jm + mathematics   4

The inventor of dynamic programming, had to hide the fact he was inventing it from the Secretary of Defense
"His face would suffuse, he would turn red, and he would get violent if people used the term "research" in his presence. You can imagine how he felt, then, about the term "mathematical". [....] I felt I had to do something to shield Wilson and the Air Force from the fact that I was really doing mathematics inside RAND"
rand  funny  history  insane  dr-strangelove  1950s  dynamic-programming  mathematics  algorithms 
19 days ago by jm
The Mathematical Hacker
'The trouble with the Lisp-hacker tradition is that it is overly focused on the problem of programming -- compilers, abstraction, editors, and so forth -- rather than the problems outside the programmer's cubicle. I conjecture that the Lisp-school essayists -- Raymond, Graham, and Yegge -- have not “needed mathematics” because they spend their time worrying about how to make code more abstract. This kind of thinking may lead to compact, powerful code bases, but in the language of economics, there is an opportunity cost.'
mathematics  coding  maths  essay  hackers  lisp  fortran 
december 2012 by jm
Science funding doesn't add up - The Irish Times
'[Science Foundation Ireland] said it was continuing to support basic research, but there are a number of leading scientists here who were refused funding despite having qualified for it in the past.

Dr Mike Peardon of the School of Mathematics was recently been turned down, having been “administratively withdrawn”. This means the application for funding was rejected at the first post during initial consideration and before it had a chance to be assessed by external experts. Several others in his department suffered a similar fate. “The school of mathematics at Trinity is ranked the 15th best maths department in the world and now we are not fundable by Science Foundation Ireland,” he said.

“The cases I heard of have all been in pure maths,” said Prof Lorraine Hanlon in UCD’s school of physics. “All reported that the people in pure maths were returned unreviewed.” She believes other areas may also come under pressure. “Pure maths is the thin end of the wedge. The Government says mathematics is fundamental, but on the other side says we dont really care enough to support it. That is a schizophrenic approach,” she said.'
mathematics  ireland  science  research  academia  funding  tcd  ucd  sfi 
july 2012 by jm
Kaprekar's constant
'6174 .. is notable for the following property: Take any four-digit number, using at least two different digits. (Leading zeros are allowed.); Arrange the digits in ascending and then in descending order to get two four-digit numbers, adding leading zeros if necessary; Subtract the smaller number from the bigger number; Go back to step 2. The process will reach 6174 in at most 7 iterations'
6174  constants  cool  maths  mathematics  numbers  kaprekar  wow  from delicious
august 2010 by jm

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