Archive for the ‘math’ Category

United we stand

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

You enter a contest. A million dollars is at stake. Forty-one thousand teams from 186 different countries are clamoring for the prize and the glory. You edge into the top 5 contestants, but there is only one prize, and one winner. Second place is the first ...

links for 2009-03-06: Pile o’ toys

Friday, March 6th, 2009

table {width: 400px;} img { border: none;} td {padding-bottom: 1em;} This impressive augmented reality demo from GE inserts computer-generated 3D objects into live video. First, watch the short video. Then, try it yourself. Israeli musician "Kutiman" took a big pile of seemingly random YouTube video clips and used them as instruments ...

Every letter is powerful

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

A fun nugget from my new favorite blog, Futility Closet: Show this bold Prussian that praises slaughter, slaughter brings rout. Teach this slaughter-lover his fall nears. Grim, no? But remove the first letter of each word and the mood changes: How his old Russian hat raises laughter — laughter rings out! Each, his ...

How to bend SQL to the whims of geekery

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

This is even geekier than plotting the Mandelbrot set on a TI-85: The T-SQL Mandelbrot T-SQL is a database-centric programming language for Microsoft SQL Server. It is used primarily for data processing, not for such geekery as drawing fractals. So, my hat's off to the creative re-imagining of this previously ...

Atlanta GECCO trip report

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

div.caption { text-align: center; font-style: italic; font-size: smaller; text-indent: 0; } div.caption-left { font-style: italic; font-size: smaller; text-indent: 0; } Article sections: Atlanta | GECCO 2008 | Contests | Research Atlanta The Atlanta trip was a lot of fun. We stayed in a really nice rental house ...

New cipher-solving program available

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Brax Cisco, Wesley Hopper, and Michael Eaton have just beta-released their wonderful "Zodiac Decrypto" program, a fun piece of software designed to attack the Zodiac ciphers as well as other substitution ciphers. It uses letter-level n-gram frequency analysis (no, not Engram analysis!) to estimate the validity of solutions generated ...

Do you want to be a millionaire?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

All you have to do is help Netflix read people's minds! The Netflix Prize is a contest that has been going on since October 2006. I didn't hear about it until today. When you rate movies on the Netflix DVD rentals site, their proprietary Cinematch algorithm will predict which ...

The cold case that just won’t die

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

I was surprised tonight to discover that somebody posted my little Zodiac cipher webtoy on Digg recently, and it has been getting some significant traction there: I had a lot of fun making it, and I am glad that folks are getting some use out of it. Thanks for the ...

Dry academia

Monday, October 1st, 2007

Despite its rigorous, almost unapproachable mathematical foundations, Doug Zongker's groundbreaking academic research paper remains one of the most important scientific studies you will ever read. Doug Zongker himself presenting his paper: Awe-inspiring. Source.

Creative computing: Pushing eyecandy around

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Back in 1993, during freshman year of college, my friend Brian McEntire introduced me to the "demoscene", which is, at its best, a group of extremely highly skilled (and often very young) computer sound/video programmers who specialize in creating dazzling presentations that run in real-time on computers. Demoscene folks ...