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Written by Dan Couture   
Saturday, 04 August 2012 18:23

The Problem for Young Gauss

There's an anecdote often told about the mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss. I've heard a variety of versions, but the gist of the story comes down to the young Carl had been asked by his teacher to find the sum of the numbers from 1 to 100. While it would originally seem like a basic math drills no margin for error, it was likely given as a way to keep the young mathematician out of the teacher's hair. As the story goes, Carl was able to calculate the solution of $5,050$ exactly and in much less time than his teacher had hoped. Below, we'll dive into how to tackle this problem without doing it all out.

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 August 2012 18:34
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Photo Physics

Written by Dan Couture   
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 12:16
Beneath all the high-tech machinery is simple and elegant physics. Boiled down it becomes just rays of light passing through a series of lenses.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2012 06:16
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Entering the Twitterverse

Written by Dan Couture   
Monday, 09 April 2012 21:47

I've been resisting the trend to create a Twitter account for a good while now. I generally prescibe to the school of thought that less is more and that ideas worth expressing should be carefully and thouroughly presentented. How can anything worth reading be expressed in 140 characters or less?

After some conversations with a colleague, I was convinced that at a minimum Twitter could be a useful tool keep tabs on recent developments or share links to interesting documents that would be lost in a sea of search engine responses if you even knew what to search for. To top it off, these links could come from trusted sources.

So here's my handle @MathYourLife. Drop me a line and let me know what you think. Who knows maybe in all my free time (insert sacastic chuckle here) I'll turn some energy toward the twitter api and play with some data mining.

{jcomments on}
Last Updated on Monday, 09 April 2012 22:31
 
 
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Big Data Analytics (Making an easy problem difficult)

Written by Dan Couture   
Monday, 09 April 2012 18:55
In case you hadn't noticed by the other articles or the name of the site, I'm a little partial to mathematics especially when it comes to analytics. One of my favorite courses to teach was statistics. Stop that! I heard that groan. Now I'll be the first to admit that stats is not exactly a glamorous topic, but it is a thing of beauty when you can use it to reveal the "hidden side of things" (as freakonomics would put it). One issue many run into is when attempting to apply the methods from a neatly packaged problem presented in a textbook to a "real" problem. Here's a simple example of how something as simple as finding the median of a big data set can quickly fall apart.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2012 06:14
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MBlock in LaTeX (Python)

Written by Dan Couture   
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 22:42
screenshotIt's been a long time coming, but at last some demo code for the Python MBlock code.  Here's a sample of the documents that can be created using Python and MBlock embedded in a LaTeX document.  Source code is included free for download.  Feel free to tinker, and use the Read more link for a more in depth explanation.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2011 00:04
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