Monday, December 31, 2018

Scales in the Universe

This website, which illustrates the scales — both large and small — of the universe is wonderful!

It reminds me of the 1977 video called Powers of Ten (of which there are also modern versions), except with new stuff that we now know!

(Tip of the cap to Sara Solla.)

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Pondering Social Contagions in the 19th Century

If only they knew about social contagions...

And here is the beginning of the thread.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Final Polishing Step Before Submitting a Manuscript or a Grant Proposal

Naturally. ;)

Friday, December 21, 2018

A Paper that Rejects Itself

What a conundrum! :P

(Tip of the cap to Karen Daniels.)

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Real-Life Binary Trees!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tales from the ArXiv: Motto: "Somebody has to Study this Shit!"

Motto: Somebody has to study this shit!

And I mean this literally: the title of the paper is "An Agent-Based Model for Bovine Viral Diarrhea".

Update: Normally, I hate it when papers are full of bullshit. However, I may need to make an exception in this case.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Self-Awareness and the Elephant in the Room

So, in other words, they first needed to see the elephant in the room? :)

(Tip of the cap to Steve Strogatz.)

Friday, December 14, 2018

But Are These Data Cookies Reproducible?

I think it's very important to check the reproducibility of these data.

(Tasty, tasty reproducibility.)

(Tip of the cap to Javier Buldú.)

Update: Now that I think of it, "Sweet, sweet reproducibility." would have been better phrasing, given its larger set of allusions.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

"Variability in Fermi–Pasta–Ulam–Tsingou Arrays Can Prevent Recurrences"

A paper of mine came out in final form today. Here are some details.

Title: "Variability in Fermi–Pasta–Ulam–Tsingou Arrays Can Prevent Recurrences"

Authors: Heather Nelson, Mason A. Porter, and Bhaskar Choubey

Abstract: In 1955, Fermi, Pasta, Ulam, and Tsingou reported recurrence over time of energy between modes in a one-dimensional array of nonlinear oscillators. Subsequently, there have been myriad numerical experiments using homogenous FPUT arrays in the form of chains of ideal, nonlinearly coupled oscillators. However, inherent variations (e.g., due to manufacturing tolerance) introduce heterogeneity into the parameters of any physical system. We demonstrate that such tolerances degrade the observance of recurrences, often leading to complete loss in moderately-sized arrays. We numerically simulate heterogeneous FPUT systems to investigate the effects of tolerances on dynamics. Our results illustrate that tolerances in real nonlinear oscillator arrays may limit the applicability of results from numerical experiments on them to physical systems, unless appropriate heterogeneities are taken into account.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Lee Smith and Harold Baines Elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee

Lee Smith and Harold Baines were elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame today by "Today's Game Era Committee", an incarnation of the Veterans Committee.

These are not good picks, especially the one of Harold Baines. They belong more in the Hall of Very Good, rather than in the Hall of Fame. They had very good careers and compiled large numbers in various stats, but in my opinion they don't belong in the Hall of Fame. One of the things to think about when considering whether a player raises or lowers the standards of the Hall at their position. In my view, Lee Smith is a borderline case and I would put him just below the border, but he was the all-time saves leader for a while (and, in general, I can see the arguments in his favor), and he got many Hall of Fame votes for years. Thus, I only view this as a mildly bad pick. I understand it, but I wouldn't put him in the Hall. Part of the issue with Lee Smith has always been the overrating of saves, and I am not surprised that he got in through the Today's Game Era Committee, given the many votes he got from writers over the years in the regular voting. So I can mostly understand his case. But Harold Baines? He was a very good player, but he really lowers the bar at his position. He never got a sniff from the writers, nor did he deserve it.

I'm looking forward to the regular ballot, which will get us Mariano Rivera (who may break the record for highest voting percentage), Edgar Martínez (finally!), Roy Halladay, and maybe (and hopefully!) Mike Mussina will make it. Those four all richly deserve enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

Maybe Lee Smith's election will help Billy Wagner's case?

Friday, December 07, 2018

"'C' is for Cookie": Academic Evaluation Edition

Comment: "'C' is for cookie. That's good enough for me!"

Comment 2: Apparently, some of my what we did in mathematics in Somerville was an even better idea than I thought. ;)

(Tip of the cap to Jacquelyn Gill.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Does Particle Man Hate Tariff Man?

Does Particle Man hate Tariff Man? And what about Triangle Man?

Jewelry and Differential Equations

I'm sure that many jewel thieves started on the road to crime after failed attempts to solve a differential equation.

Tales from the ArXiv: Laundering Anti-Money

This new paper has the following title: "Scalable Graph Learning for Anti-Money Laundering: A First Look"

Wow! I wonder what happens when laundered anti-money collides with laundered money?