufficient interest to readers of this blog. Here is an excerpt from an email I received from someone at Amazon: Amazon is aggressively recruiting in the data sciences, and we […]

October 30, 2014

6:32 PM | Chemlambda quines and DNA pairs, speculation
I’m staring at this space view of the walking machine described first in this post: The picture is a screenshot of the chemlambda gui available for download from this page. The .mol file of the walker is available at this link. What is this: is a walker as described in the ouroboros predecessor post, which […]
5:35 PM | Metrics in Academics
Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, winning the World Series last night. In honor of their victory let's talk metrics. Baseball has truly embraced metrics as evidenced in the book and movie Moneyball about focusing on statistics to choose which players to trade for. This year we saw a dramatic increase in the infield shift, the process of moving the infielders to different locations for each batter based on where they hit the ball, all based on statistics. Metrics work in baseball […]
5:34 PM | The mess we are in with scientific publishing II - Not in the Club
previous post in this series; next post in this seriesI mentioned various problems with scientific publishing in the previous post.I neglected to mention the most discussed problems like the ownership of results by private companies, the lack of free access, the uncontrolled costs, the publicly funded work by referees and editors, et cetera.Today I want to talk about another change in scientific publishing which has occurred in my lifetime. When I was young (1970) there were many fewer […]
5:20 PM | Frankl, My Dear : 8
Re: Dick Lipton & Ken Regan • (1) • (2) (4) Figure 4 shows the eight terms of the tacit extension as arcs, arrows, or directed edges in the venn diagram of the original proposition Each term of the tacit extension … Continue reading →
12:09 PM | Analysis of Boolean Functions book now available for free download
I’m happy to say that I’ve finally gotten things set up so that you can download a PDF of the book. The official web address for this is http://get.analysisofbooleanfunctions.org, or you can click “DOWNLOAD THE PDF” on the blog’s main page. A small warning: On the download page, I am using a “Google form” to [...]
12:04 AM | Sensing and Acting Under Information Constraints
I’m having a great time at a workshop on Biological and Bio-Inspired Information Theory in Banff, Canada. You can see videos of the talks online. There have been lots of good talks so far, but this one really blew my mind: • Naftali Tishby, Sensing and acting under information constraints—a principled approach to biology and […]
Editor's Pick

October 29, 2014

5:48 PM | Frankl, My Dear : 7
Re: Dick Lipton & Ken Regan • (1) • (2) We continue with the differential analysis of the proposition in Example 1. Example 1 (1) A proposition defined on one universe of discourse has natural extensions to larger universes of discourse. … Continue reading →
3:50 PM | Sopravvivere alla tempesta
Solo gli inquieti sanno com'è difficile sopravvivere alla tempesta e non poter vivere senza. Emily Brontë via ironiaterminale
3:07 PM | An Introduction to Metal for People Who Like “Good Music” Part 2
It has been 2 years since I did Part 1. That has a broader introduction which I suggest you start with. This is intended as a minor follow up. Most of the great composers since 1900 have pushed the boundaries … Continue reading →
12:29 PM | Why do (male) academics dress badly, and what about the women?
When I first began to move to and fro between the Social Studies and Maths and Computer Science buildings on campus, and attending various events in both (and occasionally in the hyper-fashionable Arts Faculty), I couldn’t help but notice a relieving and liberating feature of departmental life which is rather different in those different departments: […]
12:00 AM | Extreme Scale Computing - Argonne Labs
Over the summer, the Argonne national labs had a workshop on high performance computing. I wasn’t able to attend but luckily all of the workshop has been uploaded to Youtube! You can find it here Here’s the introduction.

October 28, 2014

10:57 PM | Conditional Restricted Isometries
We have finally made (conditional) progress on the Paley ETF conjecture! Joel, Dustin, and I just uploaded our paper “A conditional construction of restricted isometries” to the arxiv. The conjecture states that a particularly simple deterministic construction, the Paley ETF (see below), satisfies the restricted isometry property past the squareroot bottleneck, we were able to […]
9:53 PM | The new look of the chemlambda gui, new downloads and a video demo of the space view
Here is a short video with a demo of the space view of chemlambda molecules and their interaction. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPzsSpkl8Fw   At this link you can download the tar archive which contains the gui I play with.  I would be grateful if as many as possible download it and spread it in as many places, not […]
9:30 PM | Maths, active learning and metacognition
An interesting article about a new book which explains how we learn to learn, and how to teach students how to think: “Critical Maths for Innovative Societies: The Role of Metacognitive Pedagogies”. “College professors often point out that their students never learnt how to learn. Derek Cabrera was surprised to find that even the “cream […]
4:45 PM | Describing Patterns – a movie by Sameer Patel & Sara Merino-Aceituno
A 10mn movie about the scientific research of Sara Merino-Aceituno, one of my PhD student co-supervised with James Norris, and featuring several other members of the “geometric analysis and partial differential equations” group in Cambridge:Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: cambridge, kinetic theory, Merino, popularization
4:21 PM | Sipser Symposium
On Sunday we had the Symposium on Theoretical Computer Science on the Occasion of Michael Sipser's 60th birthday to celebrate what Mike has brought to research (seminal work on the complexity of randomness and circuits), service (ten years leading the MIT math department before recently becoming Dean of Science) and education (his great textbook and the corresponding popular course he still teaches). We had an incredible turnout for the symposium and banquet that followed. I counted five […]
4:00 PM | Would renewables still be a good idea if fossil fuels didn’t have negative environmental consequences?
Given the push toward renewable energy that is happening these days, it’s natural for folks to start to demonize fossil fuels like coal, gas, etc.  I think this is a shame.  Cheap energy is a really great thing — and fossil fuels are really good at providing this. I’ve posted before about how important energy […]
5:22 AM | The Elliott-Halberstam conjecture implies the Vinogradov least quadratic nonresidue conjecture
I’ve just uploaded to the arXiv my paper “The Elliott-Halberstam conjecture implies the Vinogradov least quadratic nonresidue conjecture“. As the title suggests, this paper links together the Elliott-Halberstam conjecture from sieve theory with the conjecture of Vinogradov concerning the least quadratic nonresidue of a prime . Vinogradov established the bound and conjectured that for any […]

October 27, 2014

9:56 PM | Biodiversity, Entropy and Thermodynamics
  I’m giving a short 30-minute talk at a workshop on Biological and Bio-Inspired Information Theory at the Banff International Research Institute. I’ll say more about the workshop later, but here’s my talk: • Biodiversity, entropy and thermodynamics. Most of the people at this workshop study neurobiology and cell signalling, not evolutionary game theory or […]
7:52 PM | ACM EC 2015 Call for Papers
The 16th ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (EC 2015) will be held on June 15-19, as part of FCRC 2015, in Portland, Oregon. The Call for Papers is now out. As in previous years, to accommodate the publishing traditions of different fields (i.e., subsequent publications in Econ/other journals), authors of accepted papers are allowed […]
6:48 PM | Frankl, My Dear : 6
Re: Dick Lipton & Ken Regan • (1) • (2) (3) Figure 3 shows the eight terms of the enlarged proposition as arcs, arrows, or directed edges in the venn diagram of the original proposition Each term of the enlargement corresponds … Continue reading →
4:11 PM | L'universo come spazio limitato
Nonostante la supplenza ultraprecaria che sto portando avanti in questo periodo sia dedicata alla matematica, a volte con gli studenti si finisce a parlare di fisica, e così ecco all'improvviso spuntare fuori una discussione sull'universo finito/infinito. Spulciando tra "The meaning of relativity" di Einstein (magari presto vi spiegherò anche perché) ho trovato la seguente argomentazione sulla necessità di un universo finito:Così possiamo presentare le seguenti argomentazioni contro il […]
3:59 PM | Hitler becomes a maths supervisor
P.S. This video, created by some very observant maths undergraduate, develops an already established tradition of video spoofs based on Bruno Ganz’s earth-shattering performance in the German historical film “The Downfall”.  The video surfaced on the Internetz late yesterday night and caused uncontrollable midnight laughter in our sociological-mathematical household (and, I’m told, not only in ours). Not everyday I […]
3:52 PM | Fieldwork and fresher’s flu
Looks like there’s been a long break on this blog. As usual, this was because I was doing research instead of blogging, but also because of the damned highlight of each year’s October: fresher’s flu. I’ve just got its 4th round.  While I’m battling the flu and having to avoid interviews for another week or […]
11:07 AM | Nodal lines
Wikipedia article on nodes offers this 1D illustration: a node is an interior point at which a standing wave does not move. (At the endpoints the wave is forced to stay put, so I would not count them as nodes despite being marked on the plot.) A standing wave in one dimension is described by […]
5:00 AM | Continuing Integer Sequences
Continuing a finite sequence of numbers is not a well-posed problem, but there is a way to fix this: consider the algorithmic complexity of all programs which compute sequences that continue the given finite sequence.Continue reading «Continuing Integer Sequences»
3:38 AM | Generally speaking
My high-school calculus teacher had a mustache like a walrus’s and shoulders like a rower’s. At 8:05 AM, he would demand my class’s questions about our homework. Students would yawn, and someone’s hand would drift into the air. “I have … Continue reading →
3:37 AM | Critical thinking and philosophy
Regular readers of TheEGG might have noticed that I have a pretty positive disposition toward philosophy. I wound’t call myself a philosopher — at least not a professional one, since I don’t think I get paid to sit around loving wisdom — but I definitely greatly enjoy philosophy and think it is a worthwhile pursuit. […]
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