Saturday, April 29, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
I had never heard of Lego Grad Student before, but this brilliantly fills a gap in the online world. I'll include one of LGS's tweets in this blog entry.
Running into a paywall for yet another article, the grad student is pummeled anew by the academic-industrial complex. pic.twitter.com/QnvFhjszPk— Lego Grad Student (@legogradstudent) April 18, 2017
Title: Persistent Homology of Time-Dependent Functional Networks Constructed from Coupled Time Series
Authors: Bernadette J. Stolz, Heather A. Harrington, and Mason A. Porter
Abstract: We use topological data analysis to study "functional networks" that we construct from time-series data from both experimental and synthetic sources. We use persistent homology with a weight rank clique filtration to gain insights into these functional networks, and we use persistence landscapes to interpret our results. Our first example uses time-series output from networks of coupled Kuramoto oscillators. Our second example consists of biological data in the form of functional magnetic resonance imaging data that were acquired from human subjects during a simple motor-learning task in which subjects were monitored for three days during a five-day period. With these examples, we demonstrate that (1) using persistent homology to study functional networks provides fascinating insights into their properties and (2) the position of the features in a filtration can sometimes play a more vital role than persistence in the interpretation of topological features, even though conventionally the latter is used to distinguish between signal and noise. We find that persistent homology can detect differences in synchronization patterns in our data sets over time, giving insight both on changes in community structure in the networks and on increased synchronization between brain regions that form loops in a functional network during motor learning. For the motor-learning data, persistence landscapes also reveal that on average the majority of changes in the network loops take place on the second of the three days of the learning process.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
(More seriously, I really like this visualization.)
Here is the blurb on the Facebook post that goes with the Physics Today article (though I added the hyperlink): The ocellated lizard develops an intricate, ever-changing pattern of black and green spots when it matures. Now researchers have determined that the patterns on the animals' backs update according to a well-defined algorithm: Over a period of a month or so, a given scale will change color—from green to black or black to green—with a probability that depends on the colors of the scales around it. In essence, the reptile is the embodiment of a cellular automaton, a type of discretized model made popular by John Conway’s Game of Life and used to simulate the spread of wildfires, the firing of neurons, and other phenomena.
Physics Today's article is about a recent article in Nature called "A living mesoscopic cellular automaton made of skin scales".
Monday, April 24, 2017
As one of my friends pointed out on Facebook, I should perhaps be careful about using the terms "quick trip" and "Berkeley" in the same sentence. :)
Sunday, April 23, 2017
We gave away tons of AMS Mathematical Moments, in particular. We brought English, Spanish, and Korean versions of the Mathematical Moments. We also gave away a bunch of SIAM's Math Matters, Apply It!. We also had copies of our networks literacy handbook in each of the 19 languages in which it is available, and we brought copies of our networks outreach materials for school students and talked to a lot of teachers about it. We mostly discussed the outreach efforts themselves, but we also brought copies of the teaching materials with us.
I wonder how much mathematics ending up photobombing the pictures from the LA March?
Also, several people came and took pictures of a differential equation that I wrote down on a flip chart to explain to someone the difference between linear and nonlinear equations.
At different times, our booth also had a comedian and a Fields Medalist show up.
I was really exhausted after the event. An almost-8-hour teaching marathon in the heat is very tiring. (Having a tent and some shade was very helpful, though. Paying for a booth was a very good idea.)
An amusing incident: Yesterday morning, the first person who came to our booth asked us about buying our tangerine juice. Math, damnit! Not tangerine juice. That's for us!
Another amusing incident: One person I know recognized my handwriting on our flip chart before he saw me at our booth.
And some pictures of the action at our booth: one, another one, setting up, and setting up (and a view of one of our neighboring booths)
Update (4/25/17): And here are some pictures from the LA March from Los Angeles Magazine.
(Tip of the cap to Craig Montuori.)
Saturday, April 22, 2017
I'll try to post some more links later. I have been seeing fantastic signs on the March for Science Facebook page for the past several weeks (and I saw some great signs in LA today).
(Tip of the cap to Maria Satterwhite.)
P.S. Some Thomas Dolby got played at the LA March, of course. :) This was the first song blasted as the gathering started on their march after a series of short speeches. Allusions to Thomas Dolby also showed up yesterday on signs, of course.
Update (4/23/17): Here are some more signs. (Tip of the cap to Peter Mucha.)
Update (4/23/17): Naturally, and as expected, people nerded out quite a bit yesterday (just like we people do in venues like Dragon*Con). In some ways, it was also like Coachella for scientists and friends. You can see some more signs in this Motherboard article and this Vox article. (The so-called "Laplace equation" in one of the pictures actually shows a Laplace transform.) Spock, Data, Beaker, and other scientifically-themed fictional characters were also very well represented.
Update (4/23/17): According to this Washington post article, the March for Science was unprecedented. (Tip of the cap to Karen Daniels.)
Update (4/23/17): Here are some signs from the New York march. I am partial to the Oregon Trail one, of course. (I have seen variants of it posted on the Facebook page for March for Science.)
Update (4/25/17): Here are some pictures from the LA March.
Update (4/26/17): Linda Hall Library is developing a digital archive of the March for Science. Very cool! (Tip of the cap to Laci Gerhart-Barley.)
Friday, April 21, 2017
We'll be drawing from materials here (and hence here) and will also have booklets on essential concepts and core ideas about networks.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Graph Alignment is a major open problem in mathematics and computer science. pic.twitter.com/Q8EJDSYLge— Mason Porter (@masonporter) April 20, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
In case you don't remember and don't want to follow a chain of links on Wikipedia, go to this page.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Sunday, April 16, 2017
A must for every library: eighteenth-century rotating table allowing readers to view multiple volumes at once. pic.twitter.com/p18X8LRpPo— NSCM (@LitteraCarolina) April 14, 2017
(Tip of the cap to Gabrielle Birkman.)
Saturday, April 15, 2017
The article includes a reprint of a cartoon from The New Yorker that reminds me of this song. (The song is relevant to the whole article, actually.)
(Tip of the cap to Ben Rogers.)
Friday, April 14, 2017
This is the first time in Major League Baseball history that a team started an outfield where all three outfielders have the same last name. Nice! (The Alous were in an outfield together, but they didn't all start a game together.)
My favorite starting outfield, however, is when the Cincinnati Reds started an outfield of Young, Frank, and Stynes. (It consisted of Dmitri Young in left field, Mike Frank in center field, and Chris Stynes in right field.)
Also see this recent blog entry.
(Tip of the cap to Sam Scarpino.O
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
I gave up on shoelaces very early in life (important life hack!). Of course, I never could tie the damn things in the first place, and I still can't.
The authors of this research may well have Ig Nobel prizes in their future (perhaps awarded jointly in physics and in fashion).
Quoting Steve from this article: "So many of the things that we do in math education—and maybe more generally in education—are giving students answers to questions that they would never think of asking. By definition, that's what it is to be boring."
Conversely, this also speaks to why so many students find networks exciting from the start. They're already asking many of these questions! They just need the words and concepts to make the questions more precise to be able to answer them in a better way.
Saturday, April 08, 2017
(I got this from a post on the Dragon*Con Facebook page.)
Friday, April 07, 2017
At first, I accidentally, introduced the typo "rouge", but I managed to change the tweet before anybody could reply with "What's a rouge wave?" Naturally, this inspired the title of this post.
Rogue Wave Hunters: Wind-generated waves in ring-shaped water tanks can spontaneously yield behemoth waves: https://t.co/4QSaR0MsSl— DynamicalSystemsSIAM (@DynamicsSIAM) April 7, 2017
I have an important question, though: What does "The Ride of the Valkyries" look like?
(Tip of the cap to Chris Gong.)
Thursday, April 06, 2017
(And, apropos, I received an e-mail called "What is Reality?", from a group of people working on a crazy idea, while I was reading this article.)
P.S. David Stevenson is a great classroom lecturer. I had him for half of AMa 95 at Caltech.
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Monday, April 03, 2017
I wasn't aware of the historical path. I can't wait to see what results from some of the grades I give! Also, never underestimate the power of being bloody-minded...
(Tip of the cap to Nicholas Christakis and others.)
Sunday, April 02, 2017
Saturday, April 01, 2017
Rock 'n' Roll Physics Sing-Along. Thanks to Walter Smith for contacting me about doing this after he found my blog entry with my lyrics. Take a look at his physics-song webpage.