Saturday, August 1, 2009

No Sleep `Till Book Done

A rap about my experience writing Mathematica Cookbook...

(Sing to the tune of "No Sleep `Till Brooklyn by The Beastie Boys)

(chorus) No sleep 'til - Book Done

Editing unsettled - but I got mettle
Laptop running hotter than a boiling kettle

My job's ain't a job - it's a damn hard time
Ideas to code - runnin' overtime

Some frustration - but it’s my vocation
Sal and the boy's skippin' vacation

Itchy index finger but a stable work table
I do what I do best because I'm willing and able

Ain't no faking - not money I'm making
Going page to page - so there's no mistaking

I'm still at the job working nine to five
So it takes more time for this to go live

(bridge) No sleep 'til –

Another chapter - another train
Mathematica code flyin out my brain

Another edit - gotta make it right
This proof-reading may go all night

My editor's cool - he continues to trust
That it'll get done, it must, it must!

Writing and typing - I code around the clock
Can't publish this book til I gen clean Doc

I'm thrashing 8 cores and making a giant file
Getting parallel code to work can take a while

Map, Apply, ListConvolve and Position
If a pattern don't match, I first Partition

I got a recursive func that blew the stack
So I used Fold – it’s less a hack

(repeat bridge)

(repeat chorus)

Making Sparse Arrays, so I'm using Band
To see all the powers, I use Expand

Schooled and work in Brooklyn - U.S.A.
Alpha did not know, so I showed it the way

Write Function with Slot - match expression with pattern
If I use AstronomicalData, I can find Saturn

Got Greeks, Graphics, Reaps and Sows
Blanks, and Slots, Plots and Shows

I got Mathematica so get out of my way
Filtering some data, I use Fourier

Learning a lot but I get no sleep
Cause I'm writing this Cookbook eight days a week

(repeat chorus)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mapping game play into work

About 15-16 years ago I had a conversation with a colleague where I thought it would be possible to create a video game where the game play mapped into useful work. So, in other words, players would think they are just being entertained but in reality they were solving some difficult problem that someone could profit from.

Well, this has come to pass:


Should of patented that idea!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mathematica Cookbook Status

I have really neglected this blog due to the overwhelming amount of attention I had to devote to my forthcoming  Mathematica Cookbook. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to blog more regularly soon.

While working on the cookbook, I came across some really great books that I highly recommend to fans of Mathematics:

Generatingfunctionology  by Herbert S. Wilf. This book begins with an awesome quote, "A generating function is a clothesline on which we hang up a sequence of numbers for display."

Fundamental Finite Element Analysis and Applications with Mathematica and Matlab Computations  by M. Asghar Bhatti. This book really helped me wrap my mind around the ideas of FEM. Expensive book, but worth it.

A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equations  by Dan Fleisch is really helpful in taking the mystery out of these equations. It decomposes them symbol by symbol in a way I never seen done before in a mathematics or physics text.

There are a few others but I'll save them for a future post.