Category Archives: Uncategorized

Science and religion

One of the things I've been thinking about lately is my response to the question: how can I believe in both science and religion? I don't feel that the two are in as deep a conflict as some people obviously do, but I do see that there could be misunderstandings on both sides. Approaching the

Mr. Romney's image problem.

Does Mitt Romney have an image problem? Yes. Is it rooted in envy? Not so much. I'm writing this as a believing Latter-day Saint. I also voted for Obama 4 years ago, and intend to vote for him again in November, so maybe you want to take this with a grain of salt. But here

Choosing a language

One of my former students (hi Dave!) is now in graduate school, and taking a class on scientific computing. He posted on facebook about learning Fortran, and that his professor recommends Fortran for scientific applications. That got me thinking about my history with programming languages, and on the choice of language. Here are a few

Stepping back

Okay, I need to take a step or two back. I realized this while I was slogging through the details of \Lambda poisedness that, thinking the way I do, I need to stop periodically and refresh my view of the big picture. Otherwise, I'm going to get lost. So, here's a refresh of the big

Notation, spanning sets, and gradients

I tried to post this last night, but for some reason the blog was unreachable. Perhaps I need to switch hosting providers. Anyway, on to the good stuff. One of the reasons I struggle with reading math books is their use of notation. I should say that a different way. Based on my training, I'm

Derivative Free Optimization

The book I want to start with is on derivative free optimization[1]. My plan is to do about a chapter a day, though since this text has some denser mathematics than some of the others I'll be looking at, I might slow that down a little bit. We'll see. As is the case with most

Renewed Efforts

So. It's been about six months since I have done anything at all on this blog. Since I have recently been able to add the habit of writing daily (thanks !) to my list of accomplishments, I thought I would amplify that by blogging daily. About a year ago, I bought a bunch of

Making with atoms, part I

I have a Lumenlabs micro CNC machine which was purchased by my brother for some prototyping work. It turned out that I was more able to tinker with it than he was, and so I ended up taking it off his hands. I have the thing in working order, and while it didn't take quite

Quiver plots in octave

As part of the Electricity and Magnetism course I'm teaching this semester, I assigned my students the task of making some vector field (quiver) plots. I told them they could use either Maxima or Octave, but that it is much easier to do in Octave. That's the subject of this post. The Process The general

Tool for viewing sleep data

The fine folks at Zeo invited me to participate in a polyphasic sleep experiment, and of course I was thrilled to do it. I've put together a little tool in python for parsing the output from their hardware. First, the pretty pictures: I'm nearly satisfied with the results (though I don't understand where the doubling