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Blog Profile / Good Math, Bad Math

Filed Under:Academics / Mathematics
Posts on Regator:305
Posts / Week:1
Archived Since:December 12, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Farewell, Scientopia! Hello!

I've decided to leave Scientopia, and go off on my own. Details about why can be found at the new site, Update your links! The new RSS is here. All of the existing posts and comments have been moved over. I'm shutting down comments here, but you're welcome to come on over to the […]

Hello World in ARM Assembly Language

Since K&R's book on C, it's become traditional to start any tutorial on a new language is to present a program that prints "Hello world". For ARM assembly running on Raspbian Linux, that traditional program looks _start _start: MOV R7, #4 MOV R0, #1 MOV R2, #12 LDR R1, =string SWI 0 MOV […]

Everyone stop implementing programming languages, right now! It's been solved!

Back when I was a student working on my PhD, I specialized in programming languages. Lucky for me I did it a long time ago! According to Wired, if I was working on it now, I'd be out of luck - the problem is already solved! See, these guys built a new programming language which […]

On outing in the sciblogging community

I'm coming in to this a bit late, but since I really do care about the online science blogging community,I still have something that I want to say. For those who don't know, there's a complete horses ass named Henry Gee. Henry is an editor at the science journal Nature. Poor Henry got into some […]

Oy Veh! Power Series, Analytic Continuations, and Riemann Zeta

After the whole Plait fiasco with the sum of the infinite series of natural numbers, I decided it would interesting to dig into the real math behind that mess. That means digging in to the Riemann function, and the concept of analytic continuation. A couple of caveats before I start: this is the area of […]

Bad Math from the Bad Astronomer

This morning, my friend Dr24Hours pinged me on twitter about some bad math: Attn @MarkCC: (Sum(NatNums)= -1/12 bullshit) h/t @NeuroPolarbear@BadAstronomer Shame on you, @Slate. — Dr24hours (@Dr24hours) January 17, 2014 And indeed, he was right. Phil Plait the Bad Astronomer, of all people, got taken in by a bit of mathematical stupidity, which he […]

The Latest Update in the Hydrino Saga

Lots of people have been emailing me to say that there's a new article out about Blacklight, the company started by Randall Mills to promote his Hydrino stuff, which claims to have an independent validation of his stuff, and announcing the any-day-now unveiling of the latest version of his hydrino-based generator. First of all, folks, […]

Leading in to Machine Code: Why?

I'm going to write a few posts about programming in machine language. It seems that many more people are interested in learning about the ARM processor, so that's what I'll be writing about. In particular, I'm going to be working with the Raspberry Pi running Raspbian linux. For those who aren't familiar with it, the […]

More Basics: Compilers, Programs, and Languages

After my "what is an OS?" post, a couple of readers asked me to write a similar post about compilers. Before I can answer what a compiler is, it's helpful to first answer a different question: what is a program? And here we get to one of my pet peeves. The most common answer to […]

Boot all the computers!

Moving on from last weeks operating system post, today we'll look at how a computer boots up and loads an operating system. Let's start with why booting is a question at all. When a computer turns on, what happens? What we're using to seeing is that the disk drive turns on and starts spinning, and […]

Basics: What is an OS?

A reader of this blog apparently likes the way I explain things, and wrote to me to ask a question: what is an operating system? And how does a computer know how to load it? I'm going to answer that, but I'm going to do it in a roundabout way. The usual answer is something […]

The Birthday Paradox

To me, the thing that makes probability fun is that the results are frequently surprising. We've got very strong instincts about how we expect numbers to work. But when you do anything that involves a lot of computations with big numbers, our intuition goes out the window - nothing works the way we expect it […]

The Elegance of Uncertainty

I was recently reading yet another botched explanation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, and it ticked me off. It wasn't a particularly interesting one, so I'm not going disassemble it in detail. What it did was the usual crackpot quantum dance: Heisenberg said that quantum means observers affect the universe, therefore our thoughts can control the […]

This one's for you, Larry! The Quadrature BLINK Kickstarter

After yesterday's post about the return of vortex math, one of my coworkers tweeted the following at me: @MarkCC You know vortex math is worthless because it's free. But you know this is legit because it costs: — @lahosken (@lahosken) November 14, 2013 Larry's a nice guy, even if he did give me grief […]

Vortex Math Returns!

Cranks never give up. That's something that I've learned in my time writing this blog. It doesn't matter how stupid an idea is. It doesn't matter how obviously wrong, how profoundly ridiculous. No matter what, cranks will continue to push their ridiculous ideas. One way that this manifests is the comments on old posts never […]

Basic Data Structures: Hash Tables

I'm in the mood for a couple of basics posts. As long-time readers might know, I love writing about data structures. One of the most important and fundamental structures is a hashtable. In fact, in a lot of modern programming languages have left hashtables behind, for reasons I'll discuss later. But if you want to […]

A Note to the Trolls Re: Comment Policies

Since yesterday's post, I've been deluged with trolls who want to post comments about their views of sexual harassment. I've been deleting them as they come in, and that has, in turn, led to lots of complaints about how horrible unfair and mean I am. I've been doing this blogging thing for a long time, […]

It's easy to not harass women

For many of us in the science blogging scene, yesterday was a pretty lousy day. We learned that a guy who many of us had known for a long time, who we'd trusted, who we considered a friend, had been using his job to sexually harass women with sleezy propositions. This led to a lot […]

Combining Non-Disjoint Probabilities

In my previous post on probability, I talked about how you need to be careful about covering cases. To understand what I mean by that, it's good to see some examples. And we can do that while also introducing an important concept which I haven't discussed yet. I've frequently talked about independence, but equally important […]

Weekend Recipes: Chicken Wings with Thai Chile Sauce

In my house, chicken wings are kind of a big deal. My wife doen't know how to cook. Her cooking is really limited to two dishes: barbecued chicken wings, and grilled cheese. But her chicken wings are phenomenal. We've been married for 20 years, and I haven't found a wing recipe that had the potential […]

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