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{ Category Archives } Books

Knuth and Multicore Systems

Donald Knuth has been publishing “fascicles” from his Volume 4 (Combinatorial Algorithms) of his epic The Art of Computer Programming. These are shortish (100-150 page) sub-chapters of a work on an area that expands faster than Don can write. You can download some of the preliminary versions on Knuth’s page to get the flavor. Knuth […]

Genetic Programming

Ricardo Poli, William Langdon, and Nicolas McPhee have just published a book “A Field Guide to Genetic Programming” and have blog to support it.  The neat thing about this book is that the pdf is freely downloadable, with printed copies available cheaply through  I spent a half hour thumbing through the book, and am […]

Andy Boyd, Pricing, and “The Engines of Our Ingenuity”

Andy Boyd, formerly chief scientist of PROS (he is actually still on their scientific board, but is not an active employee) visited CMU today as part of our CART (Center for Analytical Research in Technology) seminar series. He talked about the challenges those in pricing research face. The main point he made is that it […]

Sports Scheduling and Rubik’s Cube

The October 6, 2007 edition of The Spectator (an English weekly with a right-of-center, Olde England bias but wonderful cartoons, chess column, and commentary once the bias is accounted for) contains a “review” of a book The Blind Eye: A Book of Late Advice by the poet Don Paterson (I don’t think the book is […]

Math, Poker, and Peter Winkler

Peter Winkler was kind enough to send me a copy of his new book Mathematical Mind-Benders. It is full of wonderful puzzles, at a level similar to the level aimed at by Martin Gardner (I have written about Peter’s work before): go and buy it! Here is a question (for which I will provide the […]

The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Computational Study

The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Computational Study is a new book by David Applegate, Bob Bixby, Vasek Chvatal, and Bill Cook (published by Princeton University Press) and it is terrific. I was asked by OR Letters to provide a review, which I have done. I won’t spoil the review for the journal, but here is […]

Six Key Ideas of Operations Research?

For most of us, teaching a first course in operations research involves trotting out our old friends linear programming, sensitivity analysis, integer programming, and so on. Twenty years ago, we used linear algebra; today, we concentrate more on modeling. But it is not clear that students get the Big Picture. Like “Modeling is useful” or […]

Operations Research in the New York Times and I am annoyed and depressed

The term “Operations Research” appears in the New York Times today (May 20, 2007) in an article entitled “Reaping Results: Data-Mining Goes Mainstream“. Here is the start: RODNEY MONROE, the police chief in Richmond, Va., describes himself as a lifelong cop whose expertise is in fighting street crime, not in software. His own Web browsing, […]

Mathematical Puzzles, Martin Gardner, and Peter Winkler

I am certainly not alone when I say that interest in mathematics was sparked by Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games column in Scientific American. I have a strong memory of many boring physics classes in high school which I whiled away reading through the stack of Scientific Americans in the corner. Those columns led to mathematics […]

Math, Poker, and Perfectly Reasonable Deviations

The Math and Poker blog is one I like to go to periodically (not the least because I am part of his blogroll). The thing I like best is the use of simple probability/queueing/stochastic systems to point out the misconceptions of many gamblers. A little probability goes a long way, but it seems that many […]