Taking the blog public; new format

I have a fair number of archived posts, and am starting to work out the kinks on what I want out of the blog. So far, I am happy with the number of topics that seem approachable to both write about and read about. I plan to start putting new posts on Google+, as well as adding a link to my academic website (for the plethora of daily visits that gets). Here are a few thoughts and changes:

  • Pictures! New rule for the blog: my word-to-picture ratio will be lower than 100. If I expect anyone to slog through 500 words of my writing, I want to reward them with at least five pictures/figures/graphs. The pictures will not be any more interesting than the text, but maybe they will let you realize more quickly the terrible mistake you made in reading a post. Hard to keep pictures on topic today: these are from the Houston Marathon 2010, in honor of the Olympic marathon trials in Houston today (which I am missing), and the marathon tomorrow.
  • Difficulty: Typically, I am trying to not assume more background than calculus and maybe a bit of linear algebra. I do discuss my and other’s research, but do not plan on including any super technical proofs or results. I think the real difficulty for readers to be aware of other math out there, and for me to properly communicate the difficulties in studying problems in these fields. Hopefully the new format will help. Also, I am always happy to respond to comments.
  • Topics: Things have gotten a little math-y of late, and will probably continue to be that way. Some posts in the pipeline:
        1. Keep introducing and developing calculus of variations,
        2. Continue a thorough introduction to my research (i.e. the coarea formula),
        3. Very likely some posts on complex analysis, as I will be TAing that course this spring,
        4. More on visualizing functions and data as I work through Edward Tufte’s books, and continue producing figures for the dissertation
        5. Possibly related to the last, a discussion of how MATLAB does math (with vectors!) and displays data
        6. Also possibly related to the previous point (but not to the one before that!) continuing reflections on my adventures in programming. Likely hear the most about C++, but also some MATLAB and Python.

There is a project I would like to work on, which is writing programs to visualize fractals to arbitrary degree, and maybe trying to make some high resolution posters of these. Will likely take some work in learning about printing as well as in programming (efficiently). As a back of the envelope calculation, if you redraw Koch snowflake on each iteration, there will be four times as many line segments, and you start with a triangle. This give 3\cdot4^n = 3\cdot 2^{2n} line segments after n iterations. Since 2^{10} is about 1,000 we have that every 5 iterations will add three zeros to the total number of line segments I am keeping track of. Anyways.

Writing this post on the plane back to Houston after a month on the road.Will also have to write a dissertation sometime in the next three months…


2 comments on “Taking the blog public; new format

  1. macattack2k says:

    Mmmm, nice tip on on the word to image ratio. I think I’ll adopt that approach too… Maybe 1:200 though. Need the text to pad the images a bit 🙂

  2. Yeah, it is a bit clunky trying to place the images in a reasonable manner. I also wonder about the annoying-to-useful ratio of the gifs…

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