Blog Archives

Giving away classic probability book

I was culling out books, mostly obsolete technical books, and I remembered that I have an extra copy of Feller’s classic probability text. It’s volume 1, second edition. If you’re a student and would like the book, please send me

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Hum-drum fairy tales

The subtitle of That Hideous Strength is “A Modern Fairy-Tale for Grown-Ups.” C. S. Lewis explains in the preface why the book begins with mundane scenes even though he calls it a fairy tale. If you ask why—intending to write

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A strange mixture of luxury and squalor

The second chapter of Out of the Silent Planet opens by describing a room as “a strange mixture of luxury and squalor.” It gives examples such as the room as having fine armchairs but no carpets or curtains, strewn with

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Book review: Practical Data Analysis

Many people have drawn Venn diagrams to locate machine learning and related ideas in the intellectual landscape. Drew Conway’s diagram may have been the first. It has at least been frequently referenced. By this classification, Hector Cuesta’s new book Practical

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Posted in Software development, Statistics

NYT Book of Physics and Astronomy

I’ve enjoyed reading The New York Times Book of Physics and Astronomy, a collection of 129 articles written between 1888 and 2012. Its been much more interesting than its mathematical predecessor. I’m not objective — I have more to learn

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Hilbert space methods for PDE

When I was in grad school, my advisor asked me to study his out-of-print book, Hilbert Space Methods in Partial Differential Equations. I believe I had a photocopy of a photocopy; I don’t recall ever seeing the original book. I

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Posted in Math

The Drug Book

There’s a new book out in the series that began with The Math Book. The latest in the series is The Drug Book: From Arsenic to Xanax, 250 Milestones in the History of Drugs. Like all the books in the

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21st Century C

I ran across a copy of 21st Century C this afternoon. I hadn’t heard of the book, but the title was intriguing.  I wrote more C in the 20th century than the 21st, so my ideas regarding C (sans ++)

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Bottom-up exposition

I wish more authors followed this philosophy: The approach I have taken here is to try to move always from the particular to the general, following through the steps of the abstraction process until the abstract concept emerges naturally. …

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Posted in Math

SymPy book

There’s a new book on SymPy, a Python library for symbolic math. The book is Instant SymPy Starter by Ronan Lamy. As far as I know, this is the only book just on SymPy. It’s only about 50 pages, which

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Posted in Python

History of weather prediction

I’ve just started reading Invisible in the Storm: The Role of Mathematics in Understanding Weather. The subtitle may be a little misleading. There is a fair amount of math in the book, but the ratio of history to math is

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Posted in Math, Science

Three new Python books

This post reviews three Python books that have come out recently: SciPy and NumPy from O’Reilly Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming from No Starch Press NumPy Cookbook from Packt SciPy and NumPy by Eli Bressert is the

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PowerShell for Developers

PowerShell was written first and foremost for Windows system administrators, and the benefits to this community are clear. It’s not as clear what developers should make of PowerShell. Administrators can learn PowerShell as a shell first, and gradually transition from

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Tolkien podcast

If you’re a Tolkien fan, check out Corey Olsen’s web site The Tolkien Professor and his podcast by the same name. Thanks to Dave Kale for telling me about it.

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Late to the party

Learn You a Haskell for Great Good is a hard book to judge by its cover. It’s about the Haskell programming language, but what is it like? The title and the art work are playful, and that gives the impression

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