Archive for June, 2010

Temporary absence

27 June 2010

I will be “out” for the next three weeks – until 16 July – at a nerd camp in Pennsylvania. We won’t be able to access computers there, so until then, don’t expect anything new to come up.



21 June 2010

Now I can see where you all are!
Locations of visitors to this page

To keep this current, I’ll periodically move this post up to the top.

Why π is irrational (part 3 of 5)

15 June 2010

In this post I use the derivatives of f(x) to create a new function, F(x), that will help us evaluate the integral from part 1.


15 June 2010

We just had a 5.7 earthquake in my area; its epicenter was on the same general trend of the Easter Sunday earthquake earlier this year. Although this one was 30 times weaker than the Easter quake and not much closer, I felt it much more strongly. Strange.
I felt this earthquake in what could be called “textbook fashion.” Any geology textbook will tell you that there are two main shocks in an earthquake: a sharp initial one followed by a more gradual shaking. The separation between the two shocks grows with distance from the epicenter due to different speeds with which the waves travel through the ground. In all the earthquakes I had felt so far, I had not been able to distinguish between the two shocks. This time, I felt the difference very clearly.
Anyway, detailed info can, of course, be found at the USGS website if you wish to pursue this further. The Wikipedia article for this quake appears to be here.

Why π is irrational (Part 2 of 5)

8 June 2010

In this post I introduce the function f(x) and look at some of its properties.

Why π is irrational (Part 1 of 5)

8 June 2010

Through the next several posts, I will be taking you through a proof of why π is irrational. The proof was first given by Ivan Niven in 1947 and requires only basic calculus to understand it.


7 June 2010

I got nerd sniped the other day by a post at The Math Less Traveled about an excellent puzzle/game called Manufactoria. It’s basically a set of puzzles involving queueing theory; it goes through a progression of levels, starting out at the exceptionally easy and progressing to the frustratingly hard. Here’s a screenshot of the thing:
Screenshot of Manufactoria
For now, just have fun playing with it!