Sam and Polly and How I Know the Answer.

November 23rd, 2008

So anyway, I’m too lazy to write an original post, so I’ll just copy a draft of my report that I turned in for this project.

The Problem:

An alien appears to two mathematicians, Sam and Polly.  The alien says, “I’m thinking of two numbers, X and Y with 3 <= X <= Y <= 97.  I will tell their sum to Sam and their product to Polly.”  The alien does this and then disappears.  The following conversation occurs:
Sam:  You don’t know what X and Y are.
Polly:  That’s true, but now I do.
Sam:  And now I do too.
Find X and Y.
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A new toy

October 20th, 2008

I just got a new laptop (and am writing this post from it while sitting in front of my desktop naturally) which I intend to use primarily for schoolwork.  I always considered it quite a hassle to transfer my work from the computer labs at school to my home computer and this will make things much easier.  I’m still sort of setting things up on it.  Right now I’m in the middle of downloading Mathematica for it and that will be the last part of getting it completely ready to go. 

I must thank my mother for paying for this (in addition to the Boston trip she funded which I have yet to post about).

It’s a mathstorm

October 14th, 2008

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve had any real time to do much posting here.  The senior design course I’m in is sucking up a large proportion of my time.  I don’t see this changing any time soon, either.

Anyway, as of Monday, we were assigned projects in the Number Theory class I’m taking.  I chose to solve a “difficult” problem.  It goes like this:

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It’s over 9000

September 23rd, 2008

700 billion USD?!

The field trip

June 24th, 2008

So on Monday everyone in the research program I’m in (my job) was required to attend a field trip to the Rolls-Royce plant in Indianapolis. If I could only have learned one thing from the trip it’s that Rolls-Royce doesn’t make cars. I knew that going in since I’m in aerospace and Rolls-Royce is pretty well known for their gas turbine jet engines. The reason I mention this is because every time I said to someone that I’d be visiting Rolls-Royce, they’d inevitably ask what cars have to do with aerospace engineering. So just remember this: Rolls-Royce does not make cars.
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Something worthwhile

June 18th, 2008

The other day I was talking with the grad student I work for and we were discussing flux boundary conditions. It might help to know more about what it is we’ve been doing lately. As I mentioned in my last post, the grad student has been working on an FEM package. What it does is takes, as input, a file describing a kind of problem to solve. Among other things the file has sections that need to describe the boundary conditions for the problem.
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I have seen the other side.

June 11th, 2008

Well, I haven’t written in a long while. I’ve been quite busy recently. Work has been consuming most of my time. Don’t take that as a bad thing, though; I’m actually liking it immensely. I’ve been working especially hard these last couple of days with a grad student helping to fix and write code in an FEM package he’s been working on in C++. It’s hard work but I really enjoy it. Unfortunately it does take time away from thinking about totally useless but interesting things. Sometime this week we’re going to come up with a finite element formulation for two or three different models of fluid flow (at the very least we’re going to try the continuity equation and a linearized flow model). So when that’s done I might post it up here.

This one’s about programming

May 22nd, 2008

Well, I think it’s about time I went off on a bit of a rant about something programming related. For those of you that don’t know, I used Game Maker back in the day and, as a result, became a member of the Game Maker Community (GMC) which is a forum for GM. Now, I still frequent the forum largely out of habit and because of some friends I’ve met there.
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And now for something completely different

May 22nd, 2008

Well, up until now I’d say my writing has been pretty dry and impersonal. Granted it does represent how I spend my time pretty well, something just isn’t quite right. None of it really contains any opinion. I suppose this is largely because I lack any strong opinions myself. Unfortunately I keep myself–not entirely intentionally–separated from, what you might call, the real world. I don’t follow news or politics so I never really know what’s going on.

It’s a shame, I suppose. Maybe if I had opinions, I’d have something actually interesting to say. But, when it comes to current events, I just don’t care.

Cones, Planes, and Automobiles…err…Spheres

May 14th, 2008

Ohh, something new? Well, seeing as I was out of town with essentially nothing to do, I do what I always do: math.

I was looking at an image posted earlier by KC LC with shadows cast by a sphere sitting on a plane. Something stuck out at me which I guess would only stick out if you’ve been staring at conics as long as I have (keep in mind, I’m in aerospace and conics show up big time in orbital mechanics). I noticed that the point of contact between the sphere and plane was pretty damn close to the focus of each of the conic section shadows (I explained the reason for them being conics in a previous comment). While it was easy to demonstrate that the shadows themselves were indeed conics, it’s not nearly as obvious that the point where the sphere touches the plane is a focus of the resulting conic.

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