Happenings – 2010 Oct 16

I find it interesting… I have already finished a regression post for this coming Monday… but I’m struggling to write a diary post for today.

Things just are not “clicking”. Maybe it has something to do with being awakened at 5:30 AM by the neighbors noisily going somewhere this morning.

In any case, I’m struggling to get anything going. The kid tried particle physics briefly, until I discovered that Wolfram no longer knows the mass of an electron or of pions. It used to.

And there is a Mathematica package for abstract algebra… but it still seems an amorphous pile of commands. But I think if I were feeling sharper, I could begin to organize them for myself. It wouldn’t be so challenging if I could find all their commands on their palettes. Who knows? Maybe the problem is my searching rather than their palettes.

Those of us who have studied foreign languages have probably, sooner or later, understood that… if we don’t believe the word we’re looking for is in the dictionary, then it isn’t.

Of course, the reality is that we simply fail to find it because we don’t expect to find it.

Oh well. Not a lot has changed this week. I’m still doing mostly regression in principle… but since Monday’s post is already written, I don’t have to do regression this weekend. I guess I’m not sure what I want to do instead.

I still have things to figure out in sensitivity analysis for linear programming… and in internal model control for control theory. I’m still taking small bites out of digital signal processing and what I call the magic omega formula for aircraft control… although the formula is purely a rotation issue. Which got me looking at Lie groups and Lie algebras again.

I took a little while to look through a book about poker… I long ago worked out the odds for five card poker hands on the deal… but what are the odds of improving your hand in five card draw? I haven’t quite finished working that out. I know, I should have worked it out back when I was in college, if not in high school.

While finishing the next regression post, which has a handful of test statistics whose names are seven characters or less all in upper case… as did several of the single deletion statistics in the previous post… I was reminded of what is now an old joke (circa 1985)….

A journalist for a technical magazine asks a professor of engineering if engineers will still be using FORTRAN in the year 2000. He replies, “I have no idea what the usual engineers’ programming language will look like, but it will be called FORTRAN.” (I’m pretty sure, however, that’s not true: I would guess C++ or possibly MATLAB.)

What else?

I’ve been looking at Lie groups and Lie algebras… which got me to looking at groups and symmetry… which got me to looking at abstract group theory. I don’t know how much of abstract group theory will ever show up on the blog, but maybe a few things will make it out here.

Even though I’m literally in the middle of putting out close to a dozen posts about regression, mathematically I seem to be floundering… I have a lot of little things I can work on, but no coherent project.

Well, we’ll just have to see what happens. The weekend is young.

Posted in diary. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Happenings – 2010 Oct 16”

  1. Sper Says:

    I like the way you write (and the content:P), rip. Your posts are always something to look forward to:) And…just a direction for your project, I would be very interested in what you’d have to unveil on abstract group theory.

    Have fun, in whatever ways your project takes you to!

    And enjoy the weekend!

  2. rip Says:

    Hi Sper,

    I appreciate the encouragement in general, and I’m glad to see you’re still reading this. And I appreciate the encouragement about group theory in particular.

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