Monday, September 24, 2012

First day of school

Today I began my second year of mathematics at Portland State University.

Appropriately, during my trek to class I was greeted by what I presume was Pyrrharctia isabella, the Banded Woolly Bear, which is also known as the First-Day-of-School Caterpillar. 
Pyrrharctia isabella is especially noteworthy for students of mathematics, as its bristle configuration provided Alte Selberg with key inspiration in the formulation of his zeta function conjecture.*


*Note: some facts described in this blog entry may be completely false.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Why mathematics is awesome

'196,883. That's the smallest-dimensional space in which you can represent this object. The Monster is like some great symmetrical snowflake that you can see only when you get to 196,883-dimensional space.'
Du Sautoy, Marcus. Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature. New York, NY: Harper, 2008. p. 26.