Calculating a probability that involves k-step Fibonacci numbers can be done without resorting to Bignum classes – and the C++ deque container is a perfect class for the job.

Programming, mostly.

Posted in February 14th, 2011

by Mark Nelson in **Mathematics**

Calculating a probability that involves k-step Fibonacci numbers can be done without resorting to Bignum classes – and the C++ deque container is a perfect class for the job.

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Posted in January 17th, 2011

by Mark Nelson in **Mathematics, Programming**

An exercise in probability demonstrates the exact chances of flipping a fair coin k times in a row given n tosses.

Posted in January 9th, 2011

Newcomers to the world of data compression often stumble on this old idea in hopes of creating a novel and powerful algorithm. In a nutshell, the idea is to create an enumerative coding system that uses combinatorial numbering to identify a message, in hopes of providing a more compact representation . Unfortunately, these schemes always [...]

Posted in September 12th, 2010

by Mark Nelson in **Computer Science, Culture, Humor, Mathematics, Snarkiness**

The New York Times has an interesting article today examining the curious fact that certain types of terrorist organizations have an unusually high ratio of engineers among their members. An interesting point to study, no doubt, but what caught my eye was this little blunder: William A. Wulf, a former president of the National Academy [...]

Posted in August 10th, 2010

by Mark Nelson in **Computer Science, Mathematics, People**

You may have never heard of Vinay Deolalikar, but there is a chance that he may become next year’s Turing Award winner, not to mention an overnight millionaire. It seems that Vinay dropped the news at the start of this week that he had proven that P does not equal NP. In short, this proof [...]

Posted in August 6th, 2010

Back in 1981, fresh out of school, I was awestruck by Steve Wozniak’s program that calculated over 100,000 digits of e on an Apple II. (Anyone who has a scan of his article in the June 1981 issue of Byte, please email me a copy!) Shortly after reading the article, I ported his program to [...]

Posted in July 20th, 2008

by Mark Nelson in **Complaining, Mathematics, Snarkiness**

This isn’t the first time I’ve complained about innumeracy, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Just to get off on the right foot, let me give the definition of the word from thesite innumeracy.com: A term meant to convey a person’s inability to make sense of the numbers that run their lives. Innumeracy [...]

Posted in April 1st, 1996

An example of how you can run into trouble when performing floating point comparisons.

- The Random Compression Challenge Turns Ten
- Fast String Searching With Suffix Trees
- LZW Data Compression
- Hash Functions for C++ Unordered Containers
- The Byzantine Generals Problem
- Arithmetic Coding + Statistical Modeling = Data Compression
- Data Compression with the Burrows-Wheeler Transform
- C++ Algorithms: next_permutation()
- Debugging Windows Services Startup Problems
- DNS Service Discovery On Windows
- zlib - Looking the Gift Code in the Mouth
- LZW Revisited

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- Debugging Windows Services Startup Problems
- My Big Company Code Interview
- One Definition to Rule Them All
- How I Spent My Last Few Weeks
- The Random Compression Challenge Turns Ten
- C++11: unique_ptr<T>
- C+11 – Threading Made Easy
- C++11: Range-based for and auto
- Visual Studio 11 and Modern C++
- C++ – Where’s the Hate?

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