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Showing posts with the label mathematics

Grace Hopper Documentary Released Today

A long time ago in a data center far, far away, the word "computer" was a job title. For a person. One of those people was Grace Hopper. Grace, h@xing on a sweet laptop in the 40's Grace worked her way up to Rear Admiral in the US Navy; no small feat for a woman of any time, but even more amazing as she started her career in the 30's with a PhD in math from Yale. In the Navy, she would go on to work on the Harvard Mark 1 (the first modern computer), and she headed the team that wrote the first compiler . Her contributions to computer science are immense. They are also largely glossed over by a science and an industry that is, let's face it, a bit of a sausage fest. It wasn't always that way. When computers were people, the industry was dominated by women, who tended to have better typing skills than men, and were cheaper to hire. Their contributions to the industry have been forgotten for decades, but thankfully there is a bit of a renaissance in unc

What Math Can Teach Us About Juggling, and What The Math of Juggling Can Teach Us About Everything Else

Computers represent humanity's greatest achievement along the border of the analytic and the pragmatic. I have always been interested in where mathematics and the 'real world' meet. The question that seems to drive the latest heights of human understanding wherever I turn is - how can we use mathematics to better understand our environment, more efficiently complete tasks or provide more sophisticated and beautiful solutions to problems that are half-understood but widely believed to be resolved? This interest has informed my career, from an amateur interest in cryptography and network security as a youngster, to the study of logic at university, and now to networking and administration (I also think its why I've had more of a capacity for the discrete side of things and have floundered in calculus). This intersection in computing is widely accepted, but in more common tasks the mathematical approach to problem solving is often discarded for the obscurantism of 'c