Game of Life, Part 1, The Rule 1

Posted by Cleve Moler,

This is part one of a series of posts about John Conway's Game of Life. One deceptively simple rule leads to an incredible variety of patterns, puzzles, and unsolved mathematical problems, and a beautiful use of MATLAB sparse matrices. ... read more >>

Symmetric Pair Decomposition 1

Posted by Cleve Moler,

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 >>

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