## Search found 145 matches

- Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:24 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Godel and Geometry
- Replies:
**12** - Views:
**1773**

### Re: Godel and Geometry

First of all, geometry does contain arithmetic. For instance, you add two numbers by concatenating line segments of the appropriate length. Second, as I understand it, Goedel's work applies to all sufficiently complicated axiomatic systems, so Geometry would indeed be incomplete.

- Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:21 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Deal or no deal?
- Replies:
**7** - Views:
**1454**

### Re: Deal or no deal?

I'm not sure if I agree with that analysis. He seems to be assuming that you either take the deal, or you take what's in your suitcase. If that were true, then you would want to compare the expected value of your suitcase with the offer, just like he says. The problem is that those aren't actually y...

- Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:42 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Probability
- Replies:
**8** - Views:
**1378**

### Re: Probability

Mmm, that's what I did when I calculated the examples, because my computer can't handle 13 million choose 1 million =). I actually think a more interesting problem would be to figure out how many people she's likely to bump into if you assume some sort of diffusion process for the population of Mumb...

- Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:22 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Probability
- Replies:
**8** - Views:
**1378**

### Re: Probability

The issue is that you haven't really defined the event all that well. Do you mean the odds that, on a trip to India, this woman will meet any person she has talked to on the phone? Or do you mean on a trip to a foreign country? Or would you still want to count it if she met someone that her friend k...

- Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:14 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Some kind of wacky flowchart showing concepts that build up
- Replies:
**3** - Views:
**1194**

### Re: Some kind of wacky flowchart showing concepts that build up

I agree that this is in some sense disingenuous, since most fields are related to most other fields. There also isn't really any strict order you need to learn these things in. Well, there are many subsets of math that have to be learned in a strict order. For instance, you should take some calculus...

- Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:22 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Probability
- Replies:
**8** - Views:
**1378**

### Re: Probability

That's crazy! 7 is way too high. Remember, there are a lot of people in India. It's more like 4. In all seriousness, the short answer is no. The long answer is in this thread: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=25717 . Basically, you didn't give nearly enough information.

- Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:31 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Precalculus
- Replies:
**7** - Views:
**1608**

### Re: Precalculus

Analytic geometry is usually geometry using a coordinate frame. That means you'd be working with triangles and circles and suchlike, but you'd be given points in the plane for corners or the center or something. I think if you're familiar with trig and the distance formula, it shouldn't be that hard...

- Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:28 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Base 12
- Replies:
**12** - Views:
**4752**

### Re: Base 12

@qbg: Yeah, that sounds right. It figures that e is once again hogging the spotlight. =)

- Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:20 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Base 12
- Replies:
**12** - Views:
**4752**

### Re: Base 12

I recall reading somewhere that base 3 is, in some sense, the most efficient way to display numbers. If you displayed them on a series of wheels with each digit (like an odometer or an old alarm clock) and measured the radius of each wheel and the number of wheels, base 3 was the most compact. I don...

- Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:36 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Actuarial Science
- Replies:
**11** - Views:
**3699**

### Re: Actuarial Science

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actuary#Traditional_employment In a nutshell, actuaries calculate insurance prices. I'm sure someone else can give you more details. I really don't know that much about it, but I thought I'd post the link so that I had at least a slim chance of being a little bit helpfu...

- Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:42 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: I'm done being afraid of calculus
- Replies:
**41** - Views:
**6005**

### Re: I'm done being afraid of calculus

I'm probably being too nitpicky, but doing the same thing isn't quite enough for two functions to be the same thing, they also have to do it to the same set of things. That isn't particularly intelligible, but what I mean is that if f(a)=a+1 and g(b)=b+1 , but f only applies to a 's ...

- Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:48 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Differential Equation
- Replies:
**14** - Views:
**1845**

### Re: Differential Equation

Yeah, as written in the OP, that's what would happen, but he changed the diff. eq in his last post so that F''>0 when F<0 and F''<0 when F>0.

- Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:41 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Differential Equation
- Replies:
**14** - Views:
**1845**

### Re: Differential Equation

That function definitely goes to 0. I think what happens around 0 is that, for a given initial position, there is only a solution for a finite time, but in that time the particle hurtles towards the planet infinitely quickly, never quite reaching it. If there is a closed form solution, I would guess...

- Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:32 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Differential Equation
- Replies:
**14** - Views:
**1845**

### Re: Differential Equation

Are you sure you got the right equations? This will never oscillate, and the planet doesn't even attract the particle if S>0. F'' is always positive (or negative if you meant G<0, but it doesn't matter, just substitute left for right and < for > in the rest of the post), so the acceleration is G/(F^...

- Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:36 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Infinite Dimensional Hypersphere
- Replies:
**26** - Views:
**3035**

### Re: Infinite Dimensional Hypersphere

Ah, good point.

- Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:01 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Infinite Dimensional Hypersphere
- Replies:
**26** - Views:
**3035**

### Re: Infinite Dimensional Hypersphere

That's what I thought you meant, but I see no reason why that expression should converge. I'm pretty sure you need to use a different metric.

- Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:29 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Infinite Dimensional Hypersphere
- Replies:
**26** - Views:
**3035**

### Re: Infinite Dimensional Hypersphere

Maybe I'm being dense, but what do you mean by "the traditional euclidean way"? This is an infinite dimensional space, so do you mean the metric that defines the product topology? The uniform topology?

- Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:30 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Assigning Personality to Numbers
- Replies:
**51** - Views:
**6255**

### Re: Assigning Personality to Numbers

I always had a thing for powers of two. When I count stuff I always do it in descending powers, like 1-16, then 1-8, then 1-4 would be 28. The numbers that took the fewest powers were nicer, so 16 or 8 or 12 or 24. I also dislike numbers right before powers of 2, so 3 and 7 are straight out. They ar...

- Sun May 18, 2008 6:12 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: Advice for math tutoring
- Replies:
**23** - Views:
**3060**

### Re: Advice for math tutoring

Always ask them if they understand what you just went over, but don't stop there. The problem is that a lot of people think they'll sound stupid if they still don't get it after your explanation. I tutor five high school students on a regular basis, and after a whole semester four of them still say ...

- Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:45 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: seemingly easy integral problem..
- Replies:
**7** - Views:
**1529**

### Re: seemingly easy integral problem..

Wow, I'm a moron. Like I said, I was really tired at the time. I wonder what I did. I guess the lesson is that while you may be able to trust matlab, you certainly can't trust me.

- Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:30 pm UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: seemingly easy integral problem..
- Replies:
**7** - Views:
**1529**

### Re: seemingly easy integral problem..

According to matlab it's 0. Yesila, I think you got a minus sign mixed up somewhere, because it should work out to -2sqrt(2)+2sqrt(2). I'm way too tired to go through it by hand and find the mistake, but matlab seems trustworthy.

- Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:14 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: I should not be having such difficulty with this thing...
- Replies:
**6** - Views:
**1590**

### Re: I should not be having such difficulty with this thing...

Yeah, you definitely need to reconsider the idea that that's a circle. Also, you might want to square it once or twice before doing the differentiation and such like. (I don't know if that's actually easier, but it didn't seem too bad.) After that it mostly just takes some exciting algebra. Edit: Ok...

- Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:45 am UTC
- Forum: Mathematics
- Topic: How far does high school math go?
- Replies:
**39** - Views:
**5888**

### Re: How far does high school math go?

I think I went to a pretty exceptional high school in the US (Maine, to be specific), but I took algebra, geometry, trigonometry, multivariate calculus, ODEs and linear algebra. They also offered abstract algebra, and some sort of real analysis course on a rotating basis (as in one of the two every ...

- Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:06 pm UTC
- Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
- Topic: 0224: "LISP"
- Replies:
**74** - Views:
**32063**

- Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:37 am UTC
- Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
- Topic: 0171: "String Theory"
- Replies:
**89** - Views:
**39243**

If you read Brian Greene's books (particularly The Elegant Universe) carefully, you'll probably understand the subject as well as you can without actually studying theoretical physics. Without extensive study of the topic there is no reasonable way to decide to believe it. The problem is, you can't ...