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For Ada Lovelace Day: Florence Nightingale

Note: a repost of a 2010 post I published for Ada Lovelace day. Unfortunately, I am too busy these days to write a new one. “Ada Lovelace Day is celebrated today to “…raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.” So without further ado: She is a ‘ministering angel’ without any exaggeration […]

Terrible advice from a great scientist

I am not inclined to write polemic posts. I generally like to leave that to others, while I take the admittedly easier route of waxing positive over various bits of cool science I find or hear about, and yes, occasionally do myself. But WSJ editorial from E.O. Wilson has irked me so much, I have […]

A Belated Valentine’s Day Post

This is romantic!  So listen up! A 3D heart shape may be drawn using the following implicit function: Or, in Python: def  heart_3d(x,y,z): return (x**2+(9/4)*y**2+z**2-1)**3-x**2*z**3-(9/80)*y**2*z**3 Trouble is, there is no direct way of graphing implicit functions in Python. But anything can be found on Stack Overflow. Putting it all together: #!/usr/bin/env python from mpl_toolkits.mplot3d import […]

Repost: a very loose and circular association to Pi Day

(Originally published March 14, 2009) Happy Pi (π) Day! Americans write dates in the MM/DD/YYYY format instead of the DD/MM/YYYY format used by the rest of the world.  Usually a rather painful and confusing format if you did not grow up with it, causing checks to bounce and leases to expire for those who recently […]

Oh, but to receive such a rejection letter!

It is with no inconsiderable degree of reluctance that I decline the offer of any Paper from you. I think, however, you will upon reconsideration of the subject be of opinion that I have no other alternative. The subjects you propose for a series of Mathematical and Metaphysical Essays are so very profound, that there […]

Nature by numbers

Beautiful video showing the mathematical beauty of nature, or the natural beauty of math. Here’s what I managed to figure out: 0:08-0:44 – Fibonacci sequence 0:45-1:40 – The Golden Ratio 2:40 – Delauney triangulations leading to Voronoi diagrams (2:56 and to the end)

Stupid Pi tricks for Pi Day

π approximation script, from Stephen Chappell. import sys def pi(): a, b, c, d, e, f = 1, 0, 1, 1, 3, 3 while True: if a * 4 + b – c < c * e: yield e a, b, c, d, e, f = a * 10, (b – c * e) * […]