And Speaking of Biologists and Mathematics

Well, I see that Nick has been a little more active this last month.  Thus, it is with great guilt that I try to step beyond my laziness and post something!

First, some announcements:

  • I am going to try keeping the Mathematical Biology Seminar going this Fall quarter, though the meetings will be every other week.  My plan is to focus on Neural Network modelling and the use of NEURON software to implement some simple network models.
  • I would also like to keep the old CAMG meeting going, assuming there is any interest.  Drop a comment is you’d like to join us in exploring \LaTeX, as well as some other software.

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Differential Equations Study Guide … in process

I’ve been asked by a few friends of mine who are in need of a primer on Differential Equations to write up a study guide.  The crazy thing is that I’m not exactly proficient in the subject.  I’m a Game Theory guy.  But, there was a time in my life when Calculus related topics were what I was good at.  I just have to find the information, rotting in my brain, scared to come out.

For me, this will serve to refresh my mind on the subject, but also to provide me an opportunity to learn some latex, as WordPress has the rather nice ability to incorporate Latex code directly into a post.

Stay tuned if you too are far too deficient in your DQ  IQ.

CAMG: First Meeting Notes

OK, so it’s the weekend after the second meeting… Better late than never. I was not able to make it to the second meeting, which is a shame since Saij tells me it was quite interesting! I’ll see if I can get Eric to post what he covered…

As for the first meeting, well…

It was my job to talk about \LaTeX, and so we gathered around and went over the pre-processing stuff, also known as the ‘preamble’ to a document. If you are interested, you can see more here. While chatting, we went into a discussion of proof-verification systems using Coq and Mizar, and their connection to \LaTeX. Interestingly, I have heard that Mizar is able to produce \LaTeX output so that one can immediately produce the typeset article (although I cannot now re-find that reference, so perhaps I am incorrect…). This led us to discuss the general inhospitality of such formal mathematics towards human readers. We then talked about the possibility of an additional program to take a verified proof from the formal setting and render it in a more human-friendly way, such as what might be required by an instructor.

Perhaps we could ‘Erdmanize’, or ‘Jiangize’ a formal text, rendering it into something either of these instructors (who ask their students to produce very different mathematical prose) would accept. Even more important, I think, would be to have the produced text include examples and perhaps counterexamples – something completely unnecessary to a formal proof checker, but very important for human understanding.

Tim is very interested in computer verifications systems, and may take us on a tour of Coq, which he is actually using in another course. Eric has already started us out on Sage, and I will be continuing the \LaTeX journey next week.

Speaking of which- we continued our \LaTeX discussion with a brief introduction to the fancy headers package (available here) and elaboration on the different environments for arranging text on the page in a ‘tabular’ form: lists, tables, arrays, et cetera. Next week, I am planning on talking about how to adjust margins and the appearance of the page, along with a better discussion of the different ‘environments’ available to us. If there is anything in particular you would like to hear about, drop a comment my way and I’ll either add it in this week, or at least have it for the future!

We finished up with a discussion of what we might cover in the future: the Haskell programming language (With a book suggested by Tim), Discrete Mathematics, Computer Proof Verification, computer modeling, SAGE, and \LaTeX. Tom expressed the desire, that if we do nothing else, focusing on SAGE and \LaTeX would be a good start for this quarter.

Thus endeth the first meeting. Hope to see you at future ones!

ex animo-


Happy Birthday Knuth!

Donald Knuth is the guy who invented LaTeX\TeX and it turns out that today (Thursday, as I write this) is his 70th birthday. For a nice article about him and what he’s done in computer science in addition to inventing \TeX, go here, or here, or follow the links they give!

ex animo-


Thanks to Jeffrey Shallit for the correction.

Using LaTeX on the blog…

Evidently, it is pretty easy to use \LaTeX on wordpress…

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LaTeX Follow Up

So we only had three people show up, but that’s better than none! If anyone else is interested, post a comment, and we’ll try to set up another session.As for what we discussed — see below!

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LaTeX Get-Together

When: 10 a.m. Tuesday, 11 December 07

Where: 3rd Floor Atrium, Neuberger Hall, PSU Campus

What: Installing and Learning (Basic) LaTeX. Bring your laptops (if you have one), or whatever computer on which you plan to do your homework. Extra laptops (as loaners) and power strips would probably be helpful. Also have some mathematics you want to render so we can get you up to speed as fast as possible! Continue reading