I’m going to try collecting additions to my Interesting Esoterica collection in let’s-say-weekly posts. I’ll link to each item, maybe paste its abstract, and write a sentence or two about it. Let’s see if it catches on. I’m not sure if I’ll have the will to do this regularly. I’m in a bit of a getting-things-done mood today.
As this is the first one, and I’ve added loads of stuff in January, for this first post I’m using everything I’ve added since the New Year. Future posts shouldn’t be anywhere near as long.
I should explain what the Interesting Esoterica collection is about.
Click here to continue reading Interesting Esoterica Summation on cp’s mathem-o-blog
Recently, someone left my office at Newcastle University and a new person took their place, so we needed a new sign on our front door. I wanted to do something clever with it, but it needed to be instantly legible to lost supervisors trying to find their students.
My first thought was that since there are seven of us, something to do with the Fano plane would look good. Our names didn’t have enough of the right letters in the right places for it to work, though.
That got me thinking about the Levenshtein distance. The Levenshtein distance between two strings is a measure of how many changes you need to make to one to end up with the other.
Click here to continue reading The sign on my office door on cp’s mathem-o-blog
Amazingly, December’s MathsJam had a non-trivial attendance of six whole people. And not just any people! Puzzling heavyweight David Cushing had yet more Renaissance-era riddles to test us all, and the other regulars were in similarly bamboozling form.
I balanced things out by failing to prepare anything or bringing anything to take notes on and subsequently forgetting most of what the others talked about. So this isn’t going to be a very accurate record of what happened, unless I get some reminders in the comments.
I’m going to start with a rather lengthy deconstruction of a puzzle Matthew Taylor posed:
A “lights out” puzzle
Matthew posted this puzzle on twitter a couple of days before the MathsJam night.
Click here to continue reading Newcastle MathsJam December 2011 Recap on cp’s mathem-o-blog