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A Matroid-Quantum Connection

August 26, 2019


With tighter links between notions of rank?

Composite of src1, src2 (our congrats)

James Oxley and Geoff Whittle are mathematicians at LSU and Victoria University (Wellington, New Zealand), respectively. They have written many joint papers on matroid theory, but none on quantum computing.

Today we observe that they really have indirectly written a paper on quantum computing.

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Our Trip To Monte Carlo

August 20, 2019


Why does randomness help?

Kathryn Farley is my dear wife. She and I are currently on a cruise through the Mediterranean. Our trip started in Barcelona and is stopping daily at various cities as we journey to Rome. “Tough duty,” but we are trying to enjoy it.

Today I wish to talk about our visit to Monte Carlo.
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Predicting Chess and Horses

August 15, 2019


Using predictivity both to sharpen and cross-check models

Cropped from article source

Patrice Miller and Jeff Seder look under the hide of horses. Their company EQB does predictive modeling for horse racing based on biometric data. They are famous for having advised the owner of American Pharoah not to sell because the horse had a powerful heart. In 2015, American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner since the also-hearty Secretariat in 1978.

Today I am happy to announce an extended version of my predictive model for chess and discuss how it gains accuracy by looking under the hood of chess positions.
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Leaps and Bounds: Practice Meets Theory

August 11, 2019


Solving the runtime selection problem

Composite from src1, src2

Brendan Lucier and Csaba Szepesvári were consecutive speakers at this week’s workshop at the Toyota Technological Institute in Chicago on “Automated Algorithm Design.”

Today I will discuss their talks, which I enjoyed greatly at the workshop.
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Code It Up

August 6, 2019


So you think you have a proof that P=NP

Randi 2014 documentary source

James Randi is a magician who has challenged paranormal claims of all kinds.

Today Ken and I want to make a suggestion to those who claim they have proved P=NP.
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The Electoral College: Is It Good?

August 2, 2019


A old unpublished result, some new published results

[ Playbill ]

Alexander Hamilton was a framer of the U.S. Constitution. He wrote the bulk of the Federalist Papers (FP) defending the Constitution. Today he is best known for the playbill—the musical on his life—and the bill, the US ten dollar bill.

Today I thought we would discuss the U.S. electoral college (EC).
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Discrepancy Games and Sensitivity

July 25, 2019


Can we connect the talks that closed this month’s Random Structures and Algorithms conference?

Cropped from NYU homepage

Joel Spencer gave the closing talk of last week’s Random Structures and Algorithms conference at ETH Zurich.

Today we discuss his talk and the one that preceded it, which was by Hao Huang on his proof this month of the Boolean sensitivity conjecture.

Spencer’s talk was titled “Four Discrepancies” and based on a joint paper with Nikhil Bansal. The main new result in the talk was a case where a bound of {O(\sqrt{n\log n})} arising from reasoning about normal distribution can, surprisingly, be improved to a sharp {O(\sqrt{n})}.

We will talk about this first, but then progress to the talk that preceded Spencer’s. It was by Hao Huang, who was extended an invitation right after his announced proof of the Boolean Sensitivity Conjecture earlier this month. Our ulterior purpose is to ask whether any concrete connections can be found besides both talks addressing problems on the {\{-1,+1\}^n} hypercube. Read more…