Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In the Park with Yin and Yang

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:35 PM

In memory of an art dealer who 
reportedly died on Sunday, May 7—

Decorations for a Cartoon Graveyard

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday December 16, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:00 PM
The Square Wheel

From The n-Category Cafe today:

David Corfield at 2:33 PM UTC quoting a chapter from a projected second volume of a biography:

"Grothendieck’s spontaneous reaction to whatever appeared to be causing a difficulty… was to adopt and embrace the very phenomenon that was problematic, weaving it in as an integral feature of the structure he was studying, and thus transforming it from a difficulty into a clarifying feature of the situation."

John Baez at 7:14 PM UTC on research:

"I just don’t want to reinvent a wheel, or waste my time inventing a square one."

For the adoption and embracing of such a problematic phenomenon, see The Square Wheel (this journal, Sept. 14, 2004).

For a connection of the square wheel with yesterday's entry for Julie Taymor's birthday, see a note from 2002:

Wolfram's Theory of Everything
and the Gameplayers of Zan

Related pictures–

From Wolfram:


A Square

From me:


A Wheel

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

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