tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-175046352017-03-11T13:30:42.318-05:00MathCog Idiocy"Let's face the obvious. Yesterday we were nerds. Today we're the cognitive elite. Let's conquer." - Chester G. Edwards
"Anybody remotely interesting is mad, in some way or another." - Doctor WhoJacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.comBlogger188125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-22554976727341318052012-04-03T14:00:00.000-04:002012-04-03T14:00:03.737-04:00More musings on countingI'm going to start with some links from people who know far more than I do about counting, number sense, and the brain.<br /><br />Just some fun background information. <i><a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080204212909.htm">Neural Basis of 'Number Sense' in Young Infants</a></i> from Science Daily (2008)<br /><br />A group of videos from <a href="http://vimeo.com/12174452">Brannon Lab</a> - there are babies and animals.<br /><br />I'm also including an earlier post of mine on counting which is more "scientific" than this one will be - <a href="http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/06/lets-start-with-counting.html">Let's start with counting</a><br /><br />So onto my musings. I started to wonder about what children might learn from counting. I'm not talking about learning their numbers or learning how to count "properly", but maybe some underlying things we don't normally think of.<br /><br />(Jacqui's Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is personal opinion when I talk about counting or what we might learn from it. I'm relying on my memories (new and old) of children counting and have not done any research to back-up my ideas.)<br /><br />Counting is first about putting things in order - defining a path with steps set out at regular intervals. Think about it. We learn to count by repeating the steps - one, two, three, and so on. As the numbers get bigger (somewhere above 10), children have a harder time getting the in between steps, but the general pattern remains. Think about it - children will quite often count to ten and then hit a few more numbers and go to twenty. The counting will go something like, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 17, 18, 20." Some steps are skipped but the order from smaller to larger is maintained.<br /><br />So somewhere in counting, it appears that children either learn or have a built in understanding of counting as an orderly function from smallest to largest. As children get older, they learn other ways to count. The may count by two's or three's or, once fractions are learned, by halves usually. Order and regular intervals are maintained. Most children when counting by fractions seem to know to count as "1/2, 1, 1-1/2, 2, 2-1/2" and so forth. I can't remember hearing a child count by skipping around on the intervals with something like, "1/2, 1, 1-3/4, 2, 3" and so on unless they were purposely being silly.<br /><br />Counting backwards also seems to maintain order and regular intervals although the path is reversed from largest to smallest.<br /><br />So counting might teach children about order, about following a path, about assigning intervals between things. But what happens when numbers go from counting words with no particular concept tied to the individual numbers?<br /><br />Once children learn to associate a concept with a number, what do they learn? At some point, children understand that a pile of 3 candies is smaller than a pile of 4 similar candies and can order piles of similar candies, but if the piles are made up of vastly different sized sweets (think a pile of 3 M&Ms and a pile of 2 chocolate chip cookies), the order might be decided based on the overall size of the piles rather than the number of items. But children do learn to discriminate between the two and to grasp an understanding of quantity.<br /><br />Then somewhere in there they learn the concept of number. That is that two has a special meaning - its "twoness" that doesn't change whether you talking about two elephants or two pennies. This is an import thing to learn because the child has learned to think symbolically and communication is largely symbolic.<br /><br />But all of this is a result of counting.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/hnPByCUSHVQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com7http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2012/04/more-musings-on-counting.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-31155209160165676022012-03-30T11:57:00.001-04:002012-03-30T11:58:18.082-04:00CountingI fell asleep last night thinking about counting and children and what we learn from counting.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/Hzn7B1ixTrY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com0http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2012/03/counting.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-68229237266346373192012-03-29T13:22:00.001-04:002012-03-29T13:23:25.644-04:00Hello, againI've moved and am looking for a job. Do not know if I'll be any better about keeping this up to date, but hey, anything is possible.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/vZUEhpUCFQU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com0http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2012/03/hello-again.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-20998615506121411432010-01-01T23:57:00.002-05:002010-01-02T00:08:04.924-05:00It's time to come backLast fall I joined two group son Ravelry - the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup and Fantasia. For the last three months, these groups have gotten me going on a small treasure trove of crochet projects. Several are math related.<br /><br />My favorite is a mobius strip grown big and turned into a shawl/cowl (aka scowl). I've finished one and almost completed the second. The whole thing is supposed to represent something I love and is full of things to represent numbers (Fibonacci numbers, prime numbers, golden mean). <br /><br />Here are a couple of pictures (the model is my gorgeous niece). <br /><br /><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhgeorgi/4147920923/" title="mobius scowl - front view by jacquiand2labs, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2546/4147920923_3c3b364b1d_m.jpg" width="180" height="240" alt="mobius scowl - front view" /></a><br /><br /><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jhgeorgi/4148652408/" title="mobius scowl - pine cone pattern by jacquiand2labs, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2683/4148652408_c086e1940d.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="mobius scowl - pine cone pattern" /></a><br /><br />I have a second one almost completed in a beautiful silk/merion blend from Malabrigo. It's my sister's gift and she chose the yarn.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/L5uSXjhJta0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com7http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2010/01/its-time-to-come-back.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-9372716176364127132008-08-09T12:14:00.000-04:002008-08-09T12:16:07.140-04:00Heading backI've got a job of sorts. I've got a used notebook that works more or less. Now all I have to do is get back into the habit of writing stuff here.<br /><br />Anybody have any suggestions?<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/0N25js5iX_w" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com4http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2008/08/heading-back.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-6475936254435021112007-10-09T08:30:00.000-04:002007-10-09T08:34:06.465-04:00Wandering into my own world to say "hi"I haven't died yet although you might think so. I've been reading, crocheting, and learning to knit, and, of course, looking for a job. The job is mega important right now since my computer is all but dead (I'm on my sister's 'puter right now).<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/agG38nAgDwE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com5http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/10/wandering-into-my-own-world-to-say-hi.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-88368621864114961292007-07-05T11:21:00.000-04:002007-07-05T11:26:45.327-04:00Some extra-curricular reading for you allA comment (thank you Anonymous) on my previous post on counting included this link to an entry on the Britannica Blog: <a href="http://blogs.britannica.com/blog/main/2007/07/why-math-geeks-especially-immigrant-geeks-rule/">Why Math Geeks (Especially Immigrant Geeks) Rule</a>. It's an interesting read.<br /><br />I think I'm finished moving so I'll get back to all this stuff this weekend. :-)<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/svbVIg8v5LI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com6http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/07/some-extra-curricular-reading-for-you.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-84324595247325716302007-06-15T11:02:00.000-04:002007-06-15T11:03:29.930-04:00I'm in moving hellWill this never end?<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/9WpcDaP0Lf4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com4http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/06/im-in-moving-hell.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-51212904387164273512007-06-11T18:08:00.001-04:002007-06-11T18:14:03.523-04:00Let's start with countingIn an overview of the history of mathematics, J. J. O'Connor and E. F. Robertson begin by saying that ”Mathematics starts with counting. It is not reasonable, however, to suggest that early counting was mathematics. Only when some record of the counting was kept and, therefore, some representation of numbers occurred can mathematics be said to have started.” (MacTutor History of Mathematics, http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/)<br /><br />On the same note, I believe that the first brick in understanding mathematical cognition is counting. Fortunately (for me) there has been a great deal of research on this subject. There is a significant amount of evidence through studies done for at least the last 30 years (as far back as I looked) that show a recognition of numerosity and counting not only in people but also in a variety of animals – birds, rats, various monkeys/apes, etc. Granted the animals do not exhibit an ability to detect numerosity much above quantities of 3 – 5, but it’s there. This leads me to believe that a basic knowledge of counting is hard-wired into our brains. It’s an evolutionary trait handed down from our ancient ancestors.<br /><br />There was a study reported on in SCIENCE in 1999 that sheds a little bit of light on how our brains are wired for counting. This is an illustration that appeared with the article.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Fhh0FV0cjfg/Rm3IId6aHnI/AAAAAAAAAB8/l6XB1T2-rUI/s1600-h/braincounting.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5074932402910535282" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Fhh0FV0cjfg/Rm3IId6aHnI/AAAAAAAAAB8/l6XB1T2-rUI/s320/braincounting.jpg" border="0" /></a>DIAGRAM: Figuring out arithmetic. The principal brain regions involved in calculating exact and approximate mathematical problems. The left inferior frontal lobe is involved in verbally coded number facts that can be used in exact calculations. The intraparietal sulci of the left and right parietal lobes are implicated in estimations and approximate calculation, which are dependent on visuo-spatial representations of numbers. The intraparietal sulci are part of the circuit controlling finger movement and are likely to be crucial to finger counting, a near universal stage in learning arithmetic. (Butterworth, Brian. “A Head for Figures”. Science, 1999, 284(5416), p. 28-28-29)<br /><br /><em><strong>subitize, v</strong></em>. <br /><em>Psychol.<br /></em>[f. L. <em>subitus</em> <a href="http://www.blogger.com/cgi/crossref%3fquery_type=word&queryword=subitizing&first=1&max_to_show=10&single=1&sort_type=alpha&xrefword=subite&ps=a">SUBITE</a> a. + <a href="http://www.blogger.com/cgi/crossref%3fquery_type=word&queryword=subitizing&first=1&max_to_show=10&single=1&sort_type=alpha&xrefword=-ize">-IZE</a>.] <a name="BM50240706def1"></a><br /><br /><em>intr</em>. and <em>trans</em>. To apprehend immediately (the number contained in a small sample). Hence <a name="BM50240706se1"></a><strong>subitizing</strong> vbl. n.<br /><br /><a name="BM50240706q1"></a><strong>1949</strong> E. L. KAUFMAN et al. in <em>Amer. Jrnl. Psychol</em>. LXII. 520 A new term is needed for the discrimination of stimulus-numbers of 6 and below... The term proposed is subitize... We are indebted to Dr. Cornelia C. Coulter, the Department of Classical Languages and Literatures, Mount Holyoke College, for suggesting this term. <a name="BM50240706q2"></a><em>Ibid</em>., If no discontinuities had appeared in the results, no distinction between subitizing and estimating could have been drawn. <a name="BM50240706q3"></a><strong>1971</strong> <em>Jrnl. Gen. Psychol.</em> Jan. 121 The number of items in an array capable of being subitized. <a name="BM50240706q4"></a><strong>1981</strong> <em>Nature</em> 15 Oct. 569/2 Judgements of ‘small’ numerosities..are ordinarily attributed to subitizing.<br /><br />Over the next couple of weeks, I'll review six relatively recent journal articles I've down loaded and also talk about some older studies that looked at counting in pre-verbal babies. The first article on tap is entitled "Analog Numerical Representations in Rhesus Monkeys: Evidence for Parallel Processing" - the study it reports on pretty much disputes the idea of subitizing.<br /><br />Now aren't you just holding your collective breaths waiting for these?<br /><br /><div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/E4_HwAyomiU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com9http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/06/lets-start-with-counting.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-78954709996748843492007-06-09T18:01:00.000-04:002007-06-09T18:03:20.911-04:00Musical illusionsI thought this article from Science News/Math Trek was very interesting - <a href="http://blog.sciencenews.org/mathtrek/2007/06/musical_illusions.html">Musical Illusions</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/VugDsd8Bv68" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com1http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/06/musical-illusions.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-82622901192073215252007-06-06T18:22:00.000-04:002007-06-06T18:30:47.512-04:00Is Mathematics language?The answer is both “yes” and “no” depending on whether you are asking if the method of communicating mathematics is a language or if you are asking whether mathematics as language defines the cognitive processes necessary to perform mathematics. <br /><br />Your real question should probably be “why are you asking this?” The reason why I feel that the question of mathematics as language needs to be answered has to do with theories published in 2000 by a mathematician (Devlin, K., The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers Are Like Gossip) and a linguist and cognitive psychologist (Lakoff, G. and Nunez, R. E., Where mathematics comes from: how the embodied mind brings mathematics into being). In both cases, language becomes the underlying explanation for mathematical cognition. Devlin posits that mathematics piggy-backed on language. Lakoff and Nunez use linguistics constructs to explain the cognitive processes underlying mathematics. <br /><br />So let's decide if mathematics is a language using a general definition of language. Language is a complex system so no simple definition will cover all the nuances, but we can for the time simplify as much as possible. A definition of language includes producing speech, analyzing the speech we hear, the vocabulary and its symbolic references we use, grammar, and syntax. (Deacon, 1998, p.40) Deacon offers a generic definition for language as “a mode of communication based upon symbolic reference (the way words refer to things) and involving combinatorial rules that comprise a system for representing synthetic logical relationships among these symbols.” Deacon also states that within this definition mathematics “might qualify as having the core attributes of language.” (Deacon, 1998, p.41) <br /><br />Let's see what the "core attributes" of language might be. You can say that language consists of basic sound units, phonemes that combine to form morphemes. These phonemes and morphemes when combined according to predefined rules become abstract symbols which we ascribe meaning to and understand. In other words, they become words. Language also allows various combinations of these symbols by following syntactic and pragmatic rules - sentences and paragraphs. (See Matlin, 2005, p.298) The result is communication that describes an object, event, or action, which need not be present or even exist. In other words, language symbolizes and creates meaning using a series of abstract symbols (letters or sounds) which have no particular connection to a concrete object other than those connections we agree exist.<br /><br />Presented in these terms, the phonemes of mathematics are the basic digits, zero through nine. These digits are combinable following a few simple rules and form mathematics morphemes, numbers such as 123 or 3.1416 or even 4/5. The branch of mathematics in question defines the particular syntax used. For example, Algebra’s syntax determines how to write an equation and the order of operations used to solve the equation. Each digit, number, or equation symbolically refers to a quantity or describes a system, event, or form. The actual quantity need not be present nor does a quantity or an equation need to refer to a concrete object or collection of objects. Many of the systems, forms, and events described by mathematics are themselves abstract concepts such as equations which describe the multidimensional shape of the universe.<br /><br />Do these similarities between language and mathematics provide a sufficient condition to call mathematics language? In some instances, mathematical and language processing take place in areas of the brain that are generally similar. Experiments done on bilingual individuals indicate that exact calculations occur in the left inferior frontal lobe of the brain. This area controls linguistic representations of exact numerical values. However, approximations of numbers occur in the left and right intraparietal sulci in areas associated with visuo-spatial tasks. (Butterworth, 1999; Dehaene, Spelke, Pinel, Stanescu, & Tsivkin, 1999)<br /><br />Given this, my answer to the question is “yes, there exists a well defined language of mathematics used to communicate mathematical knowledge.” However, I believe that it is a mistake to confuse the act of communicating mathematics with the cognitive processes taking place while doing mathematics so my answer to a mathematical language that defines the cognitive process is “no.” <br /><br />References:<br /><br />Butterworth, B. (May 7, 1999). A Head for Figures. <em>Science</em>, 284, 928-929.<br /><br />Deacon, T. W. (1998). <em>The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain</em>. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.<br /><br />Dehaene, S., Spelke, E., Pinel, P., Stanescu, R., & Tsivkin, S. (May 7, 1999). Sources of Mathematical Thinking: Behavioral and Brain-Imaging Evidence. <em>Science</em>, 284, 970-974.<br /><br />Devlin, K. (2000). <em>The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved and Why Numbers Are Like Gossip</em>. Basic Books.<br /><br />Matlin, M. W. (2005). <em>Cognition</em> (Sixth). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.<br /><br />Lakoff, George; Nunez, Rafael E. (2000). <em>Where mathematics comes from: how the embodied mind brings mathematics into being</em>. Basic Books.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/3ot3c2nXRtw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com4http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/06/is-mathematics-language.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-28864613881944588802007-06-06T11:33:00.000-04:002007-06-06T11:37:56.734-04:00World's oldest adornmentsThis was on the Yahoo news page today. It's interesting and you'll see a little more about this in later posts from me.<br /><br /><blockquote>RABAT (Reuters) - Perforated shells discovered in a limestone cave in eastern Morocco are the oldest adornments ever found and show humans used symbols in Africa 40,000 years before Europe, the kingdom's government said.<br />(Read more <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070606/sc_nm/morocco_prehistoric_dc">here</a>.)<br /></blockquote><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/1emWS1bnuZ8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com0http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/06/worlds-oldest-adornments.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-49135255614755270242007-06-04T17:12:00.000-04:002007-06-04T17:13:58.579-04:00Origami fun for today<a href="http://blog.sciencenews.org/mathtrek/2007/05/trisecting_an_angle_with_origa.html">Trisecting an Angle with Origami</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/hShKBV5SuYI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com2http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/06/origami-fun-for-today.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-751376717587411252007-06-03T15:00:00.001-04:002007-06-03T15:11:16.708-04:00<content type="html"><div align="justify">So the last time I sat down to write to you all, I said that I'd been at the library looking up information. And I pretty much tried to scare you away by saying that you'd see more about it. Well since then (it's been a tad busy at my house), I've decided to really scare you all.</div><br /><div align="justify"></div><div align="justify"></div><div align="justify">Just about three and a half years ago I started looking for information on mathematical cognition. The search started with a book recommended to me by a high school principle, lead to a research project and rather long (one hour) presentation, and then became something of an obsession. The biggest problem I’ve been having is that the bulk of the research being done on mathematical cognition looks at arithmetic but not mathematics (geometry, algebra, and so forth). I have a couple of other problems right now. The first is that the more I’ve looked at one of the few theories of mathematical cognition that addresses “higher” mathematics, the more I think they’ve got it wrong. The other problem is my lack of access to people who study the subject which means that I can come up with all kinds of ideas, but have no way to get any feedback.<br /><br />(And if I actually ever arrived at a coherent theory, I’d have no way of testing it. But I guess that’s another story.)<br /><br />The lack of feedback leads directly to all of you. I decided to pretty much write papers and put them here for your comments, questions and ability to find the holes in my logic. There are a number of areas to looks at – the evolution and development of the brain and of cognition in general, the historical development of mathematics, studies of brain “use” while doing mathematics (or arithmetic), studies of mathematical learning disabilities, and possibly the effect of changes in society.<br /><br />I’ll post the first of these “papers” in the next few days. Just to get it out of the way, I’ll talk about my ideas of whether or not mathematics is a language and whether or not mathematical cognition can be understood that way. (Aren’t you just way too excited?)<br /><br />In the meantime, here are the definitions for arithmetic and mathematics from <em>The Oxford English Dictionary</em>, Second Edition (1989).</div><div align="justify"><br /><em><strong>arithmetic, n.1<br /></strong></em><a name="50012010-m1"></a>1. The science of numbers; the art of computation by figures.<br /><a name="50012010def2"></a><a name="50012010-m2"></a></div><div align="justify">2. Arithmetical knowledge, computation, reckoning.<br /></div><a name="50012010def3"></a><a name="50012010-m3"></a><div align="justify">3. A treatise on computation. </div><br /><div align="justify"><br /><strong><em>mathematics, n.<br /></em></strong><a name="00303352-m1"></a>1. Originally: (a collective term for) geometry, arithmetic, and certain physical sciences involving geometrical reasoning, such as astronomy and optics; spec. the disciplines of the quadrivium collectively. In later use: the science of space, number, quantity, and arrangement, whose methods involve logical reasoning and usually the use of symbolic notation, and which includes geometry, arithmetic, algebra, and analysis; mathematical operations or calculations. Colloq. abbreviated maths, (N. Amer.) math.<a name="00303352n1"></a><br /></div><br /><div align="justify">When the modern subject is studied as an abstract deductive science in its own right, it is often referred to more fully as pure mathematics (see PURE a. 2d); when applied to the modelling of physical objects and processes (e.g. in astronomy, various branches of physics, engineering, etc.) and random processes (in probability), and to the handling of data, its full name is applied mathematics (see APPLIED a.), or (in early use) mixed mathematics (see MIXED a.2 5).<br /><br /><a name="00303352def2"></a><a name="00303352-m2"></a></div><div align="justify">2. The mathematical considerations or principles relating to a specified phenomenon, process, etc. With of. </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/hcXFAJZqzSA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/></content><link rel="replies" type="application/atom+xml" href="http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/feeds/75137671758741125/comments/default" title="Post Comments" /><link rel="replies" type="text/html" href="http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=17504635&postID=75137671758741125&isPopup=true" title="4 Comments" /><link rel="edit" type="application/atom+xml" href="http://www.blogger.com/feeds/17504635/posts/default/75137671758741125" /><link rel="self" type="application/atom+xml" href="http://www.blogger.com/feeds/17504635/posts/default/75137671758741125" /><link rel="alternate" type="text/html" href="http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~3/hcXFAJZqzSA/so-last-time-i-sat-down-to-write-to-you.html" title="" /><author><name>Jacqui Georgi</name><uri>https://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail" width="32" height="32" src="//lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AHBjC4JkmCE/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAA9k/B6-hKQ0ud2g/s512-c/photo.jpg" /></author><thr:total>4</thr:total><feedburner:origLink>http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/06/so-last-time-i-sat-down-to-write-to-you.html</feedburner:origLink></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-5626537721044961206</id><published>2007-05-20T22:01:00.000-04:00</published><updated>2007-05-20T22:11:33.402-04:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="cognition" /><title type="text">What I did at work todayOn Sundays I'm in the library student computer lab from 1:00 to 8:30. I like the regular student computer lab better - mostly because I'm sitting at a desk with space to spread out my stuff. The library is somewhat less "user friendly." But the librarian got my laptop connected to the college Internet, so that was pretty cool. I spent a couple of hours scanning journal articles about genetics and evolution of the brain. Obviously there weren't a lot of students needing assistance. <span class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_0">LOL</span><br /><br />What I really started looking at (but got a tad side tracked) was information on the calculations used to determine when in the past a mutation <span class="blsp-spelling-corrected" id="SPELLING_ERROR_1">occurred</span> in a particular gene. I did read some interesting stuff in relation to that.<br /><br />You can expect to see more about this since this is the only forum I have.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/BqIYXdC8OOE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com1http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/05/what-i-did-at-work-today.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-45502187595277987012007-05-14T09:14:00.000-04:002007-05-14T09:19:11.163-04:00Math and GenesIf you start reading about genetics, you start running into a lot of mathematics. Well, you don't usually know you have, but the math is there. Articles will appear that talk about the evolution of genes (or species) and refer to work that was done to try and determine when a gene mutated. The articles seldom (never?) actually show you the math, but here's one that does from MathTrek - <a href="http://blog.sciencenews.org/mathtrek/2007/05/a_grove_of_evolutionary_trees.html">A Grove of Evolutionary Trees</a>.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/D1lIk41n4oI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com2http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/05/math-and-genes.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-90923543012495355562007-05-14T08:49:00.000-04:002007-05-14T08:57:49.260-04:00What are you doing on your summer vacation?I'm moving, looking for a permanent job, and working!!!!!!!!!!!! I start a summer stint (30 hours/week for 12 weeks) in the college's student computer lab. Because of the nature of the job, there's a lot of down time so I will be making a concerted effort to read and understand H. M. Edwards' book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Riemanns-Zeta-Function-Harold-Edwards/dp/0486417409/ref=sr_1_1/002-6106734-9838444?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1179147115&sr=1-1">Riemann's Zeta Function</a>. I'm really looking forward to this.<br /><br />I'm not, however, looking forward to getting everything sorted out and moved. I hope that getting my <span class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_0">internet</span> connection moved goes easily.<br /><br />So what marvelous plans do you all have?<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/VifC8tNQXW4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com0http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/05/what-are-you-doing-on-your-summer.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-46522509612514368582007-05-07T09:52:00.000-04:002007-05-07T10:02:59.923-04:00Still looking for a jobSometimes I wonder if I shouldn't just give it up and apply for well fare. <br /><br />I was contacted by a company and went through two telephone interviews - one with HR, one with the relevant manager. Then they brought me in for four face-to-face interviews - HR again and three managers. But did I get the job? Nooooooooooooo. According to the email I received (almost a week later than they told me I would hear and after contacting them), I was an excellent candidate, but they hired some one with some unique skills (translation - younger than me).<br /><br />The supervisor for the college computer lab contacted me to see if I wanted to work there for the summer (no students available for the work). So that's what I'll be doing for 12 weeks. Not a lot of money, but the basic bills starting in June will be covered.<br /><br />The worst part of all this is that my lack of income means I'm losing my house. I'm trying to see if I can stave it off long enough to try and sell the house myself, but it's not looking good. See my first sentence.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/L7pxQ8itAyI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com2http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/05/still-looking-for-job.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-38926040244947989722007-04-19T23:48:00.000-04:002007-04-19T23:53:12.556-04:00This is for Rave!Back in October <a href="http://quidnuncrave.blogspot.com/">Rave</a> asked me in the comments to this <a href="http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2006/10/just-so-harvey-doesnt-have-to-sadly.html">post</a> what an equation was. I had no idea. But tonight an answer was provided. So Rave, go read the comments and you will have your answer. *grin*<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/W7qZbpKcd6E" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com0http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/04/this-is-for-rave.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-66763094027935997372007-04-15T10:12:00.000-04:002007-04-15T10:31:02.976-04:00Happy Birthday Leonard!<div align="center"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonhard_Euler">Leonard Euler</a> was born on this day in 1707. He produced mathematics in virtually every area of math. </div><div align="center"></div><div align="center"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Fhh0FV0cjfg/RiI0P7VNQDI/AAAAAAAAABs/spJJb4OX7tY/s1600-h/Euler_7.jpg"><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5053659180092440626" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Fhh0FV0cjfg/RiI0P7VNQDI/AAAAAAAAABs/spJJb4OX7tY/s320/Euler_7.jpg" border="0" /></a> Here are some of my favorites.<img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5053658832200089618" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Fhh0FV0cjfg/RiIz7rVNQBI/AAAAAAAAABc/AqkDom_s82s/s320/Euler1.gif" border="0" /> <img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5053660051970801730" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Fhh0FV0cjfg/RiI1CrVNQEI/AAAAAAAAAB0/Y8DAMwTqgao/s320/Euler2.gif" border="0" /> <img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5053659008293748770" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Fhh0FV0cjfg/RiI0F7VNQCI/AAAAAAAAABk/Z50lggH8tcw/s320/Euler3.gif" border="0" /><br />Typing Euler into the search box at <a href="http://mathworld.wolfram.com/">Mathworld</a> produces 671 results.<br />Typing Euler into <a href="http://www.google.com">Google</a> produces 12,300,000 results. </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/nO0R_o-NAug" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com0http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/04/happy-birthday-leonard.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-36369911605771560542007-04-11T19:48:00.000-04:002007-04-11T20:24:35.581-04:00A different DNAVW Bug had this on her <a href="http://onehappydogspeaks.mu.nu/">blog</a>. I just couldn't resist and I have to say, this is so me. *grin*<br /><br /><embed name="widget" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" align="middle" src="http://dna.imagini.net/friends/swf/widget.swf" width="340" height="240" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" flashvars="bgcolor=#770904&i1=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-183DE488.jpeg&c1=&i2=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_7A214ED3.jpeg&c2=Its always there.&i3=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_276D3B22.jpeg&c3=Chocolate!!!!&i4=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_25B7649E.jpeg&c4=Books!&i5=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-7C115110.jpeg&c5=Do I really need to say why this is gross?&i6=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-71DC4AA8.jpeg&c6=Its a puppy!&i7=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-6514DF33.jpeg&c7=&i8=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-63B0E5ED.jpeg&c8=&i9=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_693B6C19.jpeg&c9=Its a book!&i10=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-5DE3B624.jpeg&c10=Its a book!&i11=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-74F8AADA.jpeg&c11=&i12=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-5562BF4.jpeg&c12=Is there anything other than coffee?&i13=http://dna.imagini.net/i/RESIZE_-1B4C950E.jpeg&c13=Water & mountains. Is there anything else?&moodlabel=DREAMER&lovelabel=HOME SOUL&funlabel=ESCAPE ARTIST&habitslabel=BACK TO BASICS&uid=197423-9e7a&srv=iwebcl4" bgcolor="#770904" quality="best" enablejavascript="false" allownetworking="internal" allowscriptaccess="never"></embed> <div style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; BORDER-TOP: rgb(150,150,150) 1px solid; MARGIN-TOP: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 11px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; WIDTH: 340px; PADDING-TOP: 5px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; HEIGHT: 25px; BACKGROUND-COLOR: rgb(0,0,0); TEXT-ALIGN: center"><a style="COLOR: rgb(255,255,255)" href="http://networking.imagini.blueorange.co.uk/vdna.php?uid=197423-9e7a&srv=iwebcl4">Read my VisualDNA</a><span style="font-size:10;color:#cccccc;">™</span> <a style="COLOR: rgb(255,255,255)" href="http://dna.imagini.net/friends/">Get your own VisualDNA™</a></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/d_0CVxjyvR8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com2http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/04/different-dna.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-75141304643290066372007-04-11T08:48:00.000-04:002007-04-11T08:59:54.583-04:00Wouldn't this be a GREAT job?Still on the job hunt and still checking the various job boards. This morning's search hasn't been particularly productive, but HotJobs has the following listing. This is a job that I would absolutely love to have, but there is no way in the world I can even pretend to be qualified. Although it's pretty scary that I know what the ad is talking about. LOL <br /><br />So here's the ad. Doesn't this sound like way too much fun?<br /><br />Computational Research Scientist (Biomedical)<br />Company Name: Delta Search Labs, Inc.<br />Job Category: Pharmaceutical/Biotech; Technology<br />Location: Cambridge, MA<br />Position Type: Full-Time, Employee<br />Salary: Unspecified<br />Experience: 2-5 Years Experience<br />Desired Education Level: PhD<br />Date Posted: April 10, 2007<br /><br />Solutions Labs (<a onclick="newJobClick(null)" href="http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/jobseeker/jobsearch/linkoff_newwin.html;_ylt=Am7IgHlEkciXL9QsW87u.s6mRKIX?jid=JZW78G3HQOT&lo=http%3A%2F%2Fus.rd.yahoo.com%2Fhotjobs%2Flinkoff%2Fjob_detail%2F506586%2FJZW78G3HQOT%2Fevt%3D21110%2FSIG%3D11844al3i%2F%2A%2Ahttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.solutionslabs.com%252F" target="_new" rel="nofollow">www.solutionslabs.com</a> ) a Cambridge MA based R&D company, is recruiting one or two candidates with the following qualifications. Ph.D. or M.S. level researcher (M.S. absolutely must have several years relevant experience) with degree in Computer Science, Chemistry, Biophysics, Physics, Molecular Biology or Chemical Engineering wanted for bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, and chemometrics algorithm development. Will also consider exceptional candidates from Applied Mathematics, Statistics or related Engineering fields. Documented accomplishments in computational research and strong analytical, statistical, and numerical analysis skills required. Experience in spectroscopic data analysis (NMR is especially desirable) and mass spectrometry data analysis is prefered. We are seeking individuals whose primary background is computational and mathematical but who have experience analyzing experimental data and understand problems of preprocessing chemical data from various analytic methods. Desired background includes some of the following: pattern recognition, machine learning, multivariate statistics, numerical analysis, etc. Sufficient knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology to interpret results of data analysis within a systems biology context (e.g. metabolic pathway analysis) would be a big plus. Experience with analysis and interpretation of Affymetrix microarray studies is also a big plus. Initial projects will be for both small molecule spectroscopic data pattern recognition (metabolomics) and DNA microarray analysis but might eventually expand to include mass spec proteomics. Position will involve both algorithm development and extensive programming. Programming may be done in Matlab and other scripting languages (e.g. Python). Position could involve collaboration with leading academic research groups. Ideal candidate will be creative with the desire and ability to help identify and aggressively pursue new opportunities in emerging fields. Strong written and verbal communication skills are a must. Prefer either US citizens, US permanent residents, or NAFTA TN applicants (but not an absolute requirement for exceptional candidates). Please send a cover letter and resume (pdf or doc file) to <a rel="nofollow">jobs@solutionslabs.com</a> . Please use Research Scientist as the email subject<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/B9m2p0zIU0Y" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com2http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/04/wouldnt-this-be-great-job.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-58873523623592878282007-04-10T20:14:00.000-04:002007-04-10T20:18:23.176-04:00Okay...I have heat and hot water.<br /><br />The headache is gone. (Probably because the erstwhile housemate brought me cigarettes. I was out. Have I mentioned that I don't have a working car so if I run out of something, it's just too bad so sad.)<br /><br />The snow is still on the way.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/rUVObUudUm8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com4http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/04/okay.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-39127973737711240042007-04-10T15:49:00.000-04:002007-04-10T16:04:18.917-04:00Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bedI'm out of heating oil. No heat. No hot water.<br /><br />Oh, and I have a headache.<br /><br />And did I mention that there is a snow storm on the way?<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/ruh6MXxGFv8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com0http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/04/some-days-it-doesnt-pay-to-get-out-of.htmltag:blogger.com,1999:blog-17504635.post-27935590180497375282007-04-08T18:29:00.000-04:002007-04-08T18:39:39.457-04:00We did the Easter dinnerand I am <strong>STUFFED</strong>!<br /><div></div><br /><div>It actually was a lot of fun. Friday was the erstwhile housemate's birthday so we celebrated his birthday today. (There's a joke in there, but ... ) So besides the traditional Easter ham we had a fabulous birthday cake that my sister made with help from my youngest nephew (9 years old) on the marzipan decorations. Youngest nephew put the candles on the cake just before I took this picture.</div><br /><div></div><img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5051190212685547298" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Fhh0FV0cjfg/RhluvHANRyI/AAAAAAAAABE/fgGdRk_iFs0/s320/cake+with+candles.jpg" border="0" /><br /><div>There was also a funny birthday card with a hunky man on the front. *grin*</div><br /><div></div><div>BTW - the cake was a carrot cake like you've never had. Sister added raisins, nuts, and pineapple. Yummy.</div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/MathcogIdiocy/~4/eSO-X-K_fcw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>Jacqui Georgihttps://plus.google.com/102167886604644446690noreply@blogger.com2http://mathcogidiocy.blogspot.com/2007/04/we-did-easter-dinner.html