## Search found 30 matches

- Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:42 am UTC
- Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
- Topic: 1002: "Game AIs"
- Replies:
**251** - Views:
**110530**

### Re: 1002: "Game AIs"

Cathy mentioned that backgammon was omitted from the strip. The best AIs beat the professionals fairly reliably. Not necessarily in every single game, since the dice do introduce an element of chance, but over the course of a decently long match. This was accomplished by Shannon and improved upon by...

- Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:56 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: How to learn Mathematics ?
- Replies:
**6** - Views:
**961**

### Re: How to learn Mathematics ?

[I]t might be best to learn as you go. Start writing some games or simple graphics, and learn what your limits are and what are you lacking. It is a lot easier to patch your mathematics after that. I agree with this comment of achan1058. Let me offer my humble opinion based on a bachelor's in math ...

- Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:22 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Need your help with ideas on proofs.
- Replies:
**23** - Views:
**3171**

### Re: Need your help with ideas on proofs.

There is a lot more math that high schoolers are capable of understanding than they are usually exposed to. I'm not sure what sorts of math most high schoolers encounter these days. My high school did not offer calculus. On the other hand, they did offer a second year geometry course, which was quit...

- Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:04 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Derive vs. Differentiate
- Replies:
**18** - Views:
**10032**

### Re: Derive vs. Differentiate

Would it be off topic to mention a pet peeve of mine that this thread reminds me of? People who say "high rate of speed", a phrase brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department. People say this when they really mean "high speed". For speed is a rate (miles per hour, d...

- Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:51 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Where to publish
- Replies:
**10** - Views:
**1470**

### Re: Where to publish

Does it involve Fibonacci numbers? If so, there is the Fibonacci Quarterly (if it is still being published).

- Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:14 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Learning Hexadecimal
- Replies:
**5** - Views:
**1689**

### Re: Learning Hexadecimal

That's all you need to know to convert hexadecimal to base 10 and vice versa. But if you want to do arithmetic in hexadecimal, you need to learn the multiplication and addition tables. (Note: nobody does this.) Base 10 has 36 nontrivial entries in its times table, and hexadecimal has 105, almost th...

- Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:55 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Why can't I do real math? How do I fix it?
- Replies:
**61** - Views:
**7730**

### Re: Why can't I do real math? How do I fix it?

Here are my rambling thoughts to feed to this thread. I had never heard of "math machismo" before, though now that you mention it I'm sure it exists. That said, I don't think mathematicians go out of their way to make their papers impenetrable. It is not the sort of thing that enhances one...

- Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:26 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Subsets vs Proper Subsets
- Replies:
**16** - Views:
**3651**

### Re: Subsets vs Proper Subsets

Reminds me of an old riddle.

I have two US coins whose values sum to thirty cents. One of them is not a nickel. What are the two coins?

I have two US coins whose values sum to thirty cents. One of them is not a nickel. What are the two coins?

**Spoiler:**

- Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:33 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: How much topology is there in graph theory?
- Replies:
**11** - Views:
**2135**

### Re: How much topology is there in graph theory?

Like some of the posters above said, graph theory is a huge area of research, enough so that the one can spend a career within a particular approach. As mentioned, you can work in topological graph theory, algebraic graph theory, combinatorial graph theory, etc. Some might consider computational gra...

- Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:06 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Re: Mathematics
- Replies:
**3** - Views:
**918**

### Re: Mathematics

Short of biting the dust, there is no evidence that the capacity to learn and create mathematics diminishes with age, as a general rule.

- Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:16 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Why squircle and not circuare?
- Replies:
**5** - Views:
**1346**

- Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:15 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Function simplification explanation?
- Replies:
**5** - Views:
**985**

### Re: Function simplification explanation?

See if you can factor the numerator and denominator of your original function.

- Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:10 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Proving a Function is Continuous
- Replies:
**4** - Views:
**1982**

### Re: Proving a Function is Continuous

I was trying to prove that a certain function was continuous over the interval (-infinity, infinity) the other day. I was able to show that f(x) existed at all points, but got stuck trying to show that the limit as x approaches c exists at all points. Can anyone give me a hint? Does it involve the ...

- Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:16 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Math undergrad
- Replies:
**10** - Views:
**2064**

### Re: Math undergrad

Hmmmm .... reminds me of one of my professors ... Steve Mitchell. He completed high school, but did not complete any undergraduate degree at all. I don't know whether he started work on a bachelor's degree then quit, or whether he simply did not even start undergraduate work. In any case, he says he...

- Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:03 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Naughty Functions
- Replies:
**59** - Views:
**6273**

### Re: Naughty Functions

How about generating functions? Which, I suppose, are not functions in the usual sense. Or perhaps it's better to say is that the functions themselves may not be weird, it's how they are used that seems weird when you first encounter them. The best reference on these, for beginners anyway, is Herb W...

- Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:43 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Very simple limit question
- Replies:
**20** - Views:
**2492**

### Re: Very simple limit question

I'm curious what your textbook, if any, says about it. Keeping in mind, of course, that you cannot always trust the textbook in such courses. I have taught linear algebra from a horrible textbook that our department has standardized as its required text. At one point in the text, the authors state t...

- Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:29 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Question about Infinity
- Replies:
**72** - Views:
**5407**

### Re: Question about Infinity

[ There seems to be some confusion with the two meanings of the word "dense". Definition 1 : Suppose X is a topological space, and A is a subset of X . Then A is dense in X if the closure of A is X . Definition 2 : Suppose Y is a linearly ordered set. Then Y is dense (as a linear order). ...

- Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:16 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Very simple limit question
- Replies:
**20** - Views:
**2492**

### Re: Very simple limit question

Limits at a point require that an open ball (in the underlying space) about the point satisfy the epsilon/delta statement. When we have to restrict to the to the subspace topology (domain of f /subset R ) in order to find an open ball [0,a) about the point 0 we in fact are finding a "one-sided...

- Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:51 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Math undergrad
- Replies:
**10** - Views:
**2064**

### Re: Math undergrad

I think all the other posters have valid points and good advice, I would not contradict them. I'll throw in a few more thoughts, in no particular order. If I catch your drift, you are seriously leaning towards (if not already decided on) attending grad school, and you want to know how to best prepar...

- Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:55 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Mathematics and Beauty
- Replies:
**42** - Views:
**5639**

### Re: Mathematics and Beauty

Shadowfish wrote:I'm a fan of the proof that the reals are uncountable.

There are several such proofs. Which do you like best?

Cantor's "diagonal" argument is perhaps the most celebrated, but it's not my favorite. De gustibus non est disputandum.

- Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:17 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Graduate school!
- Replies:
**10** - Views:
**2006**

### Re: Graduate school!

I agree with gorcee and others. There is no single ranking that captures everything you would want to know about a school. The phD.org site is a nice tool for beginning your explorations and it illustrates a variety of parameters that might be of interest to a grad student. A worthy essay regarding ...

- Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:41 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Graduate school!
- Replies:
**10** - Views:
**2006**

### Re: Graduate school!

As Buttons said, a score of 75 is plenty good for many schools, even very good schools. However, UC Berkeley is not one of them. When I spoke to the graduate program director there in 2004, and asked him what he would first tell me about the program, the very first thing he told me is how much they ...

- Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:23 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Counting choice functions
- Replies:
**3** - Views:
**1073**

### Re: Counting choice functions

I would need more detail to fully understand what you are looking for. Could you give a small example?

- Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:19 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: How to: Graph Theory in Latex?
- Replies:
**8** - Views:
**5441**

### Re: How to: Graph Theory in Latex?

I use XY-pic fairly often. It is very nice for a lot of diagramming, and for simpler graphs. And it is not that hard to get started using it. Like any powerful package, it can get complicated when you are trying to complicated things, but the basics are pretty easy. It might not be the best choice f...

- Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:25 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Find the 6th number
- Replies:
**60** - Views:
**9426**

### Re: Find the 6th number

Where do you think mathematicians get ideas about which theorems to try to prove? Do they pick something completely random from theoryspace? No, of course not. They see a pattern somewhere and think "hey, what if this is really a pattern" (well, that's one way). Figuring out which elegant...

- Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:32 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Algebra and Non-Real Sets
- Replies:
**8** - Views:
**1612**

### Re: Algebra and Non-Real Sets

Topology does indeed generalize the notion of continuity, and can be considered as the study of continuity. But I don't think that alone is enough for most of us to think of it as "calculus". A part of what would be needed for one approach to calculus, certainly, but not the whole enchilad...

- Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:55 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Recommend me something interesting to study
- Replies:
**3** - Views:
**1048**

### Re: Recommend me something interesting to study

I seem to gravitate towards the theoretical subjects. Computations generally either bore me or annoy me, though I did enjoy coming up with the combinatoric equations. So based on that, can you recommend me something (preferably with a good book to go with it)? "Theoretical" covers a lot o...

- Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:21 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: How do these punks do it?
- Replies:
**62** - Views:
**7602**

### Re: How do these punks do it?

There must be a thousand texts on linear algebra, and even among the non-crappy ones there is a wide variety, some of which will appeal to you more than others all depending on your particular tastes. Of the ones that I have personal knowledge of, I really like Serge Lang's "Linear Algebra"...

- Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:19 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Math Research
- Replies:
**12** - Views:
**2273**

### Re: Math Research

My own field is algebraic combinatorics, where some of the hot topics are symmetric functions, Macdonald polynomials (both symetric and non-symmetric) and their cousins, Coxeter Systems and Kashdan-Lustig polynomials, etc. Combinatorics more broadly is a big area. I'm aware of a lot of activity in g...

- Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:52 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: What direction am I heading as an undergraduate?
- Replies:
**8** - Views:
**1450**

### Re: What direction am I heading as an undergraduate?

Egotistical? Pretentious? Perhaps. I don't really know you. But I see no reason to assume so. I'm in agreement with Harg. The lower division math classes, especially what I think of as the "commodity courses", whose main consumers are engineers and scientists, will tend emphasize computati...