The Quantum Pontiff

Category archives for Mathematics

Tiger Versus the Theoreticians

David Brooks, has an op-ed in the New York Times about Tiger Woods and his astonishing string of triumphs in the golfing world (including last weekends U.S. Open which I watched the end of on both Saturday and Sunday: my wife was right he did make that last put.) Brooks piece waxes on and on…

Writing grants and teaching, not to mention trying to get some actual research done, has taken up a considerable amount of my time this quarter. I mean, sheesh, I’ve barely had any time to read! This has, of course, made me grumpy. So when the publisher of The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives…

Today is the final exam for the course I’ve been teaching this summer. So I need some reading material for when I’m not watching the students take their exam. Here are two fun ones I just downloaded (one via Alea): arXiv:0803.3913: The Reverse of The Law of Large Numbers Authors: Kieran Kelly, Przemyslaw Repetowicz, Seosamh…

Fun with Linda

For fun, answer the following in the comment section, without reading what others have left in the comment section: Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations. Which is…

Back to Back Statistics

Two fans in Dodger stadium caught back to back fouls during a Mets game (and, almost as importantly, the Dodgers lost, woohoo!)

ArXiv on Your iPhone

For those interested in accessing the arXiv on your iPhone, here is a web based iPhone page: Sweet! This has been on my list of things to do, and now I can cross it off without having to do it myself!

Whatever you do, Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Mary America, make sure to tell everyone you know not to go into science and engineering! You see those who major in science and engineering are certain to not get jobs, because, as many commenters love to point out, all those jobs are being exported overseas! But…

Monte Hall and Cognitive Dissonance

Did the Monte Hall problem, trip up a huge number of psychologists? So claims this New York Times article. For a good detailed explanation see here. For even more detail see the actual paper.

3.14159265 is Approximately 1

Happy Talk like a physicist day, Happy Pi day, and Happy birthday dear uncle Albert.

Probability Intuition

Last quarter I taught discrete math. One component of the class was to cover some basic probability theory. On one of the homeworks we asked the following two questions about random five card poker hands: Given that the hand contains an ace, what is the probability that the hand contains another ace? Given that the…