Wednesday, July 19, 2017

'National Nobody Cares Day'

April 11th is `National Nobody Cares Day'. Yes, this really exists.

(The things I learn when listening to a baseball game... The context, unsurprisingly, is all of the rather specific days there are — several of them each day — and most of them seem rather pointless. For example, tomorrow is National Lollypop Day.)

Wow! The Dodgers are Insane!

We're leading 9–1 today in the 6th inning, so presumably we will win.

That will make 11 wins in a row and a 31–4 record in our last 35 games!

Entering today, with our record of 65–29, we were more games above .500 than we have been any day since the last day of the 1974 season (so before I was born), when we won 102 games.


Also, based on current records (or perhaps All-Star break records?), 30 out of our first 36 games after the break are slated to be against teams that are under .500.

"The Tonight Show" Starring Edward Teller?

Wow. Here are some pictures of Edward Teller as a television-show host.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Wow! These turkey tail 'shrooms are beautiful!

(Tip of the cap to GrrlScientist.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Not "Atomic Blondie"

I saw a billboard for the movie Atomic Blonde from my apartment building, and I was really excited that there was going to be a biopic about the band Blondie. So I looked up the IMDB entry, and the movie is in fact rather different.

This, by the way, was a very natural mistake to make. I hope that the song "Atomic" is in the film, at least.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bansky's Tweet about Modern-Day Education

The cartoon below illustrates the point very effectively.

Just about* every time that I got into trouble at school was an instance of rebelling against this (which was already the case when I was in elementary school and high school).

* Most other instances involved a radio and a baseball game.

(Tip of the cap to Nalini Joshi.)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

RIP Maryam Mirzakhani (1977–2017)

Another person has been taken from us way too soon, and this one is particularly sad. Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, the only woman to ever win the Fields Medal (though I look forward to changing that description to "the first" rather than "the only"), has died of cancer at age 40.

Here is the BBC's obituary.

(Tip of the cap to Nalini Joshi.)

Update: The Stanford obituary was written nicely. (Tip of the cap to Leslie Sheppard.)

Update: Here is Terry Tao's tribute.

Update (7/18/17): Here is the AMS's brief obituary, which includes links to some other tributes as well as prior articles.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Do the Laws of Australia Supercede the Laws of Mathematics

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull apparently thinks so. To quote him, "Well the laws of Australia prevail in Australia, I can assure you of that. The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia."

Good luck with that one.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Uncountably Many Espresso Combinations

The new SMBC is about both mathematics and coffee, so it's right up my alley.

I'm pretty sure that one can also use a modification of the "diagonal argument" to prove that the set is uncountable. :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What Happens in Pittsburgh Remains in Pittsburgh

I am heading off to the 2017 SIAM Network Science Workshop, which I am co-organizing with Michelle Girvan. I'll also be making occasional cameos at the SIAM Annual Meeting. On Friday night, I'll go to the local baseball game to see the Pirates host the Cardinals.

Monday, July 10, 2017

What Happens in Nottingham Stays in Nottingham

I am off to Nottingham for today and part of tomorrow for a collaboration meeting about piecewise-smooth systems.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

7.5-Game Lead!

With today's Dodger victory, coupled with a loss by the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers have extended their lead in the National League West to 7.5 games. We are now 61–29, which is the best record in Baseball! (Yesterday we narrowly went ahead of the Astros.) If we play .500 baseball the rest of the year, we'll end up with 97 wins, which is the most that the Dodgers have had in the regular season since 1977. Very cool!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

"Mean-Field Approach to Evolving Spatial Networks, with an Application to Osteocyte Network Formation"

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

Title: Mean-Field Approach to Evolving Spatial Networks, with an Application to Osteocyte Network Formation

Authors: Jake P. Taylor-King, David Basanta, S. Jonathan Chapman, and Mason A. Porter

Abstract: We consider evolving networks in which each node can have various associated properties (a state) in addition to those that arise from network structure. For example, each node can have a spatial location and a velocity, or it can have some more abstract internal property that describes something like a social trait. Edges between nodes are created and destroyed, and new nodes enter the system.We introduce a "local state degree distribution" (LSDD) as the degree distribution at a particular point in state space. We then make a mean-field assumption and thereby derive an integro-partial differential equation that is satisfied by the LSDD. We perform numerical experiments and find good agreement between solutions of the integro-differential equation and the LSDD from stochastic simulations of the full model. To illustrate our theory, we apply it to a simple model for osteocyte network formation within bones, with a view to understanding changes that may take place during cancer. Our results suggest that increased rates of differentiation lead to higher densities of osteocytes, but with a smaller number of dendrites. To help provide biological context, we also include an introduction to osteocytes, the formation of osteocyte networks, and the role of osteocytes in bone metastasis.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Best. Erratum. Ever.

I love it! :)

Sunday, July 02, 2017

What Happens in Newcastle Stays in Newcastle

I just spent much of the weekend in Newcastle hanging out with old friends.

A Wikipedian Text Adventure

Someone wrote some software to turn Wikipedia into a text adventure in a really nice homage to Infocom. I approve!