Yearly Archives: 2012

College ties

Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight blog for the New York Times applies computational statistics to U.S. presidential politics. A recent post discusses the possibility of a tie vote in the Electoral College. If the votes on November 6 should come out according … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics | 5 Comments


Lots of digital cameras come with a default file-naming scheme of IMG_nnnn, where nnnn is a four-digit number assigned sequen­tially, starting with 0001. The four images above are photos I made with four different cameras over a span of more … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | 12 Comments

The abc game

Five years ago I wrote about a rumored proof of the abc conjecture, an idea from the 1980s that stands at the juncture between the additive and the multiplicative parts of number theory. Now there’s more abc news, and this … Continue reading

Posted in featured, mathematics | 10 Comments

Stop lights

For something like 80 years, a traffic light was an ordinary incandescent light bulb mounted behind a colored glass lens. Then, in 1999, LED signal lights began appearing at street corners; the light bulb was replaced by an array of … Continue reading

Posted in technology | 7 Comments

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