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The Primes Strike Again

April 1, 2016

And lead to new kinds of cheating and ideas for our field


Faadosly Polir is the older brother of Lofa Polir. He is now working as a full time investigative reporter for GLL.

Today Ken and I are publishing several of his recent investigations that you may find interesting.
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Bias In The Primes

March 26, 2016

Casinos beware—the primes are not random

Quanta source (K.S. at left)

Robert Lemke Oliver and Kannan Soundararajan have observed that the primes fail some simple tests of randomness in senses that are both concrete and theoretical.

Today we discuss this wonderful work and what it means both for properties of the primes and for asymptotics.
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2016

A trick of language and echoing


Neil L. is a Leprechaun. He has been visiting me once every year since I started GLL. I had never seen a leprechaun before I began the blog—there must be some connection.

Today I want to share the experience I had with him this morning of St. Patrick’s Day.
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One Flip Sends Many Bits

March 14, 2016

Another coins on a chessboard puzzle

Cropped from Ashley’s TwiCopy source

Hou Yifan and Maurice Ashley are champions of chess in several senses. Hou just regained the Women’s World Champion title by defeating Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine 3-0-6 in their match which ended today in Lviv. Along with her male Chinese compatriots who reign as Olympiad team champions, she headlines an extraordinary growth of the game in southeast Asia. Ashley became the first ever grandmaster to play a tournament in Jamaica where he was born and has been one of the game’s premier video commentators and ambassadors for over two decades. The past two years he teamed with entrepreneur Amy Lee of Vancouver to create and run the Millionaire Chess open tournaments in Las Vegas, to raise the professional profile of the game.

Today Ken and I present another puzzle in our “Coins on a Chessboard” series, theming it after Ashley’s “Millionaire Square” promotion.
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Stonefight at the Goke Corral

March 11, 2016

Will there be any man left standing?

Sensei’s Library player bio source

Lee Sedol of South Korea, who is currently ranked #4 on the unofficial GoRatings list, may be on his way to being #5. AlphaGo, a computer project sponsored by Google DeepMind, is ahead 2-0 in their five-game match.

Today I take stock, explain some of what has happened, and briefly discuss the prospects for AI and human ingenuity.
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David Johnson: 1945-2016

March 9, 2016

David just passed away


David Johnson was a computer theorist who worked on many things, with special emphasis on the care and treatment of hard computational problems.

Ken and I are sad today to hear that David just passed away.

Many will announce this sad event; we expect that the whole community will express how much they miss David. He was unique among theorists in his dedication to see how hard so-called “intractable” problems really are. He dedicated much of his career to building challenges: A typical one asked you to design an algorithm that solved some hard problem, often an NP-complete one. These challenges were of great importance in pushing forward the field of attacking difficult but important problems.
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A Matter of Agreement

March 7, 2016

On the 2015 Turing Award

Mirror image of source

Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, and Ralph Merkle publicly broke the yoke of symmetry in cryptography in the 1970s. Their work created the era of modern cryptography—all previous work, including the great work of Claude Shannon in 1949, implicitly assumed that the system must be symmetric.

Today Dick and I congratulate Diffie and Hellman on winning the 2015 ACM Turing Award and discuss the contributions of all three.
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