Thursday, May 7, 2020

Notes on MSRI (Pronounced “Misery”)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:01 PM

Sunday, October 20, 2019

MSRI (Pronounced “Misery”)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:29 AM

Saturday, July 29, 2017

MSRI Program

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 8:29 PM

"The field of geometric group theory emerged from Gromov’s insight
that even mathematical objects such as groups, which are defined
completely in algebraic terms, can be profitably viewed as geometric
objects and studied with geometric techniques."

— Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, 2016:

Geometric Group theory at MSRI (pronounced 'Misery')

See also some writings of Gromov from 2015-16:

For a simpler example than those discussed at MSRI
of both algebraic and geometric techniques applied to
the same group, see a post of May 19, 2017,
"From Algebra to Geometry." That post reviews
an earlier illustration —

For greater depth, see "Eightfold Cube" in this journal.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:01 PM

The title is the usual pronunciation of MSRI,
the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
at 17 Gauss Way, Berkeley, California.

The late Scandinavian novelist Stieg Larsson
might prefer to call this street Gardner Way.

I do not.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Gimme the beat, boys, and free my soul.

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:45 AM

Kant as Diamond Cutter

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 4:26 AM

“He wished Kant were alive. Kant would have appreciated it.
That master diamond cutter.”

— Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance , Part III.

Kant’s  “category theory” —

“In the Transcendental Analytic, Kant deduces the table of twelve categories, or pure concepts of the understanding….

The categories must be ‘schematized’ because their non-empirical origin in pure understanding prevents their having the sort of sensible content that would connect them immediately to the objects of experience; transcendental schemata are mediating representations that are meant to establish the connection between pure concepts and appearances in a rule-governed way. Mathematical concepts are discussed in this context since they are unique in being pure but also sensible concepts: they are pure because they are strictly a priori  in origin, and yet they are sensible since they are constructed in concreto . ”

— Shabel, Lisa, “Kant’s Philosophy of Mathematics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  (Spring 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2016/entries/kant-mathematics/>.

See also The Diamond Theorem and Octad.us.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Identity Problem

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:01 PM

The phrase “problem of identity” in the previous post suggests a search
for other instances of the phrase. That search yields a talk by Andrei Rodin:

A later book by Rodin echoes Vladimir Arnold‘s remark
that “mathematics is a part of physics.” (Rodin is a Russian
who apparently worships at the Church of Scientism.)

The Rodin talk is dated 19 November 2012.

For some very different philosophical remarks, by poet
Wallace Stevens, see the Log24 posts of 19 November 2012.

“The Ship of Theseus”…

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:17 PM

is a philosophical conundrum  discussed this morning  in the weblog of
David Justice.

A related statement of this “problem of identity,” from posts
in this  weblog tagged “For Banff 2009” yesterday afternoon

Remarks related to the ship of Theseus —

Monday, April 8, 2019

Misère Play

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 5:21 PM

Facebook on Bloomsday 2017 —

Also on that Bloomsday —

Chalkroom Jungle Revisited —

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Compare and Contrast

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:28 PM

Weyl on symmetry, the eightfold cube, the Fano plane, and trigrams of the I Ching

Related material on automorphism groups —

The "Eightfold Cube" structure shown above with Weyl
competes rather directly with the "Eightfold Way" sculpture 
shown above with Bryant. The structure and the sculpture
each illustrate Klein's order-168 simple group.

Perhaps in part because of this competition, fans of the Mathematical
Sciences Research Institute (MSRI, pronounced "Misery') are less likely
to enjoy, and discuss, the eight-cube mathematical structure  above
than they are an eight-cube mechanical puzzle  like the one below.

Note also the earlier (2006) "Design Cube 2x2x2" webpage
illustrating graphic designs on the eightfold cube. This is visually,
if not mathematically, related to the (2010) "Expert's Cube."

Friday, August 4, 2017


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:08 PM

Landon T. Clay, founder of the Clay Mathematics Institute,
reportedly died on Saturday, July 29, 2017.

See related Log24 posts, now tagged Prize Problem,
from the date of Clay's death and the day before.

Update of 9 PM ET on August 4, 2017 —

Other mathematics discussed here on the date of Clay's death —

MSRI Program. Here MSRI is pronounced "Misery."

Update of 9:45 PM ET on August 4, 2017 —

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sermon: MS R I

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:57 AM

From Solomon's Cube

"Here MSRI, an acronym for Mathematical Sciences Research Institute,
is pronounced 'Misery.' See Stephen King [and] K.C. Cole . . . ."

From a manuscript by Mikhail Gromov cited yesterday in MSRI Program —

Quotes from a founder of geometric group theory

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In Memoriam…

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:25 PM

industrial designer Kenji Ekuan —

Eightfold Design.

The adjective "eightfold," intrinsic to Buddhist
thought, was hijacked by Gell-Mann and later 
by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
(MSRI, pronounced "misery").  The adjective's
application to a 2x2x2 cube consisting of eight
subcubes, "the eightfold cube," is not intended to
have either Buddhist or Semitic overtones.  
It is pure mathematics.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Plato’s Ghost

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:07 AM

Jeremy Gray, Plato's Ghost: The Modernist Transformation of Mathematics, Princeton, 2008–

"Here, modernism is defined as an autonomous body of ideas, having little or no outward reference, placing considerable emphasis on formal aspects of the work and maintaining a complicated— indeed, anxious— rather than a naïve relationship with the day-to-day world, which is the de facto view of a coherent group of people, such as a professional or discipline-based group that has a high sense of the seriousness and value of what it is trying to achieve. This brisk definition…."

Brisk? Consider Caesar's "The die is cast," Gray in "Solomon's Cube," and yesterday's post

Group of 8 cube-face permutations generated by reflections in midplanes parallel to faces

This is the group of "8 rigid motions
generated by reflections in midplanes"
of Solomon's Cube.

Related material:

"… the action of G168 in its alternative guise as SL(3; Z/2Z) is also now apparent. This version of G168 was presented by Weber in [1896, p. 539],* where he attributed it to Kronecker."

— Jeremy Gray, "From the History of a Simple Group," in The Eightfold Way, MSRI Publications, 1998

Here MSRI, an acronym for Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, is pronounced "Misery." See Stephen King, K.C. Cole, and Heinrich Weber.

*H. Weber, Lehrbuch der Algebra, Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1896. Reprinted by Chelsea, New York, 1961.

Powered by WordPress