Category Archives: computing

A taxing algorithm

My first encounter with the term algorithm did not come from Don Knuth. I learned it from the Internal Revenue Service. Sometime in the late 1960s or early 70s the IRS introduced a redesigned Form 1040 based on a principle … Continue reading

Posted in computing, modern life | 12 Comments

A quasirandom talk

I’ll be giving a talk at Harvard this Friday, February 6: “Orderly Randomness: Quasirandom Numbers and Quasi–Monte Carlo.” If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by. Lunch at 12:30; quasirandomness at 1:00 pm. Update 2015-02-08: Slides online. And video.

Posted in computing, mathematics | 1 Comment

600613

Pick a number, N, then try searching for it on the web via Bing or Google (or maybe the leet version of Google). What can you expect to learn? I wasn’t quite sure of the answer, so I ran some … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics | 20 Comments

Four Fifths = A Fifth

Browsing in the library stacks the other day, I came upon this passage in a 1970 paper discussing the uses of computers in mathematics: Notice anything fishy about that equation? On the right side of the equal sign we have … Continue reading

Posted in computing, mathematics | 8 Comments

Sunshine In = Earthshine Out

No computer simulations have ever had broader consequences for human life than the current generation of climate models. The models tell us that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases can trigger abrupt shifts in the planet’s … Continue reading

Posted in computing, featured, physics | 3 Comments