Archive for May, 2007

Woburn Won!


I am back in Waterloo with good news to report. Both of the Woburn PEG teams won first place in this year’s American Computer Science League finals. This happened once before, in 2002, when the finals took place in Montréal. Although I was never in first place when I actually was on the team (1998-2000), […]

MIT Humour


Somehow I ran across a funny response to an overbearing MIT recruitment letter. This reminded me of a recent mini-scandal in which MIT’s Dean of Admission, Marilee Jones, resigned because of falsified information in her 1979 job application. This also reminded me of an April fool’s joke this year where I thought my friend Kevin […]



I’m in Houston right now and am posting a couple of pictures from the Houston Space Centreer. One is of me as an astronaut. The second one is a picture of a toy they have in the gift shop that reminded me of my earlier “roundahedra” post… the toy is made out of 5 interlocked […]

Cheating Taxes


I saw a talk today with (for once!) some useful advice. It was by Bala Ravikumar and he discussed Benford’s law, which says that in “real life” the first digit of numbers tend to be small. (Benford’s law basically says that the distribution of miscellaneous data is uniform on a logarithmic scale. On a logarithmic […]

I recently read an interview of Shigeru Miyamoto, the director/designer of Super Mario Bros., Zelda, and many other Nintendo games. The thing that struck me about it was its similarlity to interviews I have read of mathematicians/computer scientists… here is the snippet. NP: What’s your favorite part of the creative process? SM: Well it’s always […]

Old & Green


Hey, I turned 25 today, how sweet is that! Finally I can rent a car without surcharges. Can’t wait for the senior slam at Denny’s! I got to do some fun stuff over the weekend. I went to the “Global Marijuana March” in Toronto; the left picture was the lineup for funnel cakes. My cousin […]

I’m grouping together these two short theorems because they deal with languages. Formal Languages Q: What is special about the following list of primes (in base 10)? 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 19, 41, 61, 89, 409, 449, 499, 881, 991, 6469, 6949, 9001, 9049, 9649, 9949, 60649, 666649, 946669, 60000049, 66000049, 66600049. A: Given […]