IEEE Spectrum has a fascinating bio sketch of Hans Peter Luhn, inventor of the hashing and KWIC indexing algorithms. This is Luhn’s legacy: He helped show that computers and computation weren’t just the province of mathematics, statistics, and logic but also of language, linguistics, and literature. In his day, this was a revolutionary way to think about machines. Tip from the Geek Press. Continue reading KWIC, make me some hash!
As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been working on increasing the amount of online content in my introductory biostatistics course; this is part my plan to convert the course into a hybrid course, one which is at least 50% online. Why does this make me uncomfortable? Tip from the Geek Press. Continue reading Robot Employment Act
Oliver Stone and some celebrity buddies want the NSA to stop watching them. Good idea. I stopped watching Oliver Stone years ago. Tip from Drudge, who is allergic to permalinks. Continue reading Stop watching me!
This is just mean, but it couldn’t happen to a more deserving band of grifters. Tip from the Instapundit, who says APPLY NOW. Continue reading Website Status: OPEN
Udacity is offering an introductory statistics course this summer, beginning June 25th. I’ve enrolled, to see how the Big Boys do it. This is going to put a lot of pressure on traditional universities–especially here in Texas, where we’re busily hammering out the $10,000 Bachelor’s degree. I figure if I don’t get up with the leaders of the buffalo herd, I’m gonna get trampled or left behind. Tip from Meep at the Conservative Commune. Continue reading New Tricks for this Old Dog
I had an opportunity to hang out with the gang at KRTU, my favorite radio station, this morning. During some Standing Around Looking Foolish time, I took the opportunity to try out a cool new toy on my Windows Phone, Photosynth. Here’s the KRTU control room: Continue reading KRTU meets Photosynth
Expected value of the geometric distributon
Over at Jan Nordgreen’s excellent Thnik Again! blog, frequent commenter Richard Sabey posed the question “I want to throw a fair coin and use the result to make some decision with probability 1/sqrt(2). How?” This was initially a stumper; not a surprise since Richard is a pretty formidable mathematician who has more number theory in his left pinky than I do in my whole head. Nevertheless, I chewed on this problem for a few days and set it aside until Jan decided to egg folks on by repeating the question. While my solution (and Richard’s–he had one ready, of course) … Continue reading Generating Irrational Probabilities
I’m finally getting hip to QR codes. Here’s a nice (=free) QR generator; it gives me this QR for the blog’s URL. I’m currently test-driving the Butterkiss QR Scanner for my Windows Phone. So far–scanning from computer screens–it’s working fine. Tip from APOD. Update (7 October). I’m starting to get the hang of this QE stuff–you can do text! Here’s a drink recipe, enjoy! Continue reading Gettin’ it on the QR
UTSA has just implemented a common-password system for all university online services. In the comment section of this post on Bruce Schneier’s security blog, I learn that these are called Hobbit Rings. I especially like this comment by Paul Dittrich: Years ago, a colleague asked “Why do I need to have so many passwords?” Rather than answering directly, I pointed at his keyring and asked him “Why do you need so many different keys? Wouldn’t it be easier to have just one key to open everything?” He looked at me like I was crazy and said “Well THAT would be … Continue reading Hobbit Rings! Oh goody! I gots a Hobbit Ring!