Wednesday, July 31, 2019

UCLA's New Undergraduate Major in "Data Theory"

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

"Callin' Oates"

You can call the phone number in this picture to get your Hall & Oates fix (in an emergency, of course). Oh, wow!

P.S. I called the number. This is wrong on many levels, but fantastic on many others!

(Tip of the cap to Angela Wilkerson Fitch.)

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Wikipedia Page: List of Obsolete Units of Measurement

There is a Wikipedia page that gives a list of obselete units of measurement.

(Tip of the cap to John Dudley.)

Tales from the ArXiv: Everybody Loves Coupled Oscillators (and the Michigan Rag)

If this were my study and I were giving a talk about it, Michigan J. Frog would surely make an appearance.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Illustration of a Queuing System

I am amused. :)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Physics of Paper Springs!

There is a new paper in Physical Review E about the physics of paper springs (i.e., springs that one constructs by folding paper). I used to do that as a kid, and I think it's really cool that there is now a scientific article about it!

"Who is the Most Important Character in Frozen? What Networks Can Tell Us about the World"

Petter Holme, Hiroki Sayama, and I decided to take on the challenge of writing a mathematics paper for Frontiers for Young Minds, a scientific journal for young readers. Only a handful of mathematics papers have been published among their many hundreds of articles. We decided to give an introduction to networks through the movie Frozen and calculation of centralities. Our paper came out today, and here are some details. You can take a look at our paper either at their website or in .pdf form.

Title: Who is the Most Important Character in Frozen? What Networks Can Tell Us about the World

Authors: Petter Holme, Mason A. Porter, and Hiroki Sayama

Abstract: How do we determine the important characters in a movie like Frozen? We can watch it, of course, but there are also other ways—using mathematics and computers—to see who is important in the social network of a story. The idea is to compute numbers called centralities, which are ways of measuring who is important in social networks. In this paper, we talk about how different types of centralities measure importance in different ways. We also discuss how people use centralities to study many kinds of networks, not just social ones. Scientists are now developing centrality measures that also consider changes over time and different types of relationships.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

What Happens in Oxford Stays in Oxford (2019 Edition)

I just got to Oxford this afternoon. Naturally, I already someone I knew on the bus from the airport, and I saw someone else I knew very shortly upon arrival.

I am only staying 6 days this time, although originally I had planned to stay longer. The experience getting to Dresden was harrowing, and I decided to blow up my summer plans and return home much earlier. (A roughly 6.5-week trip is now a roughly 1.5-week one, though I will technically still be using the last week of it—but with an extra round-trip flight from Los Angeles.)

Monday, July 08, 2019

What Happens in Dresden Stays in Dresden (2019 Edition)

I am here in Dresden for our workshop on granular and particulate networks.

This is the first stop on my (now significantly shortened) 2019 European summer tour.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Drosophila Karaoke

My students do so many awesome things!

My former doctoral student Birgit Br├╝ggemeier, who got her doctoral degree as part of my group, has a very cool art project called "Drosophila Karaoke Bar" (which, I suppose, is the modern version of of her old Drosophila Disco).

In the installation, visitors can interact with flies by speaking into a microphone. Their speech is then electronically remixed with fruit fly song and played back to flies who visitors watch on a screen. Very cool!

Right now, it is being exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in Vilnius. Later this year, it will be exhibited at Ars Electronica in Linz, which is one of the world's largest media-art events.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Counting Bots with a Math Dracula

(Tip of the cap to Kate Owens.)

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

RIP Mitchell Feigenbaum (1944–2019)

Mathematical physicist Mitchell Feigenbaum, known for his work on the period-doubling route to chaos in the logistic map and other nonlinear phenomena, died over the weekend.

Here is his wikipedia page.

Update (7/18/19): Today, The New York Times published an obituary of Feigenbaum. The first picture in it is fantastic!

Update (7/23/19): Here is a very nice blog entry by Stephen Wolfram about Feigenbaum, his constant, and other bits of Feigenbaum's history.)