Monday, October 25, 2010

Your Week in Seminars Fermionic Edition

Good evening, and welcome to the second edition of YWiS. Last week I took in the full range of seminars, from colloquium to Friday lunch. I don't know if I can say I took in the full content of these talks as well, but let's see what I learned

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Paradigm Shifts 3: With a Vengence

The last shift I wanted to present is best explained at . There you will find a manifesto (yes, a manifesto) about why we should change from using \[ \pi = \text{180 degrees} \] as the circle constant to \[ \tau = 2 \pi = \text{360 degrees} \] It's quite a convincing argument, and it's a shift that can easily be made. Check the website for more.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Your Week in Seminars Intro Edition

We've done a lot of talking over the past few months here on the Virtuosi, but one important subject has not come up so far. An issue that is central to the day to day life of the average grad student. The subject of free food.

The average graduate student in an American university shops for food 0.7 times per semester, paying a total of $13.22. He eats an average of three vegetables and one fruit, all at home during Thanksgiving. He turns his oven on once per year while trying to ascertain if the power is out or the light bulb in the kitchen needs to be replaced. The rest of his nutrition is made up entirely of free donuts, bagels and pizza.

The place to get all this free food, naturally, is various department talks and seminars. And while we're there, we may as well try to learn some physics.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Four Fantastic Books (3 of which are free)

Well, we just had our fall break, which means I get a bit of a break, coincidently enough. Somehow I've managed to read three books in the last two days, and each of them were excellent enough that I need to tell people about them.

Street Fighting Mathematics - Sanjoy Mahajan

The art of educated guessing and opportunistic problem solving

Link to MIT Press Site

You know that feeling you get when it's the second half of January and you put on new clothes that have just come out of the dryer? This book is like a cross between that and a kick in the face.

The warm fuzzy-clothes-out-of-the-dryer feeling will come from the realization that you can wield unsurmountable power. The kick in the face will come when you realize you're not doing it yet.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Caught In The Rain II

I was rather proud of my last post about being caught in the rain.  In that post, I concluded that you were better off running in the rain, but that the net effect wasn't incredibly great.  However, when I told people about it, the question I inevitably got asked was:  What if the rain isn't vertical?  That's what I'd like to look at today, and it turns out to be a much more challenging question.