July 06, 2015

1:29 AM | Does Bob Deserve the lavish acknowledgement: A problem in Logic
Alice and Carol are real mathematicians. Bob is an English major who does not know any mathematics. (This story is based on a true incident.) Alice writes a math paper. Carol reads it and offers corrections of style and grammar and how-to-say-things. She also helps simplify some of the proofs. She does not deserve a co-authorship but Alice does of course write in the acknowledgements I would like to thank Carol for proofreading and for help with some of the proofs. Bob points out that […]

July 05, 2015

10:25 PM | The inner artificial life of a cell, a game proposal
The  inner life of a cell is an excellent, but passive window It is also scripted according to usual human expectations: synchronous moves, orchestrated reactions at a large scale. This is of course either something emergent in real life, or totally unrealistic. As you know, I propose to use the artificial chemistry chemlambda for making … Continue reading The inner artificial life of a cell, a game proposal →
9:48 PM | Status Update
Due to medical and personal issues in my orbit, I will be less than visible for next 2 months. FYI. 
9:45 PM | EPFL IC Research Day
EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) School of Computer and Communication Sciences did a Research Day celebration on June 30, 2015.Typically these research days tend to focus on big tangibles, maybe Big Data (research day in 2014), Drones, Brains, Digital Humanities or something of that ilk. What or who would instigate the Audacity of Theoretical Computer Science? Philippe Gillet  (wish I had more time to talk to him, his research on extraterrestial matter as well as formation of Alps seems […]
1:48 PM | Inquiry, Signs, Relations • 1
Re: Michael Harris • A Non-Logical Cognitive Phenomenon Human spontaneous non-demonstrative inference is not, overall, a logical process.  Hypothesis formation involves the use of deductive rules, but is not totally governed by them;  hypothesis confirmation is a non-logical cognitive phenomenon:  … Continue reading →
11:03 AM | Being a Millionaire Isn't What it Used to be
One evening a few weeks ago, some friends and I wound up talking about the U.S. "roaring twenties," and all the "millionaires" created, and wondering just what $1 million 1925 dollars would be in 2015 dollars. Obviously the price level has multiplied greatly since 1925, but how many times? Five? Fifteen? Fifty? None of us were really sure.The handy CPI calculator at FRB Minneapolis came to the rescue: $1 in 1925 is $13.67 in 2015. That is, you'd need $13.67 million in 2015 to […]
5:57 AM | July 4th parade
I'm in Mendocino once more for their July 4th parade. As usual it was an irreverent mixture of fire trucks, local businesses and politicians, theatre troupes, hippies, and protesters in a beautiful oceanside setting. Lots of fun, and I took lots of photos. Here's just one shot, of the start of the parade, where all the local fire departments (mostly volunteers) bring their trucks and set off their sirens.The fog bank visible in the background is not a good omen for the success of tonight's […]

July 04, 2015

10:01 AM | Wikipedia, la scienza e l'open access
di diffusione della scienza e rivoluzioni cc @aubreymcfato @CristianCantoro Utilizzare i dati sulle citazioni in Wikipedia per misurare la diffusione dell'open accessScrivevo all'inizio del 2011 per i festeggiamenti del wiki-decennale di una rivoluzione irreversibile. E' stato piuttosto interessante leggere il titolo che technology review ha utilizzato per raccontare dell'ultimo degli articoli dedicati all'enciclopedia libera: Why Wikipedia + Open Access = Revolution.L'idea degli autori, Misha […]

July 03, 2015

8:45 AM | Article published by PRL
Our article “Visualizing Pure Quantum Turbulence in Superfluid He3: Andreev Reflection and its Spectral Properties” has been published by PRL and features as an editors selection: http://journals.aps.org/prl/ http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.015302
7:31 AM | Websheets
Next week I am headed to the ITiCSE conference (Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education), in Vilnius, Lithuania, to present Websheets, an exercise system for programming problems in C++ and Java. Websheets combines a couple of ideas. It is an online system where students get immediate feedback on their programming solutions. This has become very common […]
4:01 AM | Larry Laudan: “When the ‘Not-Guilty’ Falsely Pass for Innocent”, the Frequency of False Acquittals (guest post)
Professor Larry Laudan Lecturer in Law and Philosophy University of Texas at Austin “When the ‘Not-Guilty’ Falsely Pass for Innocent” by Larry Laudan While it is a belief deeply ingrained in the legal community (and among the public) that false negatives are much more common than false positives (a 10:1 ratio being the preferred guess), […]

July 02, 2015

11:27 PM | Artificial life which can be programmed
Artificial life which can be programmed __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: artificial intelligence, artificial life, chemlambda
11:19 PM | Clutters I
I have been trying to firm up my feeling for the theory of clutters. To that end, I have been working through proofs of some elementary lemmas. For my future use, as much as anything else, I will post some … Continue reading →
8:00 PM | Relations & Their Relatives : 13
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Helmut Raulien The facts about relational reducibility are relatively easy to understand and I included links to relevant discussions in my earlier survey of relation theory. The following article discusses relational reducibility and irreducibility in … Continue reading →
1:30 PM | Relations & Their Relatives : 12
Re: Peirce List Discussion • Jeffrey Brian Downard In viewing the structures of relation spaces, even such small dyadic cases as we’ve been exploring so far, no one need feel too nonplussed at the lack of obviousness in this realm.  … Continue reading →
11:56 AM | Goodbye SIGACT and CRA
Tuesday I served my last day on two organizations, the ACM SIGACT Executive Committee and the CRA Board of Directors. I spent ten years on the SIGACT (Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory) EC, four years as vice-chair, three years as chair and three years as ex-chair, admittedly not so active those last three years. SIGACT is the main US academic organization for theoretical computer science and organizes STOC as its flagship conference. I tried to do big things, managed […]
8:22 AM | 6th form conference
Today the School of Mathematics and Statistics hosts the annual 6th form conference. This is a chance for year 12 students from the North East to come and look around the department, take part in various activities and attend talks by academic staff. To all of you attending today, have a great time!

July 01, 2015

8:02 PM | Polytopix news app (for iOS)
I am very excited to announce that our Polytopix news app (for iOS) is now available on the app store. Check it out. Polytopix news app (for iOS) Filed under: Uncategorized
6:20 PM | Linkage for the end of June
I know, it's already July; I forgot that June only has 30 days.Spiral galaxies, my latest puzzle addiction (G+)An endangered species of mathematical chalk (G+)Mathematical art/music project in Stuttgart (G+)3d-printed fractal bridge in Amsterdam (G+)Freedom to take and use photographs in public places in Europe endangered by newly proposed EU law (G+)Touch-sensitive kinetic origami (G+)Video about 3d immersions of the Klein bottle (G+)IEEE clears away some of its junk publications (G+)Why […]
5:28 PM | Installing Spark with Hadoop 2 using spark-ec2
YARN does not seem to be configured correctly when you use the spark-ec2 script to install a Spark cluster on EC2. Here’s my short workaround for getting YARN to work (with a simple python script at the bottom): launch a cluster with e.g. spark-ec2 -k <keyname> -i <keyfile> -s --instance-type=<type> --placementgroup=<placementgroupname> --hadoop-major-version=2 --copy-aws-credentials launch <clustername> […]
5:28 PM | Popularizing TOC
It is hard to overestimate the impact of Popular Science books such as “A Brief History of Time” and “Chaos: Making a New Science” on Scientific Research. The indirect impact of popularizing Science and Scientific Education often surpass the direct contribution that most scientists can hope to achieve in their life time. For this reason, […]
12:19 PM | The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics
For the last five and a half years I have been editing and writing The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics. I’m pleased to announce that the project is at the final stage, with the PDF file delivered to Princeton University … Continue reading →
8:19 AM | Christos on the Greek Vote
I was sitting by the lake in Lausanne, winds and waves lapping at the sands, humanity in slim clothes, wine and meat on our plates, when I leaned over and asked Christos Papadimitriou, " Christos, When are you going to write something about the Greek crisis?", and he said in a way we have come to expect from him unfailingly, "I already did". Enjoy (use Google translate)!
5:39 AM | Trends in Reaction Network Theory (Part 2)
Here in Copenhagen we’ll soon be having a bunch of interesting talks on chemical reaction networks: • Workshop on Mathematical Trends in Reaction Network Theory, 1-3 July 2015, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. Organized by Elisenda Feliu and Carsten Wiuf. Looking through the abstracts, here are a couple that strike me. First of […]
1:21 AM | Stapel’s Fix for Science? Admit the story you want to tell and how you “fixed” the statistics to support it!
Stapel’s “fix” for science is to admit it’s all “fixed!” That recent case of the guy suspected of using faked data for a study on how to promote support for gay marriage in a (retracted) paper, Michael LaCour, is directing a bit of limelight on our star fraudster Diederik Stapel (50+ retractions). The Chronicle of Higher Education just published an article by […]
1:11 AM | New preprint on track layouts
Although it only hints at the connection, one way of interpreting my latest preprint is about higher-dimensional graph drawings. The paper is "Track Layouts, Layered Path Decompositions, and Leveled Planarity" (with Bannister, Devanny, Dujmović, and Wood, arXiv:1506.09145).The track layouts of the title can be interpreted geometrically as being embeddings of the vertices of a graph on the positive coordinate axes of d-dimensional space, such that each edge forms a curve lying in the […]
12:30 AM | Basic Game Programming Part 1
A lot of people think the best way to get young people into programming is through making games. I agree. Unfortunately, it is kind of hard to find the basics, so I want to do a series on it (Pygame … Continue reading →

June 30, 2015

6:00 PM | Empty bins
Suppose that  balls,  where is a constant, are thrown sequentially to bins, all of which are initially empty. Let be the number of empty bins after we have thrown balls. Clearly, . Let’s see how we can understand this sequence of random variables. … Continue reading →
5:13 PM | Οδυσσέας Ελύτης – Θέση της Ελλάδας στην Ευρώπη
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4:52 PM | Balloon, art and mathematics
After (or before?) @StartsWithABang's balloon animals' post? A couple of week ago Ethan Siegel published a post about ballon animals, so I decide to repost an old piece that I wrote in 2011 for my italian blog: the english version is lost, but it is magically reposted here! Two one-balloon constructions and their associated graphsI recently discovered this interesting site, vihart. In the site there are some interesting paper and today I want to write something about Computational Balloon […]
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