Monthly Archives: August 2012

Crossed conversations

David G. Hays, a pioneer of computational linguistics, describes an experiment he performed in 1956 at the RAND Corporation: The experiment strips conversation down to its barest essentials by depriving the subject of all language except for two pushbuttons and … Continue reading

Posted in computing, linguistics, mathematics | 3 Comments

Computing with encrypted data

Let’s suppose you are a client of the notorious accounting firm Dewey, Cheetham & Howe. You want them to compute your income tax, but you don’t trust them with the confidential details of your financial life. This impasse seems insurmountable. … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Jevons Number

I was doing some reading in the history of cryptography when I came upon a reference to a 1996 article by Solomon W. Golomb. Golomb always has something interesting to say, so I had to go off and find and … Continue reading

Posted in books, computing, mathematics, science, statistics | 14 Comments