Category Archives: Mathematics and Computing

Black Hat, White Hat

Meanwhile, over in computer science…several days ago WannaCry almost brought the world to its knees until an anonymous tech blogger, MalwareTech, brought it to a screeching halt by activating a hiding-in-plain-sight kill-switch. MalwareTech blogged about the wild 12 hour epic … Continue reading

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A Thrice-a-Day Complex Analysis Infusion

Sometimes I like to sit back and take in math via pictures only. The newest addition to my math picture blog stable is kettenreihen.wordpress.com where three times a day, a beautiful picture appears. These are graphs of complex-valued functions based … Continue reading

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More Graph Isomorphism Drama

That plucky graph isomorphism problem is at it again! In November 2015, University of Chicago computer scientist Laszlo Babai announced an algorithm to determine whether two graphs are isomorphic in quasipolynomial time, and there was much rejoicing. (My co-blogger Anna … Continue reading

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Opening The Cryptographic Backdoor

Unless you’ve been living off the grid somewhere in an igloo build out of old discarded iPhones, you’ve probably heard about the recent standoff between Apple and the US government. The short story, is that the US Government has demanded … Continue reading

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Meanwhile Over In Computer Science

An algorithm has just been proposed for solving the graph isomorphism problem in quasipolynomial time, dealing a serious blow to hard problems all over the world. But let me first explain what all of those words mean. Graphs, you’ll recall, … Continue reading

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Who Is The Anti-vax Movement? Data Science Explains.

It was all theoretical until Jenny McCarthy gave Sidney Crosby the mumps. Then it got real. Ok, I know that’s a sensationalist — not to mention flagrantly untrue — thing to say, but it’s how I suddenly felt a few … Continue reading

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e is for Ebola

A recent NPR blog features a few quotes emphasizing a math word that is lamentably absent from many readers’ vocabularies: “It’s spreading and growing exponentially,” President Obama said Tuesday. “This is a disease outbreak that is advancing in an exponential … Continue reading

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Regression, Twitter, and #Ferguson

Like many people, I have been following news about the events in Ferguson, Missouri with shock and sorrow for almost two weeks. I have been following these events as a human, not as a mathematician. But there’s a mathematical side … Continue reading

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Alias, Schmalias

While the great line from Romeo and Juliet: “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” rings true, would a digital rose smell as sweet?  We often think of the digital world as a mere “renaming” of the … Continue reading

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Visualize Your Algorithms

As a college student in the ‘90’s with a penchant for “visual learning” I was never drawn to computer science. My one computer science class focused mostly on syntax and basic logic. Had shuffling and sorting been presented as eye-catching … Continue reading

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