Monthly Archives: November 2008

Academic Degrees and Sex

“251 Mercer street” I said, “it is in the village,” “I know that” said the driver “are you going to NYU?” “Yes” I said. I was going to give a lecture at Ricky and Eli’s Tuesday evening’s Geometry Seminar and came … Continue reading

Posted in Taxi-and-other-stories | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The Simplified Pill Algorithm

  Ok so I had to take one pill every day, and fortunately the pill package was marked, it contained 14 pills with labels Sunday, Monday and so on. It started with Sunday, which was the mark for the leftmost … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics to the rescue, Taxi-and-other-stories | 3 Comments

Sarkaria’s Proof of Tverberg’s Theorem 2

  Karanbir Sarkaria 4. Sarkaria’s proof: Tverberg’s theorem (1965): Let be points in , . Then there is a partition of such that . Proof: We can assume that . First suppose that the points belong to the -dimensional affine space … Continue reading

Posted in Convexity | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Sarkaria’s Proof of Tverberg’s Theorem 1

Helge Tverberg Ladies and gentlemen, this is an excellent time to tell you about the beautiful theorem of Tverberg and the startling proof of Sarkaria to Tverberg’s theorem (two parts). A good place to start is Radon’s theorem. 1. The theorems of Radon, … Continue reading

Posted in Convexity | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Bad Advice; An Answer to an Old Trivia Question

  A transparency and a lecture using transparencies. (No relation to the advice.) Our bad, worse and worst advice corner  Bad  –  When you give a talk with transparencies or computer presentations, don’t go over the content of the transparencies but rather assume … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

Thomas Bayes and Probability

How can we assign probabilities in cases of uncertainty?  And what is the nature of probabilities, to start with?  And what is the rational mechanism for making a choice under uncertainty? Thomas Bayes lived in the eighteenth century.  Bayes’ famous … Continue reading

Posted in Probability, Rationality | Tagged , | 6 Comments

About Conjectures: Shmuel Weinberger

The following paragraph is taken from the original “too personal for publication draft” of an article entitled ” ‘Final values’ of functors” by Shmuel Weinberger for a volume in honor of Guido Mislin’s retirement from ETH. (L’enseignement Mathematique 54(2008), 180-182.) Shmuel’s remarks … Continue reading

Posted in What is Mathematics | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Would you decide the election if you could?

One mental experiment I am fond of asking people (usually before elections) is this: Suppose that just a minute before the votes are counted you can change the outcome of the election (say, the identity of the winner, or even … Continue reading

Posted in Rationality | 12 Comments

Impagliazzo’s Multiverse

Update (July 2009): Here are links to a related post on Lipton’s blog, and a conference announcement on Russell’s possible worlds. On the occasion of Luca’s post on his FOCS 2008 tutorial on average-case complexity here is a reminder of Russell … Continue reading

Posted in Computer Science and Optimization | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Detrimental Noise

 “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy(?) if you try,” John Lennon   Disclaimer: It is a reasonable belief  (look here, and here), and an extremely reasonable working assumption (look  here) that computationally superior quantum computers can be built.  (This post and the draft … Continue reading

Posted in Computer Science and Optimization, Controversies and debates, Physics, Quantum | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment