Tim Chartier, author of Math Bytes: Google Bombs, Chocolate-Covered Pi, and Other Cool Bits in Computing has turned some mathematical tricks to help better predict the outcome of this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Along with the help of fellow Davidson professor Michael Mossinghoff and Whittier professor Mark Kozek, Chartier developed FIFA Foe Fun, a program that enables us ordinary, algorithmically untalented folk to generate a slew of possible match outcomes. The tool weighs factors like penalty shoot-outs and the number of years of matches considered, all with the click of a couple buttons. Chartier used a similar strategy in his March Mathness project, which allowed students and basketball fans alike to create mathematically-produced brackets – many of which were overwhelmingly successful in their predictions.
Although the system usually places the most highly considered teams, like Brazil, Germany, and Argentina at the top, the gadget is still worth a look. Tinker around a bit, and let us know in the comments section how your results pan out over the course of the competition.
In the meantime, check out the video below to hear Chartier briefly spell out the logic of the formula.
Harvard Business professor Misiek Piskorski is making the media rounds in New York to promote the publication of A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media. Here, with Yahoo! Finance, he discusses why Twitter needs to make a big play in India if it wants to stay relevant and competitive with other social media platforms like Facebook and Alibaba.
And here he discusses social media and the growth of Uber on Bloomberg TV:
|A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media
Mikolaj Jan Piskorski
Hardcover | 2014 | $29.95 / £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691153391
To mark the publication of Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, we are delighted to share a series of playful graphics by our design team which illustrate some of the most interesting terms from the Dictionary. For week six in the “Untranslatable Tuesdays” series we present Media/Medium (of communication):
By the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of a family resemblance between the various “implements of intercommunication” meant that they could be compared and contrasted in profitable new ways. . . . The term “mass media” found its niche in scholarly articles by such influential American midcentury thinkers as Hadley Cantril, Harold Lasswell, and Paul Lazarsfeld. But European philosophers resisted this tendency. . . . For Sartre, Adorno, and their contemporaries, “mass media” was less an untranslatable than an untouchable sullied by intellectual and institutional associations with American cultural imperialism. . . . This resistance was soon exhausted. . . . Cognates like “multimedia,” “remediation,” and “mediality” proliferate globally. This reflects less the dominance of English than the collective urgency of an intellectual project. (Ben Kafka)
Considered by many to be the father of computer science, Alan Turing is remembered today for his many contributions to the study of computers, artificial intelligence, and code breaking. On December 24, Queen Elizabeth II officially pardoned the late British mathematician and the action recalled attention to his groundbreaking work as well as his personal life. In 1952, Turing was charged with homosexuality, which was considered a criminal act in England at the time. Two years later, he took his own life. Today, mathematicians and computer scientists celebrate Turing’s broad contributions to his field.
For more on the life and work of Turing, check out these resources:
Princeton University Press recently re-released Andrew Hodges’s biography of Alan Turing: Alan Turing: The Enigma — The Centenary Edition.
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades–all before his suicide at age forty-one. This classic biography of the founder of computer science, reissued on the centenary of his birth with a substantial new preface by the author, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life. A gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution, Andrew Hodges’s acclaimed book captures both the inner and outer drama of Turing’s life.
Turing earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton in 1938. Watch the video below to hear Andrew Appel (chair of the department of computer science at Princeton) discuss Turing’s legacy.
Andrew Appel on Alan Turing’s legacy
(Princeton School of Engineering and Applied Science)
Appel, a Princeton graduate, is the editor of another recent release by Princeton University Press, Alan Turing’s Systems of Logic: The Princeton Thesis.
Though less well known than his other work, Turing’s 1938 Princeton PhD thesis, “Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals,” which includes his notion of an oracle machine, has had a lasting influence on computer science and mathematics. This book presents a facsimile of the original typescript of the thesis along with essays by Andrew Appel and Solomon Feferman that explain its still-unfolding significance.
Preview the book by reading Chapter One.
In case you haven’t looked at today’s Google Doodle yet, July 3rd marks the 130th birthday anniversary of novelist Franz Kafka. Kafka is the subject of a major three-part biography by Reiner Stach and translated by Shelley Frisch, the first two of which are just out this month from our fair Press (KAFKA: The Years of Insight and KAFKA: The Decisive Years, for those not already in the know).
In the commercial publishing world, Peter Mendelsund came up with some stellar cover overhauls for many of Kafka’s works for Schocken Books, a division of Random House, including “The Trial,” “Amerika,” and “The Castle.” Here’s a fun birthday video they released for the anniversary, as part of what graphic artist Neil Gower aptly calls the “Tour de Franz“:
The birthday coverage has also been picked up by Michael Cavna of Washington Post‘s Comic Riffs blog, Mashable, PC Magazine, the Guardian, and the Toronto Star, among others. Over at the Christian Science Monitor, Katherine Jacobsen identifies a great quote from British poet W. H. Auden on the brilliant German-language writer:
Kafka is important because his predicament is the predicament of modern man.
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves, so in that spirit, happy birthday, Dr. Kafka!
This video was taped at a recent event at the Johns Hopkins University bookstore. The speaker here is W. Bernard Carlson, author of Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age.
Did Tesla really invent a death ray? Could he have provided unlimited free energy to the world? Did he really fall in love with a laser-eyed pigeon? There are many rumors and myths surrounding Nikola Tesla, and biographer Bernard Carlson will separate fact from fiction tonight at the Johns Hopkins University Bookstore at 7 PM.
With a functioning Tesla coil by his side, Dr. Carlson will discuss his new biography, Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age. 70 years after Tesla’s death, this major new book sheds new light on his visionary approach to invention and the business strategies behind his most important technological breakthroughs. Publishers Weekly calls the book “[An] electric portrait,” and it received a starred review in Booklist.
See you there!
Homewood – Barnes & Noble JHU Book Store
3330 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Find this event on the PUP Calendar, to set a reminder for yourself and share news of the event.
GeekWire recently held a Geek Madness. Over several weeks their readers whittled down a field of 32 all-star scientists to name Tesla, the Greatest Geek of All Time.
Tesla entered the competition as the #2 seed in the Math/Science field of competitors, but emerged victorious after vanquishing opponents like Linus Torvalds (ranked 14 on the Technology side), Albert Einstein (1), Charles Darwin (7), and Alexander Graham Bell (15). High praise from a geeky audience and as publishers of Tesla: The Inventor of the Electrical Age, we couldn’t agree more.
Here’s the blow-by-blow from GeekWire:
Tesla led from start-to-finish in the championship match over 14-seed Linus Torvalds, as Mr. Cinderella fell one upset short of what would have been one of the most epic underdog stories in geek history.
But it was Tesla garnering 1,764 of the votes to edge Torvalds, who still managed to do his Linux faithful proud with 1,293 votes to his name.
Read the complete post at GeekWire: http://www.geekwire.com/2013/geek-madness-tesla-named-greatest-geek-trouncing-torvalds/
We hope some of these Tesla fans will show up to meet Bernard Carlson and get an autographed copy of Tesla: The Inventor of the Electrical Age.
I can do everything I need to do from the comfort of my couch. I can order groceries to be delivered to my house, talk to my friends, and write a collaborative paper all online. Today we can do all sorts of things on-line- including getting an education. William G. Bowen, president emeritus of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Princeton University, explains what he believes are the benefits of technology in higher education in his new book Higher Education in the Digital Age.
Stanford University announced today that they will be teaming up with edX- a massive open online course (MOOC) platform that offers university-level courses online. The Washington Post reports that Anant Argarwal, president of edX “envisions that any school or company could use it to mount a course, part of what he calls a ‘true, planet-scale democratization of education.'”
Bowen believes that this type of technology can transform higher education by making it more accessible and cost-efficient while still being able to provide quality education. He recognizes the potential downsides of the future of online learning and notes in an article for Inside Higher Ed, “One of the issues is really an equity issue, at the end of the day, will the gap between haves and have-nots be narrowed or widened by this development.”
Plenty of people I know take classes online as their primary route to education and others take classes online in addition to going to physical classes. As online courses and MOOC platforms become more and more prevalent, maybe more of us will be taking classes from the comfort of our couches.