Monthly Archives: May 2009

Golden ratio and special angles

The golden ratio comes up in unexpected places. This post will show how the sines and cosines of some special angles can be expressed in terms of the golden ratio and its complement.

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Posted in Math

Would you rather have a chauffeur or a Ferrari?

Dan Bricklin commented in a recent interview on how the expectations of computers from science fiction have not panned out. The point is not that computers are more or less powerful than expected, but that we have wanted to put

Posted in Computing, PowerShell

Programs, not just projects

My frustration with personal productivity systems like GTD is that they’re all about projects and tasks. They leave out a third category: programs. GTD thinks of a project as something that can be broken into a manageable number of tasks

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Posted in Business, Science, Software development

Connecting Fibonacci and geometric sequences

Here’s a quick demonstration of a connection between the Fibonacci sequence and geometric sequences. The famous Fibonacci sequence starts out 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 … The first two terms are both 1, then each subsequent terms is

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Posted in Math

R package for robust priors

Jairo Fuquene has released an R package on CRAN to accompany our paper A Case for Robust Bayesian priors with Applications to Binary Clinical Trials Jairo A. Fuquene P., John D. Cook, Luis Raul Pericchi

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Posted in Clinical trials, Statistics

All languages equally complex

This post compares complexity in spoken languages and programming languages. There is a theory in linguistics that all human languages are equally complex. Languages may distribute their complexity in different ways, but the total complexity is roughly the same across

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Posted in Software development

PowerShell eBook update

I just posted a new version of PowerShell Day 1 that corrects a couple typos.

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Posted in PowerShell

Plain Python

Perl is cool, much more so than Python. But I prefer writing Python. Perl is fun to read about. It has an endless stream of features to discover. Python by comparison is kinda dull. But the aspects of a language

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Posted in Python, Software development

High productivity, low productivity

Greg Wilson pointed out an article on productivity by Jason Cohen that makes a lot of sense. Here’s a story that Jason tells to set up his point. You get in your car at home and head out towards your

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Posted in Creativity

Management mythology

The Management Myth is a wonderfully cynical perspective on management theory from former management consult Matthew Stewart.

Posted in Business

Highlights from Reproducible Ideas

Here are some of my favorite posts from the Reproducible Ideas blog. Three reasons to distrust microarray results Provenance in art and science Forensic bioinformatics (continued) Preserving (the memory of) documents Programming is understanding Musical chairs and reproducibility drills Taking

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Posted in Science, Software development

Blogging about reproducible research

I’m in the process of folding into the new site. I will be giving the .org domain name to the folks now running the .net site. (See the announcement for a little more information.) As part of this

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Posted in Science

Cinco de Mayo and the world’s largest cake

Today is Cinco de Mayo, the holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo is unusual in that it is a Mexican holiday more popular in

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Posted in Uncategorized

A surprising theorem in complex variables

Here’s a strange theorem I ran across last week. I’ll state the theorem then give some footnotes. Suppose f(z) and g(z) are two functions meromorphic in the plane. Suppose also that there are five distinct numbers a1, …, a5 such

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Posted in Math

Rules for computing happiness

Some time ago I ran across a blog post Al3x’s rules for computing happiness by Alex Payne. I agree with the spirit of the list, though I disagree at least to some extent with most of the points. It seems

Posted in Computing