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seen Oct 21 at 12:43

I'm old. I get confused. OK?


Oct
16
comment A 1,400 years old approximation to the sine function by Mahabhaskariya of Bhaskara I
Except that that formula requires performing fractional exponents, so arguably not simpler.
Oct
16
comment A 1,400 years old approximation to the sine function by Mahabhaskariya of Bhaskara I
Yeah, Indians cooked up some pretty good pi back in that era.
Oct
8
comment Do mathematicians, in the end, always agree?
@Bakuriu - I'd say it's completely not allmost.
Oct
3
comment Prove that a logarithm is irrational
Prove?? Heck, I've known they were irrational ever since Mr Jesse first talked about them!
Oct
1
comment Google Interview Question about a town where if a couple has a girl born, they can't have more children…
@ReneSchipperus - I've never read anything "hard" on the topic, but I've seen several discussions of the genetic and environmental factors that influence the sex of the infant.
Oct
1
comment Google Interview Question about a town where if a couple has a girl born, they can't have more children…
I'm sure it can be shown that in "real life" sequential births from the same parents are not "independent". There are subtle effects that will tend to cause parents of girls to produce more girls and parents of boys to produce more boys. Also, the ratio is not exactly 1:1. So one must ask: Are we talking "real life" or an idealized/theoretical scenario?
Aug
27
comment What is the average of no numbers?
Consider that the average of { 17539126 } is 17539126. And the average of { 17539126 , 2 } is 8769564. If the average of { } is considered to be zero, wouldn't you expect that to "pull down" the average of the lists of 1 and 2 elements?
Jul
26
comment What are some conceptualizations that work in mathematics but are not strictly true?
Mathematicians are really sexy.
May
26
comment Can the square root of a real number be negative?
It appears to me that a part of the "problem" here is that the square root operation is relatively unusual in that it denotes the solution to an equation, whereas the vast majority of mathematical operations (at least the more familiar ones) do not. It's perfectly legitimate/un-scary for an equation to have multiple solutions, but we do not normally expect operators such as monadic - to produce multiple contradictory values. Thus there is some cognitive dissonance with the square root operator.
Apr
4
comment How can a piece of A4 paper be folded in exactly three equal parts?
Fold it into quarters and then tear away 1/4.
Nov
27
comment Dividing a range into major and minor divisions
I tried the scheme on for size and it works pretty well, thanks. It hadn't occurred to me that the number of variations was small enough to practically enumerate, and with this scheme certain "unpleasing" combos can be eliminated if desired, just by altering the table.
Nov
27
comment Dividing a range into major and minor divisions
I'll have to think about this one. I like the idea that, since everything is precomputed, it's inherently stable and testable.
Aug
27
comment Why are “irrational numbers” not named “nonrational numbers”?
Because to do so would be irrational.
Aug
22
comment What does “calculus” mean in the most general sense?
Ask a dentist and he'll tell you it's the gunky buildup on your teeth.
Aug
22
comment Is there name for arithmetic mean divided by RMS average?
CV appears to relate mean to standard deviation, and I'm taking the ratio of mean and RMS average, which is not quite the same thing.
Aug
22
comment Is there a reasoning behind the depiction of the numbers as they are $\{1$, $2$, $3$, $4$, $5$, $6$, $7$, $8$, $9\}$?
I was always given to understand that the Babylonians had something to do with it. But I see Wikipedia lays most of the "blame" on the Hindu-Arabic numeral system. (According to that article using zero came fairly late in the evolution of the system.)
Aug
17
comment Need algorithm to take “max” of scores, but with “quality” weighting
@JoshuaShaneLiberman -- I'm not sure I understand the objectives completely, which is part of the problem. But there's an issue with the quality metrics I probably didn't explain very well -- I'll do that.
May
29
comment How to add or multiply decimal numbers?
The common way of adding decimal numbers is to use "excess-6" arithmetic, where 6 is added if the digit exceeds 9. There are various clever ways to do this, some more "clever" than they should be, but since the operation tends to be highly optimized the cleverness is usually merited.
Apr
3
comment Sheffer stroke the most important advance in logic?
It's worth pointing out that, in the parallel world of digital logic design, the NAND gate is considered to be the "universal" logical element -- any digital device you want to build can be built fron NAND gates. (And, in fact, this was often done.) I can imagine that if NAND gates had been invented fairly late in the development of digital electronics (rather than being just about the first thing invented) they would have been considered quite magical.
Apr
2
comment Pseudo Proofs that are intuitively reasonable
Other than the "gives the right answer" part, haven't you defined politics?