Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ocellated Turkey

Wow, the ocellated turkey is really pretty!

(Tip of the cap to IFLS.)

What Happens at Santa Fe Institute Stays at Santa Fe Institute

So far, my flight is delayed 2 hours and 25 minutes (and counting), but hopefully I will end up in Santa Fe by the end of the day. I am going to a workshop at Santa Fe Institute (SFI) on Dynamics of and On Networks.

This is my first visit to SFI --- it's certainly taken long enough --- and also my first visit to New Mexico.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Emotional-Support Pig

Make sure, when you are on a flight, that your emotional-support pig doesn't become disruptive. Yes, really.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Snarky One-Line Descriptions of Countries

Some of these one-liners are pretty damn funny (and some of them are also pretty damn true). I would put the one that describes my country in both categories, by the way. Also, some countries that are seemingly easy targets were (surprisingly) spared from the snark.

(Tip of the cap to Taha Yasseri.)

Advice for Young Scholars

Thanks to Aaron Clauset for anonymizing --- and otherwise editing for public consumption --- the notes from the first of our four panel discussions of advice for young scholars (both within and outside of academia).

The panels were held at the kick-off meeting of the Mathematics Research Community on "Network Science" from almost half a year ago. We framed things with a focus on mathematics, computer science, and networks, but you'll see that most of these things apply much more broadly than that. Please spread this widely, pass along to your research groups and colleagues, etc.

Part 1: the faculty market

Part 2: balancing work and life

Part 3: doing interdisciplinary work

Part 4: grants and fundraising

Finally, here is a a copy of the notes for all four panels.

Note (11/27/14): I will add the links to parts 2–4 once Aaron posts them.

Update (12/03/14): Parts 2–4 are now posted.

"Pragmatism is Not Welcome in This Classroom!"

I think the comic strip itself is meh, but I wanted to include my source for the following quote: Pragmatism is not welcome in this classroom!

I am so stealing that phrase.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Animals Who Look Like Celebrities

Sometimes, animals look like celebrities. (Some of these pictures are awesome.)

(Tip of the cap to George Takei.)

Men's Urinals and Antiferromagnetic Equilibria

In the men's room, there is an understanding: you space as far apart from each other as possible at urinals. Not doing so, or when some gaps must be filled, leads to frustration --- not just in real life but also in the sense of spin models from statistical physics.

The stable equilibrium in this case is most definitely the antiferromagnetic one.

(Also, you are not supposed to talk. Ever.)

Update: Aaron Clauset reminds me of the related discussion and mathematical formulation in xkcd.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Top Song Requests: Funereal Edition

What? Funeral homes won't play "Another One Bites the Dust" at funerals on account of bad taste? (Here is a discussion of the top requested songs along with a few that funeral homes refuse to play.)


I would refuse to be buried in a place that doesn't allow me to have that song.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What Happens at Arizona State University Stays at Arizona State University

I am at the airport, waiting for my flight to Phoenix for my visit to Arizona State University. I have seen a draft of my schedule. They're going to work me hard, and it's going to be fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Consequence of Calculating Annular Areas in Calculus

Well, or at least the consequence of making successful scientists feel bitter about it, as told by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Multilayer Network Gelatin Cakes

My student Flora Meng made some multilayer network gelatin cakes.

Her efforts were part of the recently mathematical bake-off that was held by the Mathematical Institute at University of Oxford. (I am sure I will have more pictures to post soon enough.) I've included a picture of one of Flora's desserts in the post, and you can click on the link for two other pictures that will allow you to see the rest of Flora's handiwork.

Friday, November 14, 2014

"Cookies" Comes After "Ten"

The spam-protection question below is ambiguous. (It turned out that they were assuming that I should enter an integer.)

"Female Promiscuity Prevents Infanticide, Leads to Bigger Balls"

This vignette about a new paper in Science (see the intriguing article title in the title of my blog entry) is really interesting. It's basically an escalation of war in the proverbial battle of the sexes.

"Mad Sociology"

I love today's SMBC!

Its caption: "I'm sorry, but mad sociology is not a real mad science."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2014 Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards

The 2014 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards were a clean sweep for Los Angeles and Orange County: Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers was named the National League MVP, and Mike Trout of the Angels won the American League MVP in a unanimous vote (thereby becoming the youngest ever unanimous MVP). Trout should also have won the AL MVP Award in 2012 and 2013 (and he also had even better seasons in those years than in 2014), and Kershaw became the first pitcher to win the NL MVP since Bob Gibson in 1968 and the first pitcher to win an MVP since Justin Verlander in 2011. I neglected to mention this in yesterday's posts about the Cy Young Awards, but apparently Kershaw is the first pitcher ever to post the lower ERA in the Major Leagues in 4 consecutive Major League. Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet.

The full ballots for MVP will shortly be listed on this page. As I write this, the full rankings for the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year awards are on the page. (These rankings include the total number of votes and the number of first-place votes, but they don't precisely tabulate the total number of votes for places other than first.)

What Happens in the Research Triangle Stays in the Research Triangle (2014 Edition)

I have now made it to North Carolina. I am visiting two thirds of the vertices in the proverbial Research Triangle: first UNC Chapel Hill and then NCSU. I'll give a couple of seminars (on two very different topics) and will do some work with some of the usual collaborators.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2014 Major League Baseball Cy Young Awards

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers (yay!) has won the 2014 National League Cy Young Award --- I know: it's shocking! :) --- and is only the 9th pitcher in Major League history with three or more Cy Young Awards! It is also no surprise that he won unanimously. Kershaw, who, by the way, is the best pitcher on the planet, is also only 26 years old. This is Kershaw's third Cy Young Award in the last four years. (He finished second in the other year.) Hopefully, Kershaw will be awarded the National League Most Valuable Player Award tomorrow.

The American League Cy Young Award had a much less obvious outcome, and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians is the winner. He finished just ahead of Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners.

I plan to post the complete voting results later.

Update (11/13/14): You can find the rankings for the Cy Young Awards on this page. (These rankings include the total number of votes and the number of first-place votes, but they don't precisely tabulate the total number of votes for places other than first.)

No Radioactive or Stable Isotopes Allowed!

Apparently, neither radioactive nor stable elements (nor any "materials of any kind that have been used with isotopes") are allowed in Jennings Hall at Ohio State University. I took a picture as proof.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2014 Major League Baseball Managers of the Year

Matt Williams of the Washington Nationals was named the National League Manager of the Year, and Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles was named the American League Manager of the Year.

Update (11/13/14): You can find the rankings for the Manager of the Year Awards on this page. (These rankings include the total number of votes and the number of first-place votes, but they don't precisely tabulate the total number of votes for places other than first.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Labeling Fails and Other Classic Job Fails

This compilation includes some rather classic failures. (The fact that only a few of them are present per page and one has to click the 'next' button many times is annoying, so I could nail the website designer for giving us a decidedly modern form of failing.)

(Tip of the cap to George Takei.)

The Art of Proofreading

Sometimes, authors, referees, and editors really need to do a better job of proofreading text. D'oh!

2014 Major League Baseball Rookies of the Year

No surprises here: Jose Abreu won the American League Rookie of the Year unanimously, and Jacob DeGrom was named the National League Rookie of the Year.

This article lists the number of votes received by other rookies in the two leagues, but it doesn't (yet) show it cleanly as a table, and I am not sure if it conveys all votes earned by all players.

Update (11/13/14): You can find the rankings for the Rookie of the Year Awards on this page. (These rankings include the total number of votes and the number of first-place votes, but they don't precisely tabulate the total number of votes for places other than first.)

Sunday, November 09, 2014

What Happens in Columbus Stays in Columbus (Take N)

I am heading over to Columbus, Ohio for the Nth time. (That is the only city in Ohio that I have ever visited, and I have been there several times because of the math department and the Mathematical Biosciences Institute.) I am up way too early because my flight is not a direct one, and I'll be taking one short leg of the triangle and then the hypotenuse. I'll be visiting Marty Golubitsky at The Ohio State University to discuss things like networks and bifurcations. It should be fun!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Visualizations of Street Networks

These visualizations of street networks are gorgeous. The coloring is based on orientation.

(Tip of the cap to Dave Relyea.)

University of Oxford's Dates of Reckoning

Yup, you got that right: University of Oxford's calendar is described in terms of "Dates of Reckoning".

I hope I survive! Or, to quote a certain movie: "You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting. In what world could you possibly beat me?"

Here is a convenient Wikipedia entry.

On a more serious note, I am looking up our calendar because I am trying to estimate the date of the exam for my networks module. I have been invited to give a plenary talk in Singapore, and I am trying to figure out how easily I can manage to accept the invitation. (It's really frustrating that our teaching structure requires me to do this and not just accept immediately, though this is too good an opportunity to pass up --- so I'll just need to be available by phone at an odd hour if it becomes necessary.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

2014 Gold Gloves

The 2014 Major League Baseball Gold Glove awards for fielding excellence were announced today.

The finalists for Baseball's major awards were also announced today. Hopefully Clayton Kershaw will get both the National League Cy Young award and its Most Valuable Player award.

Monday, November 03, 2014

This Article Made Me Itch

IFLS has published a fascinating article about a new paper in the journal Neuron concerning why scratching an itch gives temporary relief but then makes the itch worse. I wish, though, that they had used the phrase "itching question" instead of "burning question". :) Reading this article made me itch more, by the way.

Play Classic Arcade Games in Your Web Browser

OK, this is seriously sweet: now we can play classic arcade games in Web browsers. More than a decade ago, I downloaded a MAME emulator for my Mac and scoured the Web for a bunch ROMs to try to find lots of my old favorites (and some other games that I wanted to try or retry). Now all I need to do is get some proper controllers, and I'll play some of these games again. The main reason I didn't play these games that much after I initially downloaded them is that the proper experience requires the proper controllers. (Also, downloading things from those websites involved a lot of whack-a-mole and presumably downloading additional things that one really didn't want.) I should go and get one. :)

2014 'Dance Your Ph.D.' Contest Winners

The biology finalist was the overall winner of the 2014 Dance Your Ph.D. Contest. I didn't finish watching it because it wasn't amusing me (although it did look very sophisticated.)

I like the winner in chemistry. (It's pretty amusing.) I haven't tried watching the others.

One of these years, my group needs to submit an entry to this contest...

(Tip of the cap to the Improbable Research blog.)

My Blog Entry for Oxford University Press about "Multilayer Networks"

Here is a blog entry that I wrote for Oxford University Press to accompany a review article on multilayer networks by my collaborators and me.

There are also tutorial slides (from a 3-hour tutorial I gave at NetSci 2014) to help guide people through the review article.

Manlio De Domenico, Alex Arenas, and I also have developed software for analysis and visualization of multilayer networks. (There is also an article about our software.)

And if you want to learn more about multilayer networks, we're holding a workshop in July 2015 at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany.

(As a brief correction, "interaction oscillators" in the article should read "interacting oscillators". I didn't catch that typo until reading the published version of my blog entry a few minutes ago.)

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Wikipedia Page for "Crackpot Index"

I was inspired by a recent e-mail sent to me (and, apparently, many other Oxford academics) to look up the Wikipedia page for Crackpot Index. Under its "See also" section is a link to the Wikipedia page for List of amateur mathematicians. That's not nice!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Peacocks and Philosophers

I really love SMBC's comparison of peacocks and philosophers in the context of doing something that is not evolutionarily advantageous.