Sunday, January 19, 2020

For 6 Prescott Street*

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:01 PM

"Freshman Seminar Program Department Administrator Corinna S. Rohse
described the program’s courses, which allow students to study subjects
that vary from Sanskrit to the mathematical basis for chess, as
'jewel-like:  small and incredibly well-cut.' "

The Harvard Crimson , Dec. 10, 2008

For remarks related to Sanskrit, chessboard structure, and "jewel-like" 
mathematics, see A Prince of Darkness (Log24, March 28, 2006).

See also Walsh Functions in this journal and

Lecture notes on dyadic harmonic analysis
(Cuernavaca, 2000)

Dr. Maria Cristina Pereyra

Compare and contrast these remarks of Pereyra with the following
remarks, apparently by the same Corinna S. Rohse quoted above.

* Location of the Harvard Freshman Seminar program in the 2008
article above. The building at 6 Prescott was moved there from 
5 Divinity Avenue in 1978. When the seminar program was started
in the fall of 1959, it was located in a house at 8 Prescott St. (In 
1958-1959 this was a freshman dorm, the home of Ted Kaczynski.)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Requiem for a Mathematician

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:10 PM

From a Dec. 21 obituary posted by the
University of Tennessee at Knoxville —

"Wade was ordained as a pastor and served
at Oakwood Baptist Church in Knoxville."

Other information —

In a Log24 post, "Seeing the Finite Structure,"
of August 16, 2008, Wade appeared as a co-author
of the Walsh series book mentioned above —

Walsh Series: An Introduction to Dyadic Harmonic Analysis, by F. Schipp et. al.

Walsh Series: An Introduction
to Dyadic Harmonic Analysis
by F. Schipp et al.,
Taylor & Francis, 1990

From the 2008 post —

The patterns on the faces of the cube on the cover
of Walsh Series above illustrate both the 
Walsh functions of order 3 and the same structure
in a different guise, subspaces of the affine 3-space 
over the binary field. For a note on the relationship
of Walsh functions to finite geometry, see 
Symmetry of Walsh Functions.

Friday, November 25, 2016


Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Before the monograph "Diamond Theory" was distributed in 1976,
two (at least) notable figures were published that illustrate
symmetry properties of the 4×4 square:

Hudson in 1905 —

Golomb in 1967 —

It is also likely that some figures illustrating Walsh functions  as
two-color square arrays were published prior to 1976.

Update of Dec. 7, 2016 —
The earlier 1950's diagrams of Veitch and Karnaugh used the
1's and 0's of Boole, not those of Galois.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Golomb and Symmetry

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

From the webpage Diamond Theory Bibliography

Golomb, Solomon W. 
Shift register sequences  (Revised edition)
Aegean Park Press, Laguna Hills, CA, 1982
   The fifteen "stencils" in Golomb's Fig. VIII-8, page 219,
   are the same as the fifteen affine hyperplanes that
   account for patterns' symmetry in diamond theory.
   This figure occurs in a discussion of Rademacher-
   Walsh functions.


Monday, November 9, 2015

A Particular Mind

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:30 AM

"The old, slow art of the eye and the hand, united in service
to the imagination, is in crisis. It’s not that painting is 'dead' 
again—no other medium can as yet so directly combine
vision and touch to express what it’s like to have a particular
mind, with its singular troubles and glories, in a particular
body. But painting has lost symbolic force and function in a
culture of promiscuous knowledge and glutting information."

Peter Schjeldahl in The New Yorker ,
     issue dated Jan. 5, 2015

Cover of a 1980 book on computer music that contains a
helpful article on Walsh functions

See, in this book, "Walsh Functions: A Digital Fourier Series,"
by Benjamin Jacoby (BYTE , September 1977).  Some context:
Symmetry of Walsh Functions.

Excerpts from a search for Steve + Jobs in this journal —

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

But Seriously…

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 PM

(A sequel to yesterday's Raiders of the Lost Music Box)

See, in this book, "Walsh Functions: A Digital Fourier Series,"
by Benjamin Jacoby (BYTE , September 1977).  Some context:
Symmetry of Walsh Functions.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mapping Problem continued

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:56 AM

Another approach to the square-to-triangle
mapping problem (see also previous post)—

IMAGE- Triangular analogs of the hyperplanes in the square model of PG(3,2)

For the square model referred to in the above picture, see (for instance)

Coordinates for the 16 points in the triangular arrays 
of the corresponding affine space may be deduced
from the patterns in the projective-hyperplanes array above.

This should solve the inverse problem of mapping,
in a natural way, the triangular array of 16 points 
to the square array of 16 points.

Update of 9:35 AM ET July 16, 2012:

Note that the square model's 15 hyperplanes S 
and the triangular model's 15 hyperplanes T —

— share the following vector-space structure —

   0     c     d   c + d
   a   a + c   a + d a + c + d
   b   b + c   b + d b + c + d
a + b a + b + c a + b + d   a + b + 
  c + d

   (This vector-space a b c d  diagram is from
   Chapter 11 of   Sphere Packings, Lattices
   and Groups
, by   John Horton Conway and
   N. J. A. Sloane, first published by Springer
   in 1988.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Digital Theology

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 7:20 AM

See also remarks on Digital Space and Digital Time in this journal.

Such remarks can, of course, easily verge on crackpot territory.

For some related  pure  mathematics, see Symmetry of Walsh Functions.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

ART WARS continued

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:06 PM

On the Complexity of Combat—

(Click to enlarge.)

The above article (see original pdf), clearly of more 
theoretical than practical interest, uses the concept
of "symmetropy" developed by some Japanese

For some background from finite geometry, see
Symmetry of Walsh Functions. For related posts
in this journal, see Smallest Perfect Universe.

Update of 7:00 PM EST Feb. 9, 2012—

Background on Walsh-function symmetry in 1982—

(Click image to enlarge. See also original pdf.)

Note the somewhat confusing resemblance to
a four-color decomposition theorem
used in the proof of the diamond theorem

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Unfolding

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:00 AM

Two pictures suggested by recent comments on
Peter J. Cameron's Sept. 17 post about T.S. Eliot—



For some further background, see Symmetry of Walsh Functions.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Frame by Frame

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:26 PM

From "Time's Breakdown," September 17, 2003

“… even if we can break down time into component Walsh functions, what would it achieve?”

– The Professor, in “Passing in Silence,” by Oliver Humpage

“Being is not a steady state but an occulting one: we are all of us a succession of stillness blurring into motion on the wheel of action, and it is in those spaces of black between the pictures that we find the heart of mystery in which we are never allowed to rest. The flickering of a film interrupts the intolerable continuity of apparent world; subliminally it gives us those in-between spaces of black that we crave.”

Gösta Kraken, Perception Perceived: an Unfinished Memoir (p. 9 in Fremder, a novel by Russell Hoban)

This flashback was suggested by

  1. A review in next Sunday's New York Times Book Review of a new novel, Point Omega, by Don DeLillo. The review's title (for which the reviewer, Geoff Dyer, should not be blamed) is "A Wrinkle in Time." The review and the book are indeed concerned with time, but the only apparent connection to the 1962 novel of Madeleine L'Engle also titled A Wrinkle in Time is rather indirect– via the Walsh functions mentioned above.
  2. A phrase in the Times's review, "frame by frame," also appeared in this jounal on Saturday. It formed part of the title of a current exhibition at Harvard's Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.
  3. The Carpenter Center exhibition will have an opening reception on February 4.
  4. February 4 is also the birthday of the above Russell Hoban, who will turn 85. See a British web page devoted to that event.

DeLillo is a major novelist, but the work of Hoban seems more relevant to the phrase "frame by frame."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Annals of Philosophy

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Towards a Philosophy of Real Mathematics, by David Corfield, Cambridge U. Press, 2003, p. 206:

"Now, it is no easy business defining what one means by the term conceptual…. I think we can say that the conceptual is usually expressible in terms of broad principles. A nice example of this comes in the form of harmonic analysis, which is based on the idea, whose scope has been shown by George Mackey (1992) to be immense, that many kinds of entity become easier to handle by decomposing them into components belonging to spaces invariant under specified symmetries."

For a simpler example of this idea, see the entities in The Diamond Theorem, the decomposition in A Four-Color Theorem, and the space in Geometry of the 4×4 Square.  The decomposition differs from that of harmonic analysis, although the subspaces involved in the diamond theorem are isomorphic to Walsh functions— well-known as discrete analogues of the trigonometric functions of traditional harmonic analysis.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday March 14, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:02 PM
Flowers for Barry

Rat in Maze, image from 'Marine Rat' at http://troops.americandaughter.org/?p=35

On Time
(in Mathematics and Literature)

“… I want to spend these twenty minutes savoring, and working up, the real complexity of the metaphorical relationship of time and distance– to defamiliarize it for us. And then I will give a few examples of how imaginative literature makes use of the inherent strangeness in this relationship:

Time ↔ Distance.

And finally I will offer my opinion (which I think must be everyone’s opinion) about why we derive significant– but not total– comfort from this equation.”

— Barry Mazur, March 8, 2009, draft (pdf) of talk for conference on comparative literature*

Another version of
Mazur’s metaphor
 Time ↔ Distance:

Equivalence of Walsh functions with hyperplanes in a finite geometry

— Steven H. Cullinane,
October 8, 2003

For some context in
comparative literature,
see Time Fold
(Oct. 10, 2003)
and A Hanukkah Tale
(Dec. 22, 2008).

Related material:
Rat Psychology

* American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual meeting, March 26-29, 2009, at Harvard. Mazur’s talk is scheduled for March 28.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday August 16, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 AM

Seeing the Finite Structure

The following supplies some context for remarks of Halmos on combinatorics.

From Paul Halmos: Celebrating 50 years of Mathematics, by John H. Ewing, Paul Richard Halmos, Frederick W. Gehring, published by Springer, 1991–

Interviews with Halmos, “Paul Halmos by Parts,” by Donald J. Albers–

“Part II: In Touch with God*“– on pp. 27-28:

The Root of All Deep Mathematics

Albers. In the conclusion of ‘Fifty Years of Linear Algebra,’ you wrote: ‘I am inclined to believe that at the root of all deep mathematics there is a combinatorial insight… I think that in this subject (in every subject?) the really original, really deep insights are always combinatorial, and I think for the new discoveries that we need– the pendulum needs– to swing back, and will swing back in the combinatorial direction.’ I always thought of you as an analyst.

Halmos: People call me an analyst, but I think I’m a born algebraist, and I mean the same thing, analytic versus combinatorial-algebraic. I think the finite case illustrates and guides and simplifies the infinite.

Some people called me full of baloney when I asserted that the deep problems of operator theory could all be solved if we knew the answer to every finite dimensional matrix question. I still have this religion that if you knew the answer to every matrix question, somehow you could answer every operator question. But the ‘somehow’ would require genius. The problem is not, given an operator question, to ask the same question in finite dimensions– that’s silly. The problem is– the genius is– given an infinite question, to think of the right finite question to ask. Once you thought of the finite answer, then you would know the right answer to the infinite question.

Combinatorics, the finite case, is where the genuine, deep insight is. Generalizing, making it infinite, is sometimes intricate and sometimes difficult, and I might even be willing to say that it’s sometimes deep, but it is nowhere near as fundamental as seeing the finite structure.”

Finite Structure
 on a Book Cover:

Walsh Series: An Introduction to Dyadic Harmonic Analysis, by F. Schipp et. al.

Walsh Series: An Introduction
to Dyadic Harmonic Analysis
by F. Schipp et al.,
Taylor & Francis, 1990

Halmos’s above remarks on combinatorics as a source of “deep mathematics” were in the context of operator theory. For connections between operator theory and harmonic analysis, see (for instance) H.S. Shapiro, “Operator Theory and Harmonic Analysis,” pp. 31-56 in Twentieth Century Harmonic Analysis– A Celebration, ed. by J.S. Byrnes, published by Springer, 2001.

Walsh Series
states that Walsh functions provide “the simplest non-trivial model for harmonic analysis.”

The patterns on the faces of the cube on the cover of Walsh Series above illustrate both the Walsh functions of order 3 and the same structure in a different guise, subspaces of the affine 3-space over the binary field. For a note on the relationship of Walsh functions to finite geometry, see Symmetry of Walsh Functions.

Whether the above sketch of the passage from operator theory to harmonic analysis to Walsh functions to finite geometry can ever help find “the right finite question to ask,” I do not know. It at least suggests that finite geometry (and my own work on models in finite geometry) may not be completely irrelevant to mathematics generally regarded as more deep.

* See the Log24 entries following Halmos’s death.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Tuesday October 3, 2006

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:26 AM


"I don't think the 'diamond theorem' is anything serious, so I started with blitzing that."

Charles Matthews at Wikipedia, Oct. 2, 2006

"The 'seriousness' of a mathematical theorem lies, not in its practical consequences, which are usually negligible, but in the significance of the mathematical ideas which it connects. We may say, roughly, that a mathematical idea is 'significant' if it can be connected, in a natural and illuminating way, with a large complex of other mathematical ideas."

— G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology

Matthews yesterday deleted references to the diamond theorem and related material in the following Wikipedia articles:

Affine group‎
Reflection group‎
Symmetry in mathematics‎
Incidence structure‎
Invariant (mathematics)‎
Finite geometry‎
Group action‎
History of geometry‎

This would appear to be a fairly large complex of mathematical ideas.

See also the following "large complex" cited, following the above words of Hardy, in Diamond Theory:

Affine geometry, affine planes, affine spaces, automorphisms, binary codes, block designs, classical groups, codes, coding theory, collineations, combinatorial, combinatorics, conjugacy classes, the Conwell correspondence, correlations, design theory, duads, duality, error correcting codes, exceptional groups, finite fields, finite geometry, finite groups, finite rings, Galois fields, generalized quadrangles, generators, geometry, GF(2), GF(4), the (24,12) Golay code, group actions, group theory, Hadamard matrices, hypercube, hyperplanes, hyperspace, incidence structures, invariance, Karnaugh maps, Kirkman's schoolgirl problem, Latin squares, Leech lattice, linear groups, linear spaces, linear transformations, Mathieu groups, matrix theory, Meno, Miracle Octad Generator, MOG, multiply transitive groups, octads, the octahedral group, orthogonal arrays, outer automorphisms, parallelisms, partial geometries, permutation groups, PG(3,2), polarities, Polya-Burnside theorem, projective geometry, projective planes, projective spaces, projectivities, Reed-Muller codes, the relativity problem, Singer cycle, skew lines,  sporadic simple groups, Steiner systems, symmetric, symmetry, symplectic, synthemes, synthematic, tesseract, transvections, Walsh functions, Witt designs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Tuesday September 14, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 3:00 PM

The Square Wheel

Harmonic analysis may be based either on the circular (i.e., trigonometric) functions or on the square (i. e., Walsh) functions.  George Mackey's masterly historical survey showed that the discovery of Fourier analysis, based on the circle, was of comparable importance (within mathematics) to the discovery (within general human history) of the wheel.  Harmonic analysis based on square functions– the "square wheel," as it were– is also not without its importance.

For some observations of Stephen Wolfram on square-wheel analysis, see pp. 573 ff. in Wolfram's magnum opus, A New Kind of Science (Wolfram Media, May 14, 2002).  Wolfram's illustration of this topic is closely related, as it happens, to a note on the symmetry of finite-geometry hyperplanes that I wrote in 1986.  A web page pointing out this same symmetry in Walsh functions was archived on Oct. 30, 2001.

That web page is significant (as later versions point out) partly because it shows that just as the phrase "the circular functions" is applied to the trigonometric functions, the phrase "the square functions" might well be applied to Walsh functions– which have, in fact, properties very like those of the trig functions.  For details, see Symmetry of Walsh Functions, updated today.

"While the reader may draw many a moral from our tale, I hope that the story is of interest for its own sake.  Moreover, I hope that it may inspire others, participants or observers, to preserve the true and complete record of our mathematical times."

From Error-Correcting Codes
Through Sphere Packings
To Simple Groups
by Thomas M. Thompson,
Mathematical Association of America, 1983

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Thursday November 6, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Legacy Codes:

The Most Violent Poem

Lore of the Manhattan Project:

From The Trinity Site

“I imagined Oppenheimer saying aloud,
‘Batter my heart, three person’d God,”
unexpectedly recalling John Donne’s ‘Holy Sonnet [14],’
and then he knew, ‘ “Trinity” will do.’
Memory has its reasons.

‘Batter my heart’ — I remember these words.
I first heard them on a fall day at Duke University in 1963.
Inside a classroom twelve of us were
seated around a long seminar table
listening to Reynolds Price recite this holy sonnet….

I remember Reynolds saying, slowly, carefully,
‘This is the most violent poem in the English language.’ ”

Related Entertainment

Today’s birthday:
director Mike Nichols

From a dead Righteous Brother:

“If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand.”

Bobby Hatfield, found dead
in his hotel room at
7 PM EST Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003,
before a concert scheduled at
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo

From a review of The Matrix Revolutions:

“You’d have to be totally blind at the end
to miss the Christian symbolism….
Trinity gets a glimpse of heaven…. And in the end…
God Put A Rainbow In The Clouds.”

Moral of the

According to Chu Hsi [Zhu Xi],

“Li” is
“the principle or coherence
or order or pattern
underlying the cosmos.”

— Smith, Bol, Adler, and Wyatt,
Sung Dynasty Uses of the I Ching,
Princeton University Press, 1990

Related Non-Entertainment

Symmetry and a Trinity
(for the dotting-the-eye symbol above)

Introduction to Harmonic Analysis
(for musical and historical background)

Mathematical Proofs
(for the spirit of Western Michigan
University, Kalamazoo)

Moral of the

“Many kinds of entity
become easier to handle
by decomposing them into
components belonging to spaces
invariant under specified symmetries.”

The importance of
mathematical conceptualisation

by David Corfield,
Department of History and
Philosophy of Science,
University of Cambridge

See, too,
Symmetry of Walsh Functions and
Geometry of the I Ching.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Wednesday September 17, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM

Time’s Breakdown

“… even if we can break down time into component Walsh functions, what would it achieve?”

— The Professor, in “Passing in Silence,”
    by Oliver Humpage

“Being is not a steady state but an occulting one: we are all of us a succession of stillness blurring into motion on the wheel of action, and it is in those spaces of black between the pictures that we find the heart of mystery in which we are never allowed to rest. The flickering of a film interrupts the intolerable continuity of apparent world; subliminally it gives us those in-between spaces of black that we crave.”

Gösta Kraken, Perception Perceived: an Unfinished Memoir (p. 9 in Fremder, a novel by Russell Hoban)

“The Underground’s ‘flicker’ is a mechanical reconciliation of light and darkness, the two alternately exhibited very rapidly.”

Hugh Kenner on T. S. Eliot’s “Burnt Norton” in Four Quartets

From last year’s entries:

ART WARS September 12, 2002


For some further reflections on flickering time,
see an essay by Nicholson Baker on

the Geneva mechanism
in movie projectors

“At three o’clock in the morning
Eurydice is bound to come into it.”
—Russell Hoban,
The Medusa Frequency

For June Carter Cash as Eurydice,
see The Circle is Unbroken.

Let us pray that Jesus College
will help this production,
with Johnny Cash as Orpheus,
to have a happy ending.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Friday April 25, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 7:59 PM


Today is the feast of Saint Mark.  It seems an appropriate day to thank Dr. Gerald McDaniel for his online cultural calendar, which is invaluable for suggesting blog topics.

Yesterday's entry "Cross-Referenced" referred to a bizarre meditation of mine titled "The Matthias Defense," which combines some thoughts of Nabokov on lunacy with some of my own thoughts on the Judeo-Christian tradition (i.e., also on lunacy).  In this connection, the following is of interest:

From a site titled Meaning of the Twentieth Century —

"Freeman Dyson has expressed some thoughts on craziness. In a Scientific American article called 'Innovation in Physics,' he began by quoting Niels Bohr. Bohr had been in attendance at a lecture in which Wolfgang Pauli proposed a new theory of elementary particles. Pauli came under heavy criticism, which Bohr summed up for him: 'We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that is not crazy enough.' To that Freeman added: 'When a great innovation appears, it will almost certainly be in a muddled, incomplete and confusing form. To the discoverer, himself, it will be only half understood; to everyone else, it will be a mystery. For any speculation which does not at first glance look crazy, there is no hope!' "

Kenneth Brower, The Starship and the Canoe, 1979, pp. 146, 147

It is my hope that the speculation, implied in The Matthias Defense, that the number 162 has astonishing mystical properties (as a page number, article number, etc.) is sufficiently crazy to satisfy Pauli and his friend Jung as well as the more conventional thinkers Bohr and Dyson.  It is no less crazy than Christianity, and has a certain mad simplicity that perhaps improves on some of that religion's lunatic doctrines. 

Some fruits of the "162 theory" —

Searching on Google for muses 162, we find the following Orphic Hymn to Apollo and a footnote of interest:

27 Tis thine all Nature's music to inspire,
28 With various-sounding, harmonising lyre;
29 Now the last string thou tun'ft to sweet accord,
30 Divinely warbling now the highest chord….

"Page 162 Verse 29…. Now the last string…. Gesner well observes, in his notes to this Hymn, that the comparison and conjunction of the musical and astronomical elements are most ancient; being derived from Orpheus and Pythagoras, to Plato. Now, according to the Orphic and Pythagoric doctrine, the lyre of Apollo is an image of the celestial harmony…."

For the "highest chord" in a metaphorical sense, see selection 162 of the 1919 edition of The Oxford Book of English Verse (whose editor apparently had a strong religious belief in the Muses (led by Apollo)).  This selection contains the phrase "an ever-fixèd mark" — appropriately enough for this saint's day.  The word "mark," in turn, suggests a Google search for the phrase "runes to grave" Hardy, after a poem quoted in G. H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology.

Such a search yields a website that quotes Housman as the source of the "runes" phrase, and a further search yields what is apparently the entire poem:

Smooth Between Sea and Land

by A. E. Housman

Smooth between sea and land
Is laid the yellow sand,
And here through summer days
The seed of Adam plays.

Here the child comes to found
His unremaining mound,
And the grown lad to score
Two names upon the shore.

Here, on the level sand,
Between the sea and land,
What shall I build or write
Against the fall of night?

Tell me of runes to grave
That hold the bursting wave,
Or bastions to design
For longer date than mine.

Shall it be Troy or Rome
I fence against the foam
Or my own name, to stay
When I depart for aye?

Nothing: too near at hand
Planing the figured sand,
Effacing clean and fast
Cities not built to last
And charms devised in vain,
Pours the confounding main.

(Said to be from More Poems (Knopf, 1936), p. 64)

Housman asks the reader to tell him of runes to grave or bastions to design.  Here, as examples, are one rune and one bastion.


The rune known as

the balance point or "still point."

The Nike Bastion

 Dagaz: (Pronounced thaw-gauze, but with the "th" voiced as in "the," not unvoiced as in "thick") (Day or dawn.)

From Rune Meanings:

 Dagaz means "breakthrough, awakening, awareness. Daylight clarity as opposed to nighttime uncertainty. A time to plan or embark upon an enterprise. The power of change directed by your own will, transformation. Hope/happiness, the ideal. Security and certainty. Growth and release. Balance point, the place where opposites meet."

Also known as "the rune of transformation."

For the Dagaz rune in another context, see Geometry of the I Ching.  The geometry discussed there does, in a sense, "hold the bursting wave," through its connection with Walsh functions, hence with harmonic analysis.

 Temple of Athena Nike on the Nike Bastion, the Acropolis, Athens.  Here is a relevant passage from Paul Valéry's Eupalinos ou L'Architecte about another temple of four columns:

Et puis… Écoute, Phèdre (me disait-il encore), ce petit temple que j'ai bâti pour Hermès, à quelques pas d'ici, si tu savais ce qu'il est pour moi ! — Où le passant ne voit qu'une élégante chapelle, — c'est peu de chose: quatre colonnes, un style très simple, — j'ai mis le souvenir d'un clair jour de ma vie. Ô douce métamorphose ! Ce temple délicat, nul ne le sait, est l'image mathématique d'une fille de Corinthe que j'ai heureusement aimée. Il en reproduit fidèlement les proportions particulières. Il vit pour moi !

Four columns, in a sense more suited to Hardy's interests, are also a recurrent theme in The Diamond 16 Puzzle and Diamond Theory.

Apart from the word "mark" in The Oxford Book of English Verse, as noted above, neither the rune nor the bastion discussed has any apparent connection with the number 162… but seek and ye shall find.

Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Wednesday November 6, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:22 PM

Today's birthdays: Mike Nichols and Sally Field.

Who is Sylvia?
What is she? 


From A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasar:


Where the statue stood
Of Newton with his prism and silent face,
The marble index of a mind for ever
Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.

John Forbes Nash, Jr. — mathematical genius, inventor of a theory of rational behavior, visionary of the thinking machine — had been sitting with his visitor, also a mathematician, for nearly half an hour. It was late on a weekday afternoon in the spring of 1959, and, though it was only May, uncomfortably warm. Nash was slumped in an armchair in one corner of the hospital lounge, carelessly dressed in a nylon shirt that hung limply over his unbelted trousers. His powerful frame was slack as a rag doll's, his finely molded features expressionless. He had been staring dully at a spot immediately in front of the left foot of Harvard professor George Mackey, hardly moving except to brush his long dark hair away from his forehead in a fitful, repetitive motion. His visitor sat upright, oppressed by the silence, acutely conscious that the doors to the room were locked. Mackey finally could contain himself no longer. His voice was slightly querulous, but he strained to be gentle. "How could you," began Mackey, "how could you, a mathematician, a man devoted to reason and logical proof…how could you believe that extraterrestrials are sending you messages? How could you believe that you are being recruited by aliens from outer space to save the world? How could you…?"

Nash looked up at last and fixed Mackey with an unblinking stare as cool and dispassionate as that of any bird or snake. "Because," Nash said slowly in his soft, reasonable southern drawl, as if talking to himself, "the ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously."

What I  take seriously:

Introduction to Topology and Modern Analysis, by George F. Simmons, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1963 

An Introduction to Abstract Harmonic Analysis, by Lynn H. Loomis, Van Nostrand, Princeton, 1953

"Harmonic Analysis as the Exploitation of Symmetry — A Historical Survey," by George W. Mackey, pp. 543-698, Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, July 1980

Walsh Functions and Their Applications, by K. G. Beauchamp, Academic Press, New York, 1975

Walsh Series: An Introduction to Dyadic Harmonic Analysis, by F. Schipp, P. Simon, W. R. Wade, and J. Pal, Adam Hilger Ltd., 1990

The review, by W. R. Wade, of Walsh Series and Transforms (Golubov, Efimov, and Skvortsov, publ. by Kluwer, Netherlands, 1991) in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, April 1992, pp. 348-359

Music courtesy of Franz Schubert.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Tuesday October 22, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 1:16 AM

Introduction to
Harmonic Analysis

From Dr. Mac’s Cultural Calendar for Oct. 22:

  • The French actress Catherine Deneuve was born on this day in Paris in 1943….
  • The Beach Boys released the single “Good Vibrations” on this day in 1966.

“I hear the sound of a
   gentle word

On the wind that lifts
   her perfume
   through the air.”

— The Beach Boys

In honor of Deneuve and of George W. Mackey, author of the classic 156-page essay, “Harmonic analysis* as the exploitation of symmetry† — A historical survey” (Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society (New Series), Vol. 3, No. 1, Part 1 (July 1980), pp. 543-698), this site’s music is, for the time being, “Good Vibrations.”
For more on harmonic analysis, see “Group Representations and Harmonic Analysis from Euler to Langlands,” by Anthony W. Knapp, Part I and Part II.
* For “the simplest non-trivial model for harmonic analysis,” the Walsh functions, see F. Schipp et. al., Walsh Series: An Introduction to Dyadic Harmonic Analysis, Hilger, 1990. For Mackey’s “exploitation of symmetry” in this context, see my note Symmetry of Walsh Functions, and also the footnote below.
† “Now, it is no easy business defining what one means by the term conceptual…. I think we can say that the conceptual is usually expressible in terms of broad principles. A nice example of this comes in form of harmonic analysis, which is based on the idea, whose scope has been shown by George Mackey… to be immense, that many kinds of entity become easier to handle by decomposing them into components belonging to spaces invariant under specified symmetries.”
The importance of mathematical conceptualisation,
by David Corfield, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Saturday July 20, 2002

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:13 PM

ABSTRACT: Finite projective geometry explains the surprising symmetry properties of some simple graphic designs– found, for instance, in quilts. Links are provided for applications to sporadic simple groups (via the "Miracle Octad Generator" of R. T. Curtis), to the connection between orthogonal Latin squares and projective spreads, and to symmetry of Walsh functions.
We regard the four-diamond figure D above as a 4×4 array of two-color diagonally-divided square tiles.

Let G be the group of 322,560 permutations of these 16 tiles generated by arbitrarily mixing random permutations of rows and of columns with random permutations of the four 2×2 quadrants.

THEOREM: Every G-image of D (as at right, below) has some ordinary or color-interchange symmetry.


For an animated version, click here.


Some of the patterns resulting from the action of G on D have been known for thousands of years. (See Jablan, Symmetry and Ornament, Ch. 2.6.) It is perhaps surprising that the patterns' interrelationships and symmetries can be explained fully only by using mathematics discovered just recently (relative to the patterns' age)– in particular, the theory of automorphism groups of finite geometries.

Using this theory, we can summarize the patterns' properties by saying that G is isomorphic to the affine group A on the linear 4-space over GF(2) and that the 35 structures of the 840 = 35 x 24 G-images of D are isomorphic to the 35 lines in the 3-dimensional projective space over GF(2).

This can be seen by viewing the 35 structures as three-sets of line diagrams, based on the three partitions of the four-set of square two-color tiles into two two-sets, and indicating the locations of these two-sets of tiles within the 4×4 patterns. The lines of the line diagrams may be added in a binary fashion (i.e., 1+1=0). Each three-set of line diagrams sums to zero– i.e., each diagram in a three-set is the binary sum of the other two diagrams in the set. Thus, the 35 three-sets of line diagrams correspond to the 35 three-point lines of the finite projective 3-space PG(3,2).

For example, here are the line diagrams for the figures above:

Shown below are the 15 possible line diagrams resulting from row/column/quadrant permutations. These 15 diagrams may, as noted above, be regarded as the 15 points of the projective 3-space PG(3,2).

The symmetry of the line diagrams accounts for the symmetry of the two-color patterns. (A proof shows that a 2nx2n two-color triangular half-squares pattern with such line diagrams must have a 2×2 center with a symmetry, and that this symmetry must be shared by the entire pattern.)

Among the 35 structures of the 840 4×4 arrays of tiles, orthogonality (in the sense of Latin-square orthogonality) corresponds to skewness of lines in the finite projective space PG(3,2). This was stated by the author in a 1978 note. (The note apparently had little effect. A quarter-century later, P. Govaerts, D. Jungnickel, L. Storme, and J. A. Thas wrote that skew (i.e., nonintersecting) lines in a projective space seem "at first sight not at all related" to orthogonal Latin squares.)

We can define sums and products so that the G-images of D generate an ideal (1024 patterns characterized by all horizontal or vertical "cuts" being uninterrupted) of a ring of 4096 symmetric patterns. There is an infinite family of such "diamond" rings, isomorphic to rings of matrices over GF(4).

The proof uses a decomposition technique for functions into a finite field that might be of more general use.

The underlying geometry of the 4×4 patterns is closely related to the Miracle Octad Generator of R. T. Curtis– used in the construction of the Steiner system S(5,8,24)– and hence is also related to the Leech lattice, which, as Walter Feit has remarked, "is a blown up version of S(5,8,24)."

For a movable JavaScript version of these 4×4 patterns, see The Diamond 16 Puzzle.

The above is an expanded version of Abstract 79T-A37, "Symmetry invariance in a diamond ring," by Steven H. Cullinane, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, February 1979, pages A-193, 194.

For a discussion of other cases of the theorem, click here.

Related pages:

The Diamond 16 Puzzle

Diamond Theory in 1937:
A Brief Historical Note

Notes on Finite Geometry

Geometry of the 4×4 Square

Binary Coordinate Systems

The 35 Lines of PG(3,2)

Map Systems:
Function Decomposition over a Finite Field

The Diamond Theorem–
The 2×2, the 2x2x2, the 4×4, and the 4x4x4 Cases

Diamond Theory

Latin-Square Geometry

Walsh Functions


The Diamond Theory of Truth

Geometry of the I Ching

Solomon's Cube and The Eightfold Way

Crystal and Dragon in Diamond Theory

The Form, the Pattern

The Grid of Time

Block Designs

Finite Relativity

Theme and Variations

Models of Finite Geometries

Quilt Geometry

Pattern Groups

The Fano Plane Revisualized,
or the Eightfold Cube

The Miracle Octad Generator


Visualizing GL(2,p)

Jung's Imago

Author's home page

AMS Mathematics Subject Classification:

20B25 (Group theory and generalizations :: Permutation groups :: Finite automorphism groups of algebraic, geometric, or combinatorial structures)

05B25 (Combinatorics :: Designs and configurations :: Finite geometries)

51E20 (Geometry :: Finite geometry and special incidence structures :: Combinatorial structures in finite projective spaces)

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Page created Jan. 6, 2006, by Steven H. Cullinane      diamondtheorem.com


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