It's that time of the year. Classes are starting up. You're nervous and excited to be taking some of your first "real" math classes called things like "Abstract Algebra" or "Real Anaylsis" or "Topology." It goes well for the first few weeks as the professor reviews some stuff and gets everyone on the same page.… Continue reading Surviving Upper Division Math
We're closing in on September, and since my brain still thinks of Sept-Sept as "the proper year" from all that time in academia, I got to thinking about my plans for this upcoming year. I decided it no longer made sense to have my internet presence so spread out. I originally created "matthewwardbooks.com" as the… Continue reading New Site and Future Plans
I'll tread carefully here, because we live in a strange time of questioning the motives and knowledge of experts to bolster every bizarre conspiracy theory under the sun. No one trusts any information anymore. It's not even clear if trusting/doubting expert opinion is anti/hyper-intellectual. But that isn't the subject of today's topic. I listen to… Continue reading What is an Expert?
I thought I'd get away from critiques and reviews and serious stuff like that for a week and talk about a cool (or scary) development in AI research. I won't talk about the details, so don't get scared off yet. This will be more of a high level history of what happened. Many of my… Continue reading On Google’s AlphaGo
I've been reading Manifold: Time by Stephen Baxter. The book is quite good so far, and it presents a fascinating probabilistic argument that humans will go extinct in the near future. It is sometimes called the Carter Catastrophe, because Brandon Carter first proposed it in 1983. I'll use Bayesian arguments, so you might want to review some… Continue reading The Carter Catastrophe
I recently finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. The book is like most Gladwell books. It has a central thesis, and then interweaves studies and anecdotes to make the case. In this one, the thesis is fairly obvious: sometimes things we think of as disadvantages have hidden… Continue reading The Infinite Cycle of Gladwell’s David and Goliath
The two most common alternate keyboard layouts are Dvorak and Colemak. This article is my experience with switching to Colemak.