It's holiday shopping season and every one is obsessed with getting discounts and points. I, however, am looking for a slightly different discount on a slightly different collection of points. When we simulate a dynamical system (a system that evolves in time), the smaller the time step of a simulation, the more accurate it is. …

## মৌলিক: A prime number toy

Moulick (মৌলিক - Bengali for Prime) is an Arduino powered mathematical toy that endlessly computes primes and shows fun statistics about them as it goes along. Watching primes born was never more exciting, or slow. Moulik  starts from 2 and takes you primally all the way out to 10 decimal digits at a recklessly unsafe speed …

## The marvelous bee odometer

You probably know that not only can bees compute the vector (direction and distance) to a discovered food source relative to their hive, but they can also convey this vector to their hive mates. Here, I'll talk a little bit about one component of this system - the Bee odometer: how do bees figure out …

## Bayesian networks and conditional independence

Bayesian networks are directed graphs that represent probabilistic relationships between variables. I'm using the super-excellent book "Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning" by C. Bishop as my reference to learn about bayesian networks and conditional independence, and I'd like to share some intuitions about these. First, let's motivate our study with a common home situation related …

## Millions of tiny hypotheses

.. it was a myth that there were people with innate mathematical skills and those without: you solved mathematical problems through gumption - you kept banging your head against it, trying different things, figuring it out as you went.

## Things that stay fixed, and other fairy tales

One of the reasons I hear from scientists/engineers transitioning from wet work to "dry" work is that they would like to work in a field where, when things are fixed, they stay fixed. It's not entirely clear to me that code, actual computer code that has to work in the field, completely fits that requirement …

## The engineer’s disease

Knobs are fun. I turn on the gizmo, twiddle the knobs and see what happens. What is not fun, is if I turn on the gizmo, and it just sits there and does NOTHING until I twiddle the knobs in JUST the right way. Even worse is a gizmo where I twiddle the knobs and the first thing that happens …