November 8, 2014 1 comment

ubpdqnIt has been a challenging time of late…the evanescence of life, I am a speck of dust floating aimlessly on a turbulent sea.   Using some code from the talented MSE users( @RahulNarain and @MichaelE2) I digitized my handwritten ambigram and with Mathematica produced the animated gif…

Categories: Mathematica

Introduction To Probability

October 24, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a wonderful textbook that complements Professor Blitzstein’s Harvard STAT10 course.


I was very much looking forward to this textbook. I was not disappointed. The book follows closely the course. The concepts are clearly explained and the use of story and the examples work very well. The concepts accumulate gradually but steadily to increasingly complex subjects.

The book affirms Professor Blitzstein’s aphorism: “conditioning is the soul of statistics” and helps to use this principle in tackling a broad and deep swathe of problems.


Categories: books, Mathematics

Beautiful Symmetry

October 11, 2014 Leave a comment

It has been a very difficult time of late. The sudden unexpected passing of the person who has had the most significant developmental influence on my life continues to cast a long shadow over my life (as it should). My thoughts and focus has been poor. I still learn a lot and derive a lot of satisfaction from Mathematica Stackexchange.

This post is to share a beautiful answer by user ybeltukov that converts the problem to a simpler spherical one and exploits the symmetry.  The answer is here (beautiful).


Categories: Uncategorized

The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen

October 11, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a readable book. I enjoyed it. It makes a valliant attempt to explain quantum theory. The click analogy is useful. However, I was less convinced by the style and approach than I thought I would. The authors are clear and deliberate and try to focus on concepts and use the minimum amount of Mathematics required to get their aim across.

Categories: books


September 5, 2014 Leave a comment


I have consistently enjoyed Philip Ball’s books. I particularly enjoy his rich writing style. I did find this book, however, difficult to engage with. The book does provide a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the mergence of scientific thinking and empirical science from the medieval period. It is largely focussed (therefore) on the 16 th and 17 th century. The cultural, religiious and individual personalities  interacting to reveal a more interesting and complex emergence of science from “Natural Magick” and curiosity (the theme of the book) is interesting and edifying.

The book’s length and detail did exceed my concentration. Perhaps, this reflects more about me and my time constraints, but it was less enjoyable than Ball’ other wonderful works.


Categories: books

Catastrophic Outbreak

August 18, 2014 Leave a comment

I am enjoying Steven Strogatz second edition of “Non-linear Dynamics and Chaos”.


This post is motivated by this. The following gif relates to the model for insect outbreak. It shows the critical point parameter surface.

The differential equation: \dot{x}=r x (1-\frac{x}{k})-\frac{x^2}{1+x^2}. Note the  fixed point x^*=0 is  unstable.

outbreakstrogatzNot as nice and smooth as I’d like but fun nonetheless.


Categories: Uncategorized

The Grapes of Math

August 3, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a very enjoyable read. The author has a very entertaining and engaging writing style. The book starts looks at psychological aspects of human relationship to numbers. Thereafter, we are taken on a journey through triangles, circles, conic sections,  complex numbers, calculus, cellular automata and proof and more.  Pi, e, and i are characters and the amazing appearance and connectedness is expressed. This is a very rich journey through history and exposition of the variety of applications some seemingly esoteric areas have found. I particularly enjoyed the sections on roulettes.

The book is not a technical explanation but invites the reader to play: whether it is origami to produce a parabola, rolling one coin over another, or looking for patterns in your cup to tea. However, the concepts are expressed clearly and convincingly.

The complex dynamic interaction between development of mathematics and its applications: motivations, personalities and serendipity in complex feedback loops , shows what a wonderfully human endeavour Mathematics is.



Categories: books, Mathematics

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