Monthly Archives: June 2006

Scheduled procrastination

Forgive me if this story is slightly stale. I meant to write it two weeks ago, but for some reason I kept putting it off. A paper titled “Scheduling Algorithms for Procrastinators” has been posted on the computer-science section of … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 1 Comment

Errors acummulate

Three readers (so far) have called my attention to errors in “The Semicolon Wars,” my latest American Scientist column. First, I referred to the programming languages ML, Haskell and Miranda as “pure” functional languages. ML doesn’t belong in that group. … Continue reading

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Friday Night Smackdown

The July-August issue of American Scientist is just up on the Web. My Computing Science column in the new issue is a grumpy, ill-tempered diatribe about the overproliferation of programming languages—and about the grumpy and ill-tempered bickering between advocates of … Continue reading

Posted in computing | 2 Comments

Sudoku dans la Belle Époque

A few weeks ago I commented on the discovery of some curious precursors of Sudoku, drawn up in the 1950s as designs for agricultural experiments. Now even earlier antecedants of the puzzle have been discovered by Christian Boyer, a specialist … Continue reading

Posted in games, mathematics | 1 Comment

DCLXVI

The ABC Evening News ended today’s broadcast with a riff on the date—06/06/06. We heard about a 6-pound, 6-ounce newborn, and a 66-year-old man celebrating his birthday. I’ve always been a little perplexed by this fascination with 666. The book … Continue reading

Posted in modern life | 1 Comment

Can You Divide by Three?

Well, can you? And can you prove it? Peter G. Doyle and John Horton Conway can. In a 35-page article posted to the arXiv last week they write: In this paper we show that it is possible to divide by … Continue reading

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