Monthly Archives: February 2010

Herbert R. J. Grosch, 1918-2010

Today I learned of the death of Herb Grosch, proud provocateur and mischief-maker of the computing industry. Anybody who ever knew Herb, however slightly or briefly, has a story to tell, so here’s mine. Grosch held senior positions at major … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 2 Comments

The teetotaler’s walk

Writing about Pólya’s recurrence theorem led me to pick up Gerry Alexanderson’s book The Random Walks of George Pólya. He tells a sweet anecdote about the origin of the theorem. The random walk is sometimes called the drunkard’s walk, but … Continue reading

Posted in mathematics | Comments Off

Gruenberger’s prime path

Fred Gruenberger may well have been the first blogger on computational topics. When he was writing, back in the 1970s, there was no RSS, and so he distributed his musings in a monthly newsletter called Popular Computing. A typical issue … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics, problems and puzzles | 8 Comments

Yet another spam update

It seems the great spam tide of 2009 is ebbing. The graph records numbers of spam messages per month received by my email accounts; obviously this is just a personal tally and your milage may vary. The percentage of Russian-language … Continue reading

Posted in modern life | 2 Comments

A molecular millisecond

It was not quite a century ago that we got our first glimpse of molecules. William Lawrence Bragg, with a little help from his dad, figured out how to get molecules to sit still long enough for a portrait. First … Continue reading

Posted in biology | 2 Comments