Monthly Archives: June 2011

Calling C++ from R

This post relates my experience with calling C++ from R by writing an R module from scratch and by the inline module.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Software development

Doubly periodic functions

Functions like sine and cosine are periodic. For example, sin(x + 2πn) = sin(x) for all x and any integer n, and so the period of sine is 2π. But what happens if you look at sine or cosine as

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Math

It takes more than a better mouse trap

Emerson was wrong. The world will not beat a path to your door just because you build a better mouse trap. No busy, overstressed, fire-putting-out, content-with-the-product-they-have-now person really wants to hear from you. Even when you do build a better

Tagged with:
Posted in Business

High-brow limericks

Philosophy Said Plato: “These things that we feel Are not ontologically real, But just the excresence Of numinous essence Our senses can never reveal.” via Futility Closet Calculus The integral z-squared dz From one to the cube root of 3

Posted in Uncategorized

Weekend miscellany

Average New York City sky color every five minutes Photography tips for idiots The biggest changes in C++ 2011 Why writing software is not like engineering First world problem rap

Posted in Uncategorized

Fifteen interviews

Seven Nine people I have interviewed: Rick Richter, CIO of Food for the Hungry Eric Floehr, owner of ForecastWatch Frederick Brooks, computer pioneer and author Robert Ghrist, applied topologist Cliff Pickover, mathematician and author Dan Bricklin, software developer and author

Tagged with:
Posted in Uncategorized

Square root interview question

Imagine some of the answers you might get to  “What is the square root of 101?” First, three answers that suggest an interviewee is not strong with math. What’s a square root? You gotta calculator? 101 doesn’t have a square

Tagged with:
Posted in Math

Platform lock-in

From Baron Schwartz speaking at the O’Reilly Media MySQL Conference: We talk about proprietary vendor lock-in, but in many cases the reality is that anyone who uses any platform, even an open source one, ends up being locked-in to some

Posted in Computing, Software development

How to fit an elephant

John von Neumann famously said With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk. By this he meant that one should not be impressed when a complex model fits a data

Tagged with:
Posted in Python, Statistics

Software under-represents reality

From Jaron Lanier: I love software, but software always under-represents reality. Reality has this depth to it and potential for surprise and subtlety that you just can’t get from software. Related posts: The bipolar Internet Underwhelmed with progress Make something

Tagged with:
Posted in Computing

An unexpected Father's Day card

As an undergraduate I was part of an honors program called Dean’s Scholars. I have a T-shirt from a Dean’s Scholars reunion several years ago that my wife doesn’t appreciate as much as I do. She thinks I shouldn’t wear

Posted in Uncategorized

A surprise with Emacs and Office 2007

I had a little surprise when I tried to open an Excel file from Emacs. I was using dired, a sort of file explorer inside Emacs. I expected one of two things to happen. Maybe Emacs would know to launch

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Weekend miscellany

Work The risk of working hard Why people want you to march to the beat of their drummer Software development The future of C++ Optimizing higher-level programming languages Math Mathematical background for computer science Course in pseudorandomness Bizarre A 16th

Posted in Uncategorized

Write the other way

This notebook made me think of the quote from William Carlos Williams: “If they give you lined paper, write the other way.”

Tagged with:
Posted in Creativity

Impure math

When Samuel Hansen said in his interview “You’re not a pure mathematician” I agreed without thinking, but later the statement bothered me a little. I know what he meant: considering the two categories of pure math and applied math, you’d

Tagged with:
Posted in Math, Statistics