Monthly Archives: December 2010

Why Multiple Checkout Lines Are Not All Bad

“All models are wrong, but some are useful.”  George E. P. Box Last week I saw a clever short video titled, “Why the other line is likely to move faster.”  It explains, among other things, why it often seems that … Continue reading

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Yankee Swapping Secretaries

As you might expect from the title, this post is motivated by gift exchanges common during this holiday season.  In particular, the “Yankee swap,” or “white elephant,” gift exchange involves some interesting mathematics that remind me of the classical secretary … Continue reading

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God Is a Fitness Function

I have been reading Thomas Miconi‘s doctoral thesis, “The Road to Everywhere: Evolution, Complexity and Progress in Natural and Artificial Systems.”  It is available online, and it is very accessible, fascinating stuff.  If you think you understand evolution (I did), … Continue reading

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Robot Simulator and Turtle Graphics, Revisited

This is an update to last week’s post about using VPython to make a robot simulator.  Last week, the vturtle.py module was really just a fancy turtle graphics engine.  The robot could move around and leave a drawing trail, but it … Continue reading

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