Category Archives: programming

The wizard’s rational puzzle (mind your p’s and q’s!)

You have been abducted by a sadistic math wizard (don’t you hate it when that happens?). He ushers you into a plain but cozy-looking room, with a hardwood floor, a few exotic-looking rugs, and wood paneling on the walls. He … Continue reading

Posted in arithmetic, challenges, logic, programming, puzzles | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Mystery curve, animated

As a follow-on to my previous post, here’s an animation (17MB) showing how the “mystery curve” arises as a sum of circular motions: Recall that the equation for the curve is . The big blue circle corresponds to the term—it … Continue reading

Posted in complex numbers, geometry, programming | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Random cyclic curves

Princeton Press just sent me a review copy of a new book by Frank Farris called Creating Symmetry: The Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns. It looks amazing and I’m super excited to read it. Apparently John Cook has been reading … Continue reading

Posted in complex numbers, geometry, programming | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

Stars of the Mind’s Sky with Diagrams

A few weeks ago, Paul Salomon posted a really beautiful work of mathematical art on his blog, Lost In Recursion: Stars of the Mind’s Sky, by Paul Salomon He included a precise mathematical description of the image, and I naturally … Continue reading

Posted in geometry, group theory, pictures, programming | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Diagrams!

Over the past few years I’ve written quite a few posts with images generated by a library I (now along with many others) wrote. Most famously, this is how I created those factorization diagrams. But I’ve used it in many … Continue reading

Posted in links, pictures, programming | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What I Do, Part I: Programming languages (Up-Goer 5 edition)

“Splasho” has has created an online text editor which checks to make sure you use only the 1000 most common English words, inspired by this recent XKCD comic. Over the past few weeks, many scientists have taken up the challenge … Continue reading

Posted in computation, programming | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

What I Do, Part 1: Programming languages

[This is the second in an occasional series of posts explaining what I do in my “day job” as a computer science PhD student. The idea is to write a series of posts of increasing specificity, but all aimed at … Continue reading

Posted in computation, programming | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments