Category Archives: Mathematics and Computing

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

Posted in Mathematics and Computing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Data Science, Mathematics and Computing, Number Theory | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Events, Mathematics and Computing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Biomath, Mathematics and Computing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Applied Math, Biomath, Math Education, Mathematics and Computing, people in math, Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Events, Mathematics and Computing, Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Applied Math, K-12 Mathematics, Math Education, Mathematics and Computing, Recreational Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Applied Math, Math Education, Mathematics and Computing, Mathematics and the Arts | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Human Side of Computer Science

Dick Lipton is a computer science professor at Georgia Tech who thinks P=NP, and Ken Regan is a computer science professor at the University of Buffalo who thinks P≠NP. Together, they are “Pip,” a Dick-Kens character. Today I want to … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics and Computing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Mathemagical Thinking

So maybe you’ve seen the Flash Mind Reader.  If not, go ahead and try it!  I wouldn’t dream of depriving you (especially as this is year’s MAM theme is mathematics, magic, and mystery awareness).  What you are asked to do … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics and Computing, Mathematics and the Arts, people in math, Recreational Mathematics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments