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From Computational Complexity

John Conway Dies of Coronvirus

John Conway passed away on April 11, 2020 of the Coronovirus. He is the first person I knew (for some definition of `know') who has died of it. I suspect this is...

From Computational Complexity

Length of Descriptions for DFA, NFA, CFG

We will be looking at the size of descriptions  For DFAs and NFAs this is the number of states. For CFG's we will assume they are in Chomsky Normal Form. Sohere...

From Computational Complexity

What do do while ``stuck'' at home/Other thoughts on the virus

Lance had a great post on what to do while you are stuck at home, which is of course relevant to whats happening now. Lance's post is here. I will add to it, and...

From Computational Complexity

Richard Guy passed away at the age of 103

Richard Guy passed away on March 9, 2020 at the age of 103. Before he died he was the worlds oldest living mathematician (see here for a list of centenarians who...

From Computational Complexity

Theorist Paul R Young passed away

In the early days of theoretical computer science, say 1960-1990 the main tools used were logic. This made sense since, early on: a) Some of the basic notionspassed...

From Computational Complexity

Logic examples for your Discrete Math class

(I injured my hand about a month ago so I have had a hard time typing. That is why I have not blogged for a while. I'm better now but still slow. This is a post...

From Computational Complexity

What would you do if you showed P=NP? I would reread Factor Man by Matt Ginsberg

Lance has often said (and also in this) that if P=NP that would be great for the world: much more efficient ways to build things, science could be done better,Factor...

From Computational Complexity

The Wikipedia Entry on NP-Intermediary Problems lists one of mine! I'm not bragging about it.

I recently needed to look at what NP problems were possibly intermediary (neither in P nor NP-complete). So I went to Wikipedia and found this. They had many problems...

From Computational Complexity

Why is there no all-encompassing term for a course on Models of Computation?

In my last blog post I asked my readers to leave comments saying what the name of the course that has some of Regular Languages, Context Free Languages  Decideability...

From Computational Complexity

What do you call your ugrad non-algorithms theory course?

I am in the process of reviewing What can be computed: A Practical Guide to the Theory of Computation by John MacCormick and I need YOUR help for the first SENTENCE...

From Computational Complexity

Julia Robinson's 100th birthday

On Dec 8, 1919 Julia Robinson was born, so today is here 100th birthday (she passed away at the age of 65 on July 30, 1985). So time for some facts about her...

From Computational Complexity

Fields used to be closer together than they are now. Good? Bad?

There was a retired software Eng professor that I had heard two very non-controversial rumors about: 1) He got his PhD in Numerical Analysis 2) He got his PhD...

From Computational Complexity

A non-moral dilemma about cheating, but it brings up some points

I often give two versions of an exam and TELL THE STUDENTS I am doing this so that they don't even try to cheat. I've even had two different classes take the midterm...

From Computational Complexity

Differentiation and Integration

Recently there was an excellent xkcd about differentiation and integration, see here. This brings up thoughts on diff and int: 1) For some students Integration...

From Computational Complexity

The Sheldon Conjecture (too late for Problems with a Point)

Chapter 5 of Problems with a Point (by Gasarch and Kruskal) is about how mathematical objects get their names. If it was an e-book that I could edit and add to...

From Computational Complexity

William Kruskal's 100th birthday

Today, Oct 10, 2019 is William Kruskal's 100th birthday (he's dead, so no cake. Oh well.) William Kruskal was a great statistician. To honor him we have a guest...

From Computational Complexity

What comes first theory or practice? Its Complicated!

Having majored in pure math I had the impression that usually the theory comes first and then someone works out something to work in practice. While this is true...

From Computational Complexity

Quantum Supremacy: A Guest Post by Abhinav Deshpande

I am delighted to introduce youto Abhinav Deshpande, who is a graduate student at the University of Maryland, studying Quantum Computing. This will be a guest post...

From Computational Complexity

Richard Guy is 102 years old today

Richard Guy is a mathematician. He co-authored the classic book Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays with Elywn Berlekamp and John Conway. On Sept 30 (today)...

From Computational Complexity

Applicants to Grad School are too good. Here is why this might be a problem.

Sitting around with three faculty we had the following conversation ALICE: When I applied to grad school in 1980 they saw a strong math major (that is, I had good...
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