A while back I answered a question on Quora: Can people actually keep up with note-taking in Mathematics lectures with LaTeX . There, I explained…
This is awesome though I’ve also heard of cases in which students use shared Google docs to collaboratively take notes like this as well.
Last night saw the wrap up of Dr. Michael Miller’s excellent Winter quarter class Introduction to Category Theory. As usual he passed out a short survey to accept ideas for the Fall and Winter quarters this coming year at UCLA Extension.
If you didn’t get a chance to weigh in, feel free to email him directly, or respond here with your suggestions (in order of preference) and I’ll pass them along.
I keep a list of his past offerings (going back to 2006, but he’s been doing this since 1973) on my site for reference. He’s often willing to repeat courses that have been previously offered, particularly if there’s keen interest in those topics.
Some of the suggestions on last night’s list included:
combinatorial group theory
point set topology
Feel free to vote for any of these or suggest your own topics. Keep in mind that many of the topics in the past decade have come about specifically because of lobbying on behalf of students.
McCulloch and Pitts were destined to live, work, and die together. Along the way, they would create the first mechanistic theory of the mind, the first computational approach to neuroscience, the logical design of modern computers, and the pillars of artificial intelligence.
Quick note of a factual and temporal error: the article indicates:
After all, it had been Wiener who discovered a precise mathematical definition of information: The higher the probability, the higher the entropy and the lower the information content.
In fact, it was Claude E. Shannon, one of Wiener’s colleagues, who wrote the influential A Mathematical Theory of Communication published in Bell System Technical Journal in 1948, almost 5 years after the 1943 part of the timeline the article is indicating. Not only did Wiener not write the paper, but it wouldn’t have existed yet to have been a factor in Pitts deciding to choose a school or adviser at the time. While Wiener may have been a tremendous polymath, I suspect that his mathematical area of expertise during those years would have been closer to analysis and not probability theory.
To put Pitts & McCulloch’s work into additional context, Claude Shannon’s stunning MIT master’s thesis A symbolic analysis of relay and switching circuits in 1940 applied Boolean algebra to electronic circuits for the first time and as a result largely allowed the digital age to blossom. It would be nice to know if Pitts & McCulloch were aware of it when they published their work three years later.
I will post regular updates about data publication plans for the 2020 Census. I won't be shy about statistics, include some history and, ultimately, address the implications of technical decisions on politics, planning, research... and journalism.
Oxford Mathematics' Heather Harrington is the joint winner of the 2019 Adams Prize. The prize is one of the University of Cambridge's oldest and most prestigious prizes. Named after the mathematician John Couch Adams and endowed by members of St John's College, it commemorates Adams's role in the discovery of the planet Neptune. Previous prize-winners include James Clerk Maxwell, Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking.
This year's Prize has been awarded for achievements in the field of The Mathematics of Networks. Heather's work uses mathematical and statistical techniques including numerical algebraic geometry, Bayesian statistics, network science and optimisation, in order to solve interdisciplinary problems. She is the Co-Director of the recently established Centre for Topological Data Analysis.
By law, the Census Bureau is required to keep our responses to its questionnaires confidential. And so, over decades, it has applied several “disclosure avoidance” techniques when it publishes data — these have been meticulously catalogued by Laura McKenna
I could envision some interesting use cases for differential privacy like this within an IndieWeb framework for aggregated data potentially used for web discovery.
Well, any computer scientist or experienced programmer knows right away that being “made of math” does not demonstrate anything about the accuracy or utility of a program. Math is a lot more of a social construct than most people think. But we don’t need to spend years taking classes in algorithms to understand how and why the types of algorithms used in artificial intelligence systems today can be tremendously biased. Here, look at these four photos. What do they have in common?
I was hoping that “intersecting milk cartons” were already a thing. But, alas, no example seemed to exist online. So, for the 5th and final day of “Polyhedral Milk Carton Week,” I had to make it myself.
What are we looking at? My 3D animation showing the intersection of two gable-top milk cartons. They intersect in (more or less) the same manner as a polyhedral compound of two cubes.
Of course, milk cartons are not cubes. They’re more like rectangular prisms. And it wasn’t at all obvious (to me) what the intersection would look like with taller shapes.