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Jan. 19th, 2009

update

I'm single, and I'm okay, and she's okay, and we're still friends, and that's basically optimal.

Nov. 11th, 2008

awesomeness

 Harrison and I made a conjecture. We asked (separately) s-m and Babai if it was open. s-m didn't know off the top of her head and got us the answer otherwise really fast. Babai responded with the following, paraphrased:

"I suppose by = you mean isomorphic. This is a theorem of R. Frucht, 1938. I rediscovered it in my freshman year and automorphism groups of graphs became one of my lifelong fascinations. (gives Harrison and I six exercises, followed by an open problem)"

Also, I got Adam Sealfon's lovely RSI paper to read, a paycheck, and I went dancing last night, which was REALLY AWESOME.  I haven't had such a good dance since the last really good Glen Echo dance I went to.  Wooo!  Also I met about six math grad students who all went.  (One of them played with the band, too, heh.)

Also, for those few of you I haven't told this to, during a folk music concert on Sunday the dude said "This is a set of reels..." and I heard "a set of reals." Further amusement ensued when he talked about "a set of Irish reals" and "a rousing set of reals."

Update: I totally lacked the group theory to understand some of the exercises Babai gave me, which puzzled him until he remembered I was a first year.  He pointed me towards Diane Herrmann, who suggested a good intro textbook (Fraleigh?), and then today in IBL I presented my neat proof of Holder's inequality and then figured out how to prove the Triangle Inequality from it, which made profs happy.  Woo!!!

Babai's exercises look really fun, so I'm going to work on them now.

Nov. 9th, 2008

not a minor

it's mah birthday!

Oct. 5th, 2008

wooo contradance

Wooo!!!

emily bargar came dancing, and I met Emily Riehl's officemate, and I'm totally going to dance lotsnlots.

Sep. 28th, 2008

math and skirts

My current plan for this quarter is to take Babai's graduate Discrete Math concurrently with Math 199, or 203 if I can handle the combined workload.  I have Babai's approval for the Discrete class -- he gave me some problems to chew on, and I solved all but the one he said would take forever.  (One of them was straight off my Interesting Test.)

I went skirt-shopping with Hannah today, except we didn't find many swirly skirts.  I got the two swirliest ones -- both long and black -- for $6 each.  Woo!

Sep. 23rd, 2008

omfg

Such an awesome fuckin' discussion. But most importantly, everybody seemed to share the feeling as we walked back that the discussion, heated, deep, and philosophical, was exactly what they came here for.

I explained it best to Mindy here:

(10:04:39 PM) Louis (GTalk): my personal faith is based around
(10:05:15 PM) Louis (GTalk): the value of education, of knowledge, of human endeavor, of seeking knowledge for its own sake, of critical thinking and analysis and reason
(10:05:29 PM) Louis (GTalk): as an absolute value to be aspired to universally
(10:05:54 PM) Louis (GTalk): it's the closest thing I have to a religion, something I take absolutely on faith
(10:05:56 PM) Louis (GTalk): and I said that it was as if I came to an evangelist university for that religion
(10:06:02 PM) Mindy Or: interesting
(10:06:07 PM) Louis (GTalk): and everyone around me was like yessss that's exactly it


Also, I feel like writing an essay on the following claim:

Better that no substantive mathematics should be required of non-majors, but rather the key ideas of critical thinking; of unification of concepts and generality and of sweeping concepts; of perfect rigor; of seeking to comprehend impossibly intrigate concepts: of these ideas that are in their own way far more applicable to and valuable in daily life than trigonometry or calculus.


...I would suggest this to any current high school senior as your choose-your-own-prompt on the Uncommon Application. Give it the length, quality, and lyricism it deserves; it should be beautiful, poetic, and intricate. Credit me, though, dammit.

In the meantime, please discuss the topic in the comments.

Sep. 21st, 2008

whooo!


Woooo this place is everything I hoped it was! From the pediatrician dude who taught himself web design and database management -- and 's offering me a job -- to bio and econ and polisci and comp religion majors who appreciate nerdinesses other than their own. Eeeeeee wooooo. I ran into people I knew and met lotsandlots of new people. Wooooo! An orientation aide wants me to bring him along to contra; shared passions for folk music (hi Clare!), lots and lots of awesome everywhere.

Also, I would be allowed to take Babai's graduate discrete -- this quarter -- if I wanted to get my ass kicked, of course.  Honors Analysis combined with graduate Discrete would totally kill my sleep schedule.

Also, Stephen Baxter is awesome, because he's managed to integrate into legitimate science fiction computation on the event horizon of a black hole and closed-timelike-curve based computing. After the cut, an application of classical probability theory to a solution to the Grandfather Paradox, and after that an explanation of the implications for computation with time loops.  I <33333 Scott Aaronson.  (I've successfully explained the first half to an economist, btw.)

Nontrivial mathematics followed by compsci.Collapse )

Sep. 2nd, 2008

boredom

Having three weeks alone is kind of boring.

However, several things make it more interesting, e.g. having people provide me with interesting math: Harrison gave me a copy of a paper on incidence algebras that I read today, which was pretty damn interesting.  Generalizing something that can encapsulate the Riemann zeta function and chromatic polynomials? Badass.

I managed to get my Facebook graph into Mathematica.  Results:

  • There are people (besides me, of course) who are connected to everybody else (ignoring the four isolated vertices) by at most four degrees of separation. These people are almost exactly the set of Intel finalists in my friends list, unioned with Ofir (HCSSiM '06), and one person who I don't think likes me very much, so I'll omit her name (though she does like graph theory).

  • Besides the four people with no other mutual friends, no two people are separated by more than seven degrees of separation.

  • 191 

  • Frequency of separations in people-pairs

  • 240Cool embedding


Oh, while I'm here -- if anybody has any projects they want to spring on me, or have wanted me to work on for a while, now would be an *excellent* time..graph subisomorphisms, perhaps?  *ahem* I have copious free time, for the last time in a while.

Also, I need access to somebody who doesn't have specialized knowledge in computer science, and the free time and the interest to study something computer-sciency but extraordinarily awesome in the mathematics, computer science, philosophy, and physics senses. First-year calculus course preferred as background, with linear algebra optional but useful.

If you _are_ computer-science specialized -- that is, you have knowledge of what P and NP are aforehand -- then ask me privately for a link, and don't give it away to other people. I want to see how total nonspecialists without outside help handle some really interesting material that I think is appropriately accessible.






Aug. 6th, 2008

hrm

Job's been pretty fun.  I am now more comfortable with wee likkle kiddies.

I feel like I should be doing some more math.  I should probably contact Nate or Josh and collaborate 'n' stuff.  Josh and I discussed interesting topics and then we never really talked to each other again.  Is there an efficient algorithm for determining the number of transpositions that separate two permutations?  My immediate thought was the A* algorithm (distance-search that takes advantage of any distance-lower-bound heuristic) with the heuristic of inversion number, but I haven't implemented that very efficiently.  I should take the time to do that.

That's definitely on the to-do list between when work ends and when I leave for UChicago.  Also, Footfall quite possibly, which I need to talk to my father about.

also, my gf is awesome <333333333333.

Jul. 17th, 2008

I'm homeeeeeee

I'm at HCSSiM.  As always, oh my god, I'm home for the first time in a year.

Soooo at home.  So wonderful.  I'm totally, completely content.

It's the most wonderful feeling I've had in a long, long, long time.  (About a year, to be more precise.)

s-m gave me very detailed hair care instructions (unprompted, of course), advised me to find a better skirt, and oh my god is totally awesome.

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