Monthly Archives: February 2008

How many Sudokus?

The answer to the question in the headline is: Too many. After I wrote about Sudoku a couple a years ago, I thought I had cured my addiction; but I’ve been a shameless backslider. I return to the subject now, … Continue reading

Posted in games, mathematics | 8 Comments


Zeno of Elea—the philosopher of footraces that never end and arrows that never reach their target—seems a figure so lost in abstractions and infinities that it’s hard to imagine him living in some particular place and time. But Elea was … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics | 8 Comments

The linguistic arrow of time

Two recent notes on the Language Log, by Sally Thomason and Mark Liberman, discuss a nutty book, The Secret History of the English Language, by M. J. Harper. I haven’t read the book, but according to the Language Loggers, Harper … Continue reading

Posted in social science | 8 Comments

EATCS award to Valiant

Leslie G. Valiant, whose work on holographic algorithms was the subject of a recent column in American Scientist and a brief note here on bit-player, has won the 2008 EATCS Award of the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science. In … Continue reading

Posted in computing | Comments Off

Get on board

Ages ago (in blog years) I mentioned some algorithmic ideas for getting passengers aboard airplanes faster, based on a 2005 paper by Steven Skiena and others. Since then, the queue at the departure gate has only gotten longer. Now another … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 8 Comments