Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spaghetti Junction

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Literary remarks for Maundy Thursday—

IMAGE- 'It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ's high table....'

      — C. P. Snow, foreword to G. H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology

Related material—

Emory University press release of January 20th, 2011:

"In 1937, Hans Rademacher found an exact formula for calculating partition values. While the method was a big improvement over Euler's exact formula, it required adding together infinitely many numbers that have infinitely many decimal places. 'These numbers are gruesome,' Ono says….

… The final eureka moment occurred near another Georgia landmark: Spaghetti Junction. Ono and Jan Bruinier were stuck in traffic near the notorious Atlanta interchange. While chatting in the car, they hit upon a way to overcome the infinite complexity of Rademacher's method. They went on to prove a formula that requires only finitely many simple numbers.

'We found a function, that we call P, that is like a magical oracle,' Ono says. 'I can take any number, plug it into P, and instantly calculate the partitions of that number….'"

See also this journal on April 15 and a Google Groups [sage-devel] thread, Ono-Bruinier partition formula. That thread started on April 15 and was last updated this morning.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Table Talk

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:59 PM

The following was suggested by a link within this evening's earlier Kane site link.

Peter J. Cameron's weblog on August 26, 2010

A Latin square  of order n  is a n × n  array with entries from the symbol set {1, 2, …, n }, such that each symbol occurs once in each row and once in each column. Now it is not hard to show that, up to permutations of the rows, columns and symbols, there are only two Latin squares of order 4:

1 2 3 4
2 1 4 3
3 4 1 2
4 3 2 1
1 2 3 4
2 3 4 1
3 4 1 2
4 1 2 3

 Some related literary remarks—

Proginoskes and Latin Squares.

See also "It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ's high table…."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Supper at Eight (continued)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Review— “It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ’s high table….”

See also this afternoon’s Other Literary Symbolism.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An Ordinary Evening

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:32 PM

Happy birthday to G. H. Hardy and E. T. Bell.

"It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ’s high table, except that Hardy was dining as a guest."


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday July 13, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:24 PM
Christ's High Table

C. P. Snow in A Mathematician's Apology :


"It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ's high table, except that Hardy was dining as a guest. He had just returned to Cambridge as Sadleirian professor, and I had heard something of him from young Cambridge mathematicians. They were delighted to have him back: he was a real  mathematician, they said, not like those Diracs and Bohrs the physicists were always talking about: he was the purest of the pure. He was also unorthodox, eccentric, radical, ready to talk about anything. This was 1931, and the phrase was not yet in English use, but in later days they would have said that in some indefinable way he had star quality."

Perhaps now also at Christ's high table– Scarlett O'Hara's Younger Sister , Evelyn Keyes, who died on July 4, 2008:

"… the memory of Evelyn Keyes looking at herself on the screen, exclaiming: 'There's star quality! Look at those tits!'"


Evelyn Keyes in 99 River Street


See also "Supper at Eight" and
Irreconcilable Differences.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday October 15, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Cleavage Term

Snow is mainly remembered as the author of The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1959).

According to Orrin Judd, we can now see “how profoundly wrong Snow was in everything except for his initial metaphor, of a divide between science and the rest of the culture.”

For more on that metaphor, see the previous entry, “The Line.”

I prefer a lesser-known work of Snow– his long biographical foreword to G. H. Hardy’s A Mathematician’s Apology. The foreword, like the book itself, is an example of what Robert M. Pirsig calls “Quality.”  It begins with these words:

“It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ’s high table, except that Hardy was dining as a guest.”

Related material:

Wallace Stevens,
“The Sail of Ulysses,”
Canto V

Friday, October 15, 2004

Friday October 15, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM
Snow Jobs

In memory of C. P. Snow,
whose birthday is today

“Without the narrative prop of
High Table dinner conversation
at Cambridge, Snow would be lost.”
— Roger Kimball*

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/041015-Sup.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“It was a perfectly ordinary night
at Christ’s high table, except that
Hardy was dining as a guest.”
— C. P. Snow**

“666=, and there is
no other decomposition.”
— G. H. Hardy***

* The Two Cultures Today

** Foreword to
A Mathematician’s Apology

*** A Mathematician’s Apology

Oct. 15, 2004, 7:11:37 PM

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