Monthly Archives: September 2006

Caltech Physicists Successfully Split the Bill

PASADENA, CA—Sequestered in a private booth at a Pasadena-area Cheesecake Factory for nearly 25 minutes, a party of eight California Institute of Technology physicists emerged exhausted but visibly excited Friday evening after successfully splitting the bill…

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How to Write Proofs

Larry Cusick, a professor of mathematics at Cal-State Fresno has written a good introduction on how to write proofs. There are lots of great examples. I wish I had found this before I took my introductory analysis classes.

The Colbert Report – Donut Mathematics


Elements of Abstract and Linear Algebra

If you have ever wanted to learn some higher mathematics, but don’t want to slog through the long tedious proofs associated with calculus and analysis, then you might like this gem of a book by Edwin H. Connell. He is an emeritus mathematics professor at the University of Miami, and has graciously made his book available for download on the web.

I am currently taking a course in abstract algebra and thus not well qualified to review the book yet, but I have read the first two chapters and find that it presents the material succinctly and quite readably. It is definitely at the undergraduate level and probably accessible to ambitious high-school students as well. I also agree wholeheartedly with the following comment which comes from his web site.

The present situation with college textbooks is a national disgrace. Textbooks are too big and too expensive.


Paper CD Cases Are All the Rage

If you need a cheap origami CD case then try these folding instructions from Thomas Hull. But if you want to create a really nice mix CD for that special someone then use this web app which allows you to enter artist, title and track information.


Hertz Foundation Fellowships

The Hertz Foundation is accepting applications for Graduate Fellowships
with preference given to seniors and first year graduate students. The
amount awarded ranges from $28,000 to $33,000 per year. The application
deadline is October 27, 2006. For more information and application
forms, go to


JavaScript: Most Important Language Today

According to Steve Yegge’s latest blog post, JavaScript is the most important language in the world today. After some arguments to convince you that his outrageous claim has real merit, he then goes on a rant about how much JavaScript sucks, and how he wishes it was more like Ruby on rails. Here is a great quote from his post:

Well, if you happen to be doing web programming, Ruby on Rails defies classical language mechanics by actually being a lower energy state. That’s right; it’s more lazy to learn Rails than it is to try to get your web framework to be that productive, so people are just tunneling over to it like so many electrons.

Excellent stuff!