Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I've received a variety of junk messages ...

which is not ideal.

I recently found a message labeled as spam with "On nullstellensatz" as its subject. This isn't the only time a math term has turned up in this context–earlier today I was treated to "so mcclain go matroid"–but it is the most sophisticated language I've seen in the Pynchon-esque maelstrom of unsolicited commercial email.

If they really want to reach the algebraic geometry crowd, they should go beyond the relatively pedestrian terms nullstellensatz and matroid. Imagine eye-catching phrases such as "Resolve your too small singularity NOW!" or "Satisfy infinite polynomials with finite basis".

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm a bad geek

Unlike last year, I did absolutely nothing to celebrate π day this year. I can at least send out a post facto link to the (boing)2-ing of Stanford's L. E. O'Neal.

I still prefer my proposed finger-play. It's also the binary representation of 503 (i.e., 111110111), making it especially appropriate for PDX'ers.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Build character!

A few research institutions and news outlets, as well as some blogs have reported on what is generally being termed the "mapping" of E8. This is about as good a layman's description of this result as can be given, although for those who know a smattering of group theory, it would be better to say that the fruit of these labors is a table relating the conjugacy classes of E8 to each other. Seeing as there are 453,060 such classes, this requires "writing down" 205,263,363,600 numbers; these are enough to cover Manhattan, and they require 60 times more storage than the human genome, as the researchers and the reporters to whom they've spoken are fond of pointing out.

I can't help but notice the striking resemblance between some of the pictures from the atlas project and the output of one of my projects. Granted, you can't use it to generate E8 crystals, but then again, it's just running on a simple webserver.

And by the way, if you or anyone you know would like to take over the development of this software, please contact me. This was the start of something really good, but other concerns have taken center stage since then.