The Most-Used Mathematical Algorithm Idea in History
An octillion. A billion billion billion. That’s a fairly conservative estimate of the number of times a cellphone or other device somewhere in the world has generated a bit using a maximum-length linear-feedback shift register sequence. It’s probably the single most-used mathematical algorithm idea in history. And the main originator of this idea was Solomon Golomb, who died on May 1—and whom I knew for 35 years.
Solomon Golomb’s classic book Shift Register Sequences, published in 1967—based on his work in the 1950s—went out of print long ago. But its content lives on in pretty much every modern communications system. Read the specifications for 3G, LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or for that matter GPS, and you’ll find mentions of polynomials that determine the shift register sequences these systems use to encode the data they send. Solomon Golomb is the person who figured out how to construct all these polynomials.
A fantastic and pretty comprehensive obit for Sol. He did miss out on more of Sol’s youth as well as his cross-town chess rivalry with Basil Gordon when they both lived in Baltimore, but before they lived across town from each other again in Los Angeles.
Many of the fantastical seeming stories here, as well as Sol’s personality read very true to me with respect to the man I knew for almost two decades.
Alumnus and engineering faculty member Robert J. McEliece has passed away.
May is apparently the month that many of the greats in information theory pass away. I was reminded of Sol Golomb’s passing in May 2016 the other day.
I didn’t know him well, but met Dr. McEliece a handful of times and at least a few of the books in my personal information theory library are hand-me-down copies from his personal library. He’ll definitely be missed.
Actor Luke Perry, known for roles in “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Riverdale,” died on Monday after suffering a massive stroke on Wednesday. He was 52.
“[Perry] was surrounded by his children Jack and Sophie, fiancé Wendy Madison Bauer, ex-wife Minnie Sharp, mother Ann Bennett, step-father Steve Bennett, brother Tom Perry, sister Amy Coder, and other close family and friends,” his rep said in a statement. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers that have been extended to Luke from around the world, and respectfully request privacy in this time of great mourning. No further details will be released at this time.”
Presidential eulogizing, special counsel speculation, immigration coverage, and forgotten Hanukkah history.
The death of George H.W. Bush brought us a week’s worth of ceremony, eulogy and wall-to-wall coverage. This week, a look at the choices journalists made when they set out to memorialize the president. And, immigration stories in our media focus on the U.S.–Mexico border — but what about immigration elsewhere in Latin America? Is there a journalistic solution to the scale of global immigration? Plus, a baseball metaphor and a bit of forgotten Hanukkah history.
1. Anne Helen Petersen [@annehelen], senior culture writer at Buzzfeed, and David Greenberg [@republicofspin], historian at Rutgers University, on the history — and pitfalls — of presidential eulogies. Listen.
2. Bob on the speculation surrounding Robert Mueller's investigation. Listen.
Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ‘70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley” before stepping behind the camera for Hollywood hits like “Big” and “A League of Their Own,” died Monday night at her California home. She was 75.
Sorry to hear about her passing. Her films Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Big, and Awakenings are some of my favorite movies and had a tremendous influence on me.
George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43rd, was a steadfast force on the international stage for decades, from his stint as an envoy to Beijing to his eight years as vice president and his one term as commander in chief from 1989 to 1993.
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
He negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, a measure that was ratified by the Senate in President Bill Clinton’s first term. ❧
In addition to his long career as a magician, he also appeared in such films as 'Magnolia' (1999) as the narrator, 'Tomorrow Never Dies' (1997) as a cyber terrorist and 'Boogie Nights' (1997).
I had friends who represented Rick Jay when I was at CAA. I later had the privilege of working with him as a consultant on Heartbreakers, when he had me out to the Magic Castle several times as a guest.
I don’t think there’s anyone living or dead who had a better collection or mastery of magic and related arts than Ricky Jay did. I hope his legacy and library is well supported.