The Samovar

My mathematical genealogy
February 16, 2009, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Academia, Frivolity, Mathematics

The Mathematics Genealogy Project has a huge database of mathematicians, showing who was supervised by whom, and what students everyone had. If you’re a mathematician, you can use this to trace back who your mathematical ancestors were and it can be quite fun. Below is a chart I made of my own mathematical genealogy. It’s nice to see exciting names from the history of mathematics and science there, such as Poisson, Laplace, Lagrange, d’Alembert, Euler, the Bernoullis, Leibniz,  and Huygens (I stopped at that point). The dates are when they finished their doctorate, or if they didn’t do one, when they lived.


Some sense on terrorism
February 11, 2009, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Politics, Terrorism

Reg article reporting on Nigel Inkster, former Assistant Chief of MI6:

There are limits to what we can sensibly aspire to…

Efforts to establish a global repository of counterterrorist information are unlikely ever to succeed. We need to be wary of rebuilding our world to deal with just one problem, one which might not be by any means the most serious we face.

We need to keep terrorism in some kind of context, for example, every year in the UK, more people die in road accidents than have been killed by terrorists in all of recorded history.

We should keep our nerve and our faith in our own values. Our own behaviour – especially with respect to the rule of law – is very important.

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