Posts tagged with linear algebra

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

A Color Change Charm for Ron Weasley

Ron Weasley’s twin brothers Fred and George convinced him that the following poem was a Color Change Charm: “Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.” The incantation of the poem was supposed to turn Ron’s rat Scabbers yellow. All Ron got was teasing and snickering from his brothers! If linear algebra were […]

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Presenting math

Recently, I have been asked a number of times for a list of talks that I present on mathematics. While the list will grow, as I’m even creating a new talk next week for a conference on integrating social issues into the curriculum, this can give a reader a sense of topics I present. For […]

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Giving the NFL a rating

Algebra covers solution techniques to solve linear systems like 2x – 3y = 5 and 3x + 2y = 1. Removing y, for instance, solving for x and then substituting the value for x to find y yields the solution x = 1 and y = -1. Another way to represent the equations is as […]

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Flipping over Harry Potter

Scientists, engineers and mathematicians often model events in the world with linear systems. Given the bumps, curves and sudden unexpected happenings of life, it can surprise me that such models produce meaningful results. Granted, small time steps may be required as such linearity may sufficiently hold only within a small local neighborhood, but still, life, […]

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

A bedazzling hexing combination

Let’s continue to explore the use of linear algebra by placing a bedazzling hex on Harry Potter which will make his appearance look the exact same as the image behind him. Harry could, of course, stand behind his invisibility cloak but we’ll assume he’s misplaced it as the word hex conveniently rhymes with convex, which […]

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Transitions down Diagon Alley

In this entry, the power of matrix operations will transform a youthful Harry Potter to the mature young man seen in the film released just days ago. To begin, we need Harry to enter the matrix, by storing color information of an image in an n by m matrix where the image is comprised n […]