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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 coblogger Anna … Continue reading
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 Apple, cryptography, iPhone
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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
Posted in Events, Mathematics and Computing
Tagged complexity theory, Gabriel Gaster, graph theory, Jeremy Kun, Laszlo Babai, Luca Trevisan, P vs NP, Scott Aaronson
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Who Is The Antivax 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 data science, data vizualization, math, math and health, Statistics
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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
Posted in Applied Math, Biomath, Math Education, Mathematics and Computing, people in math, Statistics
Tagged Amy Greer, Basic Reproduction Ratio, Caitlyn Rivers, computational epidemiology, David Hartley, Ebola, Effective Reproduction Ratio, Ellsworth Campbell, Exponential growth, IDEA, SIR model
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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
Posted in Events, Mathematics and Computing, Statistics
Tagged algorithms, big data, current events, data analysis, Emma Pierson, Facebook, ferguson, social media, twitter, Zeynep Tufekci
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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
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 eyecatching … Continue reading
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 DickKens character. Today I want to … Continue reading
Posted in Mathematics and Computing
Tagged computer science, Dick Lipton, Ken Regan, P=NP, quantum computing
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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