Saturday, July 30, 2016

Religion and Backwards Compatibility

Yup, backwards compatibility is definitely an issue. (Make sure to read the scroll-over text as well.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Alas, Poor 'E.G.'! I Knew it, 'I.E.'

In the interest of accessibility, UK government websites are now going to remove Latin abbreviations such as 'e.g.', 'i.e.', and 'etc.' from its websites. Good!

Alas, poor 'e.g.'! I knew it, 'i.e.': a construction of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: it hath
borne me on its back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!

Oh, wait: et tu, 'i.e.'?

(And now that I am looking this up, is a double colon like the above really legal? That seems extremely odd to me; and it also makes me want to construct a sentence with infinitely nested colons.)

Politics: Sesame Street Monster Edition

Yup, this is pretty much how it works. (Though, to be fair, this picture suggests a higher intellectual level than in the real thing.)

(Tip of the cap to Maria Satterwhite.)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Minimizing Windows to See a Desktop.

A sign that I am very tired: I didn't remember if my hotel room has a phone on the desk with my computer and I wanted to check if I can reach over and use that when the expected call comes, so in order to check to see what's behind my field of view (my laptop screen), I tried minimizing my browser window.

Augmented reality for the win? I did see one of my desktops as a result...

Britain's First Fast-Walking Lane Opens in Liverpool

Great Britain's first fast-walking lane has opened in Liverpool. I approve! (And I would totally take advantage of this.)

(Tip of the cap to Guillermo Valle Pérez.)

Long Live the Matlab Billiard Simulator!

A couple of undergrads, Caitlin Keady and Sam King (who were in an REU and worked with my fellow former Georgia Tech postdoc Mark Demers for a summer project at Fairfield University), decided to update our old billiard simulator to be compatible with the 2016a release of Matlab. (I used it successfully on the 2016b release of Matlab.) They also added both new examples and new types of plots. You can download their version from the Matlab file exchange website.

Some people have still been using this software even though it's been 12 years since our original release—my former undergrad Steven Lansel did this in one of the first undergrad projects I supervised, and in 2006 on Kris Kazlowski updated the software—and even though things had gotten to the point that they were required to use a several-year-old version of Matlab. But now the billiard simulator is up-to-date again!

We certainly didn't think that people would still be using our software so many years later.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Art of Music

I'm talking about Chladni patterns, of course.

Friday, July 22, 2016

A New Hypothesis About the Physics of Knuckleballs

A new paper in New Journal of Physics proposes a new hypothesis about the physics of knuckleballs.

(Tip of the cap to Science News.)

"The Long Memory of Order Flow in the Foreign Exchange Spot Market"

One of my papers just came out in final form. Here are the details.

Title: The Long Memory of Order Flow in the Foreign Exchange Spot Market

Authors: Martin D. Gould, Mason A. Porter, and Sam D. Howison

Abstract: We study the long memory of order flow for each of three liquid currency pairs on a large electronic trading platform in the foreign exchange (FX) spot market. Due to the extremely high levels of market activity on the platform, and in contrast to existing empirical studies of other markets, our data enables us to perform statistically stable estimation without needing to aggregate data from different trading days. We find strong evidence of long memory, with a Hurst exponent $H \approx 0.7$, for each of the three currency pairs and on each trading day in our sample. We repeat our calculations using data that spans different trading days, and we find no significant differences in our results. We test and reject the hypothesis that the apparent long memory of order flow is an artifact caused by structural breaks, in favor of the alternative hypothesis of true long memory. We therefore conclude that the long memory of order flow in the FX spot market is a robust empirical property that persists across daily boundaries.

Subtitles: When You Run Out of Ideas

As you can see from the picture (of one of the books in Somerville College's Senior Common Room), some people have clearly run out of ideas when it comes to book subtitles.

Maybe I should write a book called "Networks: Those Objects with Vertices and Edges"? There does appear to be some evidence that using colons in titles increases citation counts.

Summary of the Last Nine Years

Here is an executive summary of the last (almost) nine years: "American mathematician goes to Oxford. Hilarity ensues."

I moved to Oxford on 1 October 2007. I'll be moving away for my UCLA job on 21 September.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Happens in Westwood Stays in Westwood

I am off to visit LA for a few days to help set things up a bit at UCLA and to hunt for apartments (as opposed to Pokémon) in Westwood.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mario Kart Go

I am looking forward to Mario Kart Go. Come get some!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Postdoctoral Fellowship

This publication looks potentially useful for many people.

(Tip of the cap to Jacob Scott.)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What Happens in The Other Place Stays in The Other Place (Again)

I am once again taking a trip to The Other Place, this time for a networks workshop at the Isaac Newton Institute.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Spectacular and Prescient Cartoon from 1906

The cartoon in this article is both spectacular and prescient.

(Tip of the cap to University of Oxford.)

Friday, July 08, 2016

A Very Long Mathematics Proof

The printout of a new mathematics proof has so many symbols that it would take a very long time --- 10 billion years is the estimate given in the article to which I link --- that read all of the characters.

However, it's still not as long as version 1.0 of my Ph.D. thesis. :)

(OK, that's a private joke, but some people will get it.)

(Hat tip to Mathematical_A.)

Somerville Mathematics Undergraduate Brigitte Stenhouse Wins Dissertation Prize!

Somerville mathematics undergraduate student Brigitte Stenhouse (who just graduated this year) won a Gibbs dissertation prize for her thesis on Mary Somerville! This is a best-thesis prize for Oxford's 4th-year mathematics and statistics (and sometimes computer science) students.

Today Somerville College posted a press release about Brigitte's prize along with a short interview of Brigitte, who plans to get a Ph.D. in the history of mathematics but is first working for a year in Somerville's development office. Here is my favorite quote of Brigitte's from the interview: It made me question why we value the mathematics we do, why we learn the mathematics we do in school and university, and why it is all named after Cauchy.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

A Hungry Random Walker

And now we have a hungry random walker model for chemotaxis, with some motivation from the game Pac-Man. Recall that I recently posted an entry about microorganism Pac-Man.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The Random Walker then Heads Towards the Hills

Here is a sign that you know you're tired: You are looking at a description of a random-walk model, and it looks like the text says "the walker then heads towards the hills". (It actually says "tills" rather than hills, as we're modeling shopper trajectories.)

But this gave me a wonderful mental picture of an exhausted random walker leaving a network in disgust and heading off towards the hills. My picture also has a sunset in it.