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Author Archives: Robin Houston
Beyond Bézier curves
There is a new feature of Pages and Keynote, not mentioned in any of Apple’s publicity nor in any press coverage I’ve seen, that is really very interesting. Perhaps it will even one day prove to have been revolutionary, in … Continue reading
I hate the Pumping Lemma
I hate the Pumping Lemma for regular languages. It’s a complicated way to express an idea that is fundamentally very simple, and it isn’t even a very good way to prove that a language is not regular. Here it is, … Continue reading
Posted in chatter
45 Comments
The algebra of Unix command substitution
Shadab Ahmed raised an interesting question. Open a Unix command shell, type : ‘!!’ and press return. Then type : “!!” ‘!!’ and press return. Now repeat the following a few times: press the up arrow, and press return.
Posted in Mathematics
6 Comments
“Venn diagram” partitioning
Paddy3118 wrote about partitioning elements in the same way a Venn diagram does. So, if we have sets A, B and C, the partitions are
Posted in algorithms, chatter
1 Comment
Linear Logic without Units
My PhD thesis (2007) was available for several years from my web site at the University of Manchester, but since that site was taken down it’s been unavailable. Today’s announcement is that I’ve finally got round to uploading it to GitHub.
Posted in chatter
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Puzzles like Adrift
Quite a few people were surprised by my description of Adrift as a “new game” – even though it was very new at the time – because they had seen similar games or puzzles before. You can read some of … Continue reading
Posted in chatter
3 Comments
Adrift is NPcomplete
There’s a lovely new puzzle game for the iPhone called Adrift. I got it last week when I was in bed with flu, and it’s a fun way to spend a few hours. The puzzles look like this: And you … Continue reading
Posted in Mathematics
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John H Conway and the invention of the filing cabinet
Conway is incredibly untidy. The tables in his room at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics in Cambridge are heaped high with papers, books, unanswered letters, notes, models, charts, tables, diagrams, dead cups of coffee, and the most … Continue reading
Posted in chatter, Mathematics
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The Prisoner’s Dilemma
The Prisoners’ Dilemma The Prisoner’s Dilemma is a game, but a game that seems to bear lessons for the conduct of human affairs more generally, and it has attracted a great deal of attention from men not noted for their … Continue reading
Posted in chatter, Mathematics
23 Comments
Cartograms and the Carbon Map
Last night I gave a talk at geomobLDN about the carbon map project. Here are a few relevant links and tidbits.
Posted in Carbon Map, Kiln
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