Posts

August 15, 2014

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2:14 AM | STEM forums
When visiting the exhibition hall at JSM 2014, I spoke with people from STEM forums on the Springer booth. The concept of STEM (why STEM? Nothing to do with STAN! Nor directly with Biology. It stands as the accronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.) is to create a sort of peer-reviewed Cross Validated where questions would be […]

August 14, 2014

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8:21 PM | La fisica di Superman: L'efficienza solare dell'Uomo d'Acciaio
Il post è dedicato a Paolo Kal-El Garrone, il wikipediano che mi ha introdotto in LSB: grazie!Nell'ultima saga della JLA di Morrison, Terza Guerra Mondiale, Superman, lanciandosi contro la bomba all'interno di Mageddon, afferma: Il mio corpo è una batteria viventeIl modo con cui Superman ottiene i poteri, o il modo in cui li si spiega, è però cambiato nel corso del tempo. Come da Action Comics #1, albo d'esordio del personaggio, Siegel, unendo genetica ed evoluzione, […]
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4:59 PM | Maryam Mirzakhani and Riemann surfaces
http://t.co/ZAdRPeiy8b Maryam Mirzakhani wins #FieldsMedal with Riemann surfaces Maryam Mirzakhani has made several contributions to the theory of moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces. In her early work, Maryam Mirzakhani discovered a formula expressing the volume of a moduli space with a given genus as a polynomial in the number of boundary components. This led her to obtain a new proof for the conjecture of Edward Witten on the intersection numbers of tautology classes on moduli space as well […]
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4:06 PM | http://quomodocumque.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/4706/
Conservative commentators on education are mad about the new AP US History standards. The group’s president, Peter Wood, called the framework politically biased. One of his many complaints is about immigration: “Where APUSH sees ‘new migrants’ supplying ‘the economy with an important labor force,’ others with equal justification see the rapid growth of a population […]
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3:27 PM | ICM2014 — Avila laudatio
As I said in my previous post, I don’t think I’m going to try all that hard to explain the work of the prizewinners, since it has been very well explained in other places (except that much more attention has gone to the Fields medallists than to the Nevanlinna prize winner — maybe I’ll try […]
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1:27 PM | We’re Stuck! Help develop mathematical theatre
Just when you thought you’d seen enough mathematical theatre projects, here’s another one. We’re Stuck! is an Arts Council funded piece of interactive theatre aimed at children aged 7-12 and their families. The project will explore the idea that getting stuck is part of doing maths, and not something to be feared. The aim is to promote... Read more »
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1:18 PM | the 30 most important seconds of your thesis defense
I’m on a lot of dissertation committees. While most of the committees are for students in my department, many are not in my area of operations research. I’m surprised at how hard it can be to follow along to the bigger picture and/or to the technical details. Even when I completely understand the technical details, I […]
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1:05 PM | Luck vs. skill in poker
The thread of our recent discussion of quantifying luck vs. skill in sports turned to poker, motivating the present post. 1. Can good poker players really “read” my cards and figure out what’s in my hand? For a couple years in grad school a group of us had a regular Thursday-night poker game, nickel-dime-quarter with […] The post Luck vs. skill in poker appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:47 PM | L. A. Paul on transformative experience and decision theory I
I have never eaten Vegemite---should I try it?  I currently have no children---should I apply to adopt a child?  In each case, one might imagine, whichever choice I make, I can make it rationally by appealing to the principles of decision theory.  Not according to L. A. Paul.  In her rich and fascinating new book, Transformative Experience, Paul issues two challenges to orthodox decision theory---they are based upon examples such as these.(In this post and the next, I'd like […]
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12:11 PM | a week at the lake (#2)
Filed under: Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel Tagged: hydroplane, lake, Maine, USA, waterlilies
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11:55 AM | Intuition and Data at KeenCON
I will be giving a talk “Bayesian statistics as a way to integrate intuition and data” at KeenCon, September 11, 2014 in San Francisco.
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11:54 AM | Love StackOverflow and MathOverflow? Now there’s StemForums!
Everyone I know who codes uses stackoverflow.com for absolutely everything. Just yesterday I met a cool coding chick who was learning python and pandas (of course!) with the assistance of stackoverflow. It is exactly what you need to get stuff working, and it’s better than having a friend to ask, even a highly knowledgable friend, because […]
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10:44 AM | Worlds Without Domain
An article "Worlds Without Domain" arguing against the idea that possible worlds have domains. The abstract is: "A modal analogue to the "hole argument" in the foundations of spacetime is given against the conception of possible worlds having their own special domains".
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8:45 AM | Fibonacci
It appears that Fibonacci was the first person in Europe to represent a real number in a place value system: he wrote a root of the equation as     .

August 13, 2014

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11:29 PM | Khot, Osher, Griffiths
In addition to the Fields medallists mentioned in the previous post, the IMU also awarded the Nevanlinna prize to Subhash Khot, the Gauss prize to Stan Osher (my colleague here at UCLA!), and the Chern medal to Phillip Griffiths. Like I did in 2010, I’ll try to briefly discuss one result of each of the […]
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10:24 PM | new laptop with ubuntu 14.04
As I was getting worried about the chances of survival of my current laptop (bought in emergency upon my return from Kyoto!), I decided to use some available grant money to buy a new laptop without stepping through the emergency square. Thanks to my local computer engineer, Thomas, I found a local dealer selling light […]
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9:27 PM | New things
This is not the type of article that I post normally, but I have a couple of changes in my online-life, if I can call it this way. And I thought that would be great to share with you everything … Continue reading →
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6:20 PM | Astroboy: L'uomo elettrico
L'uomo elettrico, primo vero episodio della serie a fumetti di Astro Boy, è utilissimo per introdurre il discorso tecnico che non ho scritto nel primo articolo della serie.Dal punto di vista narrativo, siamo di fronte a una storia dickiana dal ritmo veloce, un vero e proprio hard boiled degli androidi, nel quale confluisce anche il cinema thriller statunitense alla Hitchcock, basti pensare alla tensione trasmessa dalla sequenza qui a destra (che non è l'unica del suo genere).Anche […]
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5:34 PM | Galileo, Foscarini, The Catholic Church, and heliocentricity in 1615 Part 1 – the occurrences: A Rough Guide.
I have been criticised for claiming, in a recent post, that given time the Catholic Church would have come to accept heliocentricity in the seventeenth-century and in fact because Galileo acted unadvisedly he drove the Church to reject and condemn … Continue reading →
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5:21 PM | LOG#154. Moonshine and 42: THE PAPER.
“(…) The answer to the Great Question…is…Forty-two(…)” said Deep Thought with infinity majesty and calm (frequently found quote from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, London 1979) Dear readers, yesterday, while I was editing, re-editing and writing my … Continue reading → Tags:  26D, 42, black holes, Borcherds, BPS states, CFT, conformal field theory, continuum spectrum, diophantine equations, discrete […]
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4:44 PM | This is what I call numeracy
From Vasily Grossman‘s notebooks published in A Writer at War, pp. 161-162, an entry about the Red Army infantry fighting off Luftwaffe in Stalingrad: The brains of the Red Army have finally turned to to the anti-tank rifle … [using] a cart wheel, fastened to a picket and rotating through 360 [degrees]. [...] Battalion Commander […]
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1:51 PM | ICM2014 — opening ceremony
I’d forgotten just how full the first day of an ICM is. First, you need to turn up early for the opening ceremony, so you end up sitting around for an hour and half or so before it even starts. Then there’s the ceremony itself, which lasts a couple of hours. Then in the afternoon […]
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1:30 PM | Updike and O’Hara
I just read this review by Louis Menand of a biography of John Updike. Lots of interesting stuff here, with this, perhaps, being the saddest: When Updike received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, in 1998, two of [his second wife's] children were present, but his were not invited. Menand’s […] The post Updike and O’Hara appeared first on Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science.
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12:18 PM | Boston skyline (#2)
Filed under: Kids, pictures, Travel Tagged: Boston, JSM 2014, Massachusset, skyscrapers, USA, vacations
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11:21 AM | Illegal PayDay syndicate in New York busted
There’s an interesting and horrible New York Time story by Jessica Silver-Greenberg about a PayDay loan syndicate being run out of New York State. The syndicate consists of twelve companies owned by a single dude, Carey Vaughn Brown, with help from a corrupt lawyer and another corrupt COO. Manhattan District Attorneys are charging him and his helpers with usury under […]
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9:25 AM | 2014 Fields Medals awarded – coverage round-up
At this week’s International Congress of Mathematics, in Seoul, Korea, the winners of the 2014 Fields Medal were announced. The medals, which were established in 1936, and are awarded every four years to four different mathematicians, recognise achievement in mathematics research. This year’s winners are (from the ICM website): Artur Avila (CNRS, France & IMPA, Brazil) –... Read more »
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7:18 AM | How Fields Became “Nobel”
Here is some interesting piece of mathematical history: How the Fields medal went from “Soviet award” to “Mathematical Nobel”. How Math Got Its ‘Nobel’.
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4:04 AM | Avila, Bhargava, Hairer, Mirzakhani
The 2014 Fields medallists have just been announced as (in alphabetical order of surname) Artur Avila, Manjul Bhargava, Martin Hairer, and Maryam Mirzakhani (see also these nice video profiles for the winners, which is a new initiative of the IMU and the Simons foundation). This time four years ago, I wrote a blog post discussing […]
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1:17 AM | What would Donald Knuth do?
I’ve seen exhortations to think like Leonardo da Vinci or Albert Einstein, but these leave me cold. I can’t imagine thinking like either of these men. But here are a few famous people I could imagine emulating when trying to solve a problem What would Donald Knuth do? Do a depth-first search on all technologies […]

August 12, 2014

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10:14 PM | Bangalore workshop [ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಕಾರ್ಯಾಗಾರ] and new book
On the last day of the IFCAM workshop in Bangalore, Marc Lavielle from INRIA presented a talk on mixed effects where he illustrated his original computer language Monolix. And mentioned that his CRC Press book on Mixed Effects Models for the Population Approach was out! (Appropriately listed as out on a 14th of July on […]
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