How do you compute the hypotenuse of a right triangle without squaring the lengths of the sides and without taking any square roots?... read more >>
I have been interested in the computation of the matrix exponential, $e^A$, for a long time. A recent query from a user provides a provocative example.... read more >>
We all know that Friday the 13th is unlucky, but is it unlikely?... read more >>
An esoteric fact about matrices is that any real matrix can be written as the product of two symmetric matrices. I've known about this fact for years, but never seriously explored the computational aspects. So I'm using this post to clarify my own understanding of what I'll call the symmetric pair decomposition. It turns out that there are open questions. I don't think we know how to reliably compute the factors. But I also have to admit that, even if we could compute them, I don't know of any practical use.... read more >>
Biorhythms were invented over 100 years ago and entered our popular culture in the 1960s. You can still find many Web sites today that offer to prepare personalized biorhythms, or that sell software to compute them. Biorhythms are based on the notion that three sinusoidal cycles influence our lives. The physical cycle has a period of 23 days, the emotional cycle has a period of 28 days, and the intellectual cycle has a period of 33 days. For any individual, the cycles are initialized at birth. All the people on earth born on one particular day share the biorhythm determined by that date.... read more >>
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