“Beauty” as a Search Heuristic?

Through my colleague, Prof. Andrew Ranicki, I came upon this interesting interview with another distinguished colleague, Sir Michael Atiyah: https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160303-michael-atiyahs-mathematical-dreams/. The interview contains interesting reflection upon many things including the notion of beauty in mathematics. Indeed, Atiyah has co-authored a paper based on a very interesting neuroscience study on neural correlates of beauty: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00068. The key […]

Continue reading


Angluin’s ‘proof techniques’

I came across this while looking for some other information today. It is a humbling list in that escaping all these traps all of the time really does require discipline (I interpret ‘proof’ not just as mathematical reasoning but any scientific argument, including experimental work): http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~riesbeck/proofs.html Advertisements

Continue reading


What does Polymath tell us about problem solving?

Gowers and Nielsen have written a nice opinion piece (Nature 461, 879-881, 15 October 2009) on The Polymath Project, an open-source and collaborative attempt at solving an unsolved math problem – to find a new proof of a result in ergodic theory called the density Hales-Jewett theorem using only ‘elementary’ building blocks. The protocol for […]

Continue reading


Thermoeconomics

Thermoeconomics, also referred to as biophysical economics, is a school of heterodox economics that applies the laws of thermodynamics to economic theory.[1] The term “thermoeconomics” was coined in 1962 by American engineer Myron Tribus,[2][3][4]Thermoeconomics can be thought of as the statistical physics of economic value. Thermoeconomics is based on the proposition that the role of […]

Continue reading


Artificial Intelligence

Course Highlights This course includes interactive demonstrations which are intended to stimulate interest and to help students gain intuition about how artificial intelligence methods work under a variety of circumstances. Course Description This course introduces students to the basic knowledge representation, problem solving, and learning methods of artificial intelligence. Upon completion of 6.034, students should […]

Continue reading


kryptos

In 1988, as a new headquarters for the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was being built in Langley, Virgina, sculptor Jim Sanborn was commissioned to create artwork for the courtyard of the new building. In 1999, a computer scientist named Jim Gillogly announced that he had solved most of the puzzle. There were four distinct […]

Continue reading


rongorongo

The Bishop questioned the Rapanui wise man, Ouroupano Hinapote, the son of the wise man Tekaki [who said that] he, himself, had begun the requisite studies and knew how to carve the characters with a small shark’s tooth. He said that there was nobody left on the island who knew how to read the characters […]

Continue reading