Mathematics

In 1907,Francis Galton recorded the entries from a competition where people guessed the weight of an ox. After analyzing hundreds of estimates the statistician found that while individual guesses varied wildly, the median of the entries was surprisingly accurate, within one percent of the ox's real weight.

Galton published the results and his theory of collective intelligence, the "wisdom of crowds," became part of the lexicon.

SOCK-PUPPET: All your talk about betting strategies is irrelevant to the casino. The casino takes the money from those who just lost and gives it to those who won, from black to red or red to black. On average, every 37 times the ball hits the zero and the casino takes all the money on the table.

 

The most crucial to happy gambling generally (apart from being prepared for losing, since you create a losing copy of yourself with certainty) is your Happy-Enough-Ceiling, where if you reach it, you leave with your winnings. The trivial example is entering the casino with three dollars and playing Martingale roulette, leaving as soon as four dollars are won – the Many Worlds/Minds (MW/M) tree then looks like this:

 

Mental Health Warning: Many World/Mind (MW/M) descriptions may aggravate mental conditions; suicidal ideation has been recognized as a pitfall along the path of Zen-like wisdoms by a wide range of authors as diverse as to include Carlos Castaneda. (Suggesting potential public health benefits of MW/M ethics, I suggest careful adoption in select high school trials and long term monitoring of suicide rates and depression [unpublished].)

Trevor Hastie, the Stanford University guru on Statistical Learning (he coined the term together with his colleagues Tibshirani and Friedman) is in Padova this week, where he is giving a short course on his pet topic and a seminar. I am happy to report this as this was partly made possible by the European Union-funded network of which I am the project coordinator, AMVA4NewPhysics. But most of the merit is of Prof. Giovanna Menardi, PI of the Padova node of the network, who organized it... And of course I am happy because I am learning from his insightful lectures!

(Above, prof. Menardi introduces the lectures).

A few days ago I discussed the coin toss game ‘triple or bust‘. The game is between Alice and Bob. Alice start the game by writing a $ 1.00 IOU to Bob. Alice then makes at least six subsequent tosses with a fair coin. On each ‘heads’ Alice triples the IOU amount. On ‘tails’ she sets the IOU to zero.

Today I have a decision problem for you.

Lovely Lisa Long Leg and Heil Hitler Screaming Nazi once again visit the Stupid Donald Trump Follower’s office in the mathematics department:

Lovely Liberal Lisa: Heil Trump!

Stupid Donald Trump Follower: Well, that’s better than what we had before, but I am still not convinced such does anybody any favors.

Two days ago, before returning from Israel, my fiancee Kalliopi and I had a very nice dinner in a kosher restaurant near Rehovot in the company of Eilam Gross, Zohar Komargodski, and Zohar's wife Olga. 
The name of Eilam should be familiar to regulars of this blog as he wrote a couple of guest posts here, in similar occasions (in the first case it was a few before the Higgs discovery was announced, when the signal was intriguing but not yet decisive; and in the second case it was about the 750 GeV resonance, which unfortunately did not concretize into a discovery). As for Zohar, he is a brilliant theorist working in applications of quantum field theory. He is young but already won several awards, among them the prestigious New Horizons in Physics prize.
A false history of science was used to initiate colonial education, in support of colonialism. This false history persists. In a recent article about decolonizing mathematics, for instance, Professor Karen Brodie asserts that, “Much, though certainly not all, of mathematics was created by dead white men.”

This is not true.