November 20, 2010

A mathematical walk.

The Fibonacci chimes at the new Morgridge Center here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:



Some nerdy graffiti near the math buildings:

P1040917
(Enlarge.)

The courtyard at Sterling Hall:

P1040920

Van Vleck:

P1040924

The "Reform and Revolt" plaque:

P1040930

You can read the plaque here.

33 comments:

DaveW said...

Love the chimes, very cool.

rhhardin said...

Bike commute moonrise today video

It would have been nice to have clear skies during daylight too, though.

fog.

Irene said...

I am disappointed that the UW Foundation omitted the victim's name from the plaque. Referring to Robert E. Fassnacht as a "Physics researcher" renders the bombing anonymous and less inhumane.

"Reform."

Trooper York said...

Watch out!

Denver is behind you takin' notes.

rhhardin said...

The number of nX1 binary arrays with each 1 adjacent to two 0's forms a fibonacci sequence.

edutcher said...

Ah, the Fibonacci sequence, beloved by gaggles of Computer Science students. One of the beginning problems in extending an algorithm.

Your plaque seems less about a bunch of hooligans blowing up a science building than celebrating that it was done. I have to agree with Irene.

PS You like the hiking boots better than the Mary Janes?

PPS Thanks for letting me know Monday is going to be clear here. The Blonde has to drive up to Cleveland and they've redone (re-invented, really) the way up and it's the first time she's gone that way alone since it was finished. I'd just as soon have her do rush hour in good weather; those people coming down from Cleveland took their driver's ed from the Divine Wind Driving School.

rhhardin said...

Kroger is selling options on intangible goods as well as groceries

pic

Buy a Home Depot gift card from Kroger and double your Kroger fuel discount points for the purchase of groceries.

Look for the collapse of gift card fuel point backed securities.

wv: guise

madAsHell said...

Reform and Revolt?

I am not sure what that means.

This must be one of those left wing memes like "hippie punching". if you don't know the meaning, then you probably aren't smart enough to communicate with those that do understand.

I'm sure that Fassnacht's name was deliberately left out. He was working for the Army. He was part of the problem.

The Drill SGT said...

That plaque is a bunch of PC mush.

Tension and Division didn't blow up the building and murder a man, Leftists did that.

That passive voice tries to spread the blame from the killers to some sort of cultural event

C R Krieger said...

Irene is spot on!  I thought we were teaching people to speak directly.  Somebody murdered Bobby Fassnacht.  Three of his cousins will be at me home the Friday after Thanksgiving and I will not be mentioning THIS plaque.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Crack Emcee said...

Reform and Revolt.

Right - get to fucking class.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

Did you ever wonder what it would feel like to have someone follow you around all the time?

Big Mike said...

The wording on the plaque bothers me. Somehow the message it conveys is along the lines of, "we had a great time and accomplished great things but it was sadly concluded with the accidental death of some stinking little physics researcher."

caplight said...

"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."
Unfortunately this isn't fiction. A man was murdered.
You can't have it both ways. Either it was reform or revolt. I'm calling, "Bullshit," on the plaque, the Bascom Hill Historic
District and the UW Foundation.

wv: midle

MadisonMan said...

Kinda makes you wonder who was on the committee that wrote the plaque.

Bob_R said...

I think my year of postdocs was the last at the MRC (formerly AMRC). The Army split the grant up in 1985 or 86. (We were house out in the WARF building at the time.) Lots of partial differential equations and numerical analysis supported by the MRC.

bill said...

fibonacci numbers by Ken Nordine

The Drill SGT said...

Bob_R said...
The Army split the grant up in 1985 or 86. (We were house out in the WARF building at the time.) Lots of partial differential equations and numerical analysis supported by the MRC.


Bob, toward what end? Interestingly in 85-86 I was an ORSA guy working on Combat simulations at the Army's Concepts Analysis Agency in Bethesda and later worked for a spin-off of UM-Ann Arbor doing much the same thing. My Army work was largely force-on-force stuff, the later work was weapon system effectiveness, force structure resourcing and some logistics simulations.

Previously, based on the background of the AMRC Boss, I thought it was ballistics work.

What were you optimizing?

Titus said...

Totally Madison and commie therefore I would never attend or participate.

Ann Althouse said...

"I am disappointed that the UW Foundation omitted the victim's name from the plaque. Referring to Robert E. Fassnacht as a "Physics researcher" renders the bombing anonymous and less inhumane."

I made a little video at the same time I did the still, and on it Meade is reading the plaque and then I say "Do you think they should have put the name of the man who was killed on the plaque? Or do you think he ought to be called 'a Physics researcher' just like the people whose 'tensions and divisions... devolved into violence' are also unnamed?"

T J Sawyer said...

Aftermath

From "An Uneasy Alliance ..." by Jagdish Chandra and Stephen M. Robinson.


“During the tension following the bombing, two of MRC’s permanent members left the center, one for extended leave and one permanently As was mentioned above, Ben Noble went on extended leave beginning in 1971. J. B. Rosen, a permanent member in operations research, left the university in mid-1971 to join the University of Minnesota. In addition to these departures, there were other invisible losses in the form of declined appointments and reduced interest in visiting MRC. The extent of these losses will never be known but they were certainly important."

-------------------

J. B. Rosen moved to the U of Minnesota as Chairman of the Computer Science Department. I took an excellent class from him.

Irene said...

Yes, sad. No honor and no accountability.

KLDAVIS said...

The muted horn is apt.

W.A.S.T.E.

Bob_R said...

When I was at the MRC ('84-'88) most of the work was simply applied mathematics - basic science that was not driven by particular short term military applications. I was working on magnetic/elastic coupling ("smart materials" was the buzz word). A lot of work was done on computational fluid dynamics.

There wasn't anyone I remember working on ballistics in the 80's. There had been a lot of people working on numerical ordinary differential equations in the 60's and 70's. But that was pretty settled science by the time I got into the game. ("Settled" as in actually solved and completely effective. Not "settled" as in "no one question our wild ass guesses.")

Linda said...

I just looked up the background of the plaque. At that time, I was just married, moving to another state. I confess that, if I did read about it, it didn't register in my awareness.

There needs to be a book written about the violence of the anti-war movement, and the death and destruction they caused. They need to be faced with the horrors of their terrorism.

Michael Haz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Haz said...

Robert Fassnacht.

The name of the reseacher was Robert Fassnacht.

Robert Fassnacht had a wife and two young children at the time of his murder.

His name should be on that plaque.

And the plaque should also say that Robert Fassnacht was murdered by Karleton Armstrong, Dwight Armstrong, Leo Burt and David Fine.

Why does the U of W continue to protect the four murderers of Robert Fassnacht?

Unconscionable political correctness. The U and many of its faculty members tacitly or explicitly supported the anti-war anarchists. Many still do to this day, witness the whitewashing attempted by that plaque.

And we laugh at the Communist Chinese who have scrubbed all mention of Tienanmen Square from their country's history texts.

Irene said...

The local ABC affiliate this morning ran this story about the Sterling Hall bombing.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

The plaque appears to make the point that blowing up the building and killing researchers was a natural, although unfortunate, consequence of the antiwar movement. Was the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King a natural, although unfortunate, consequence of the civil rights moement?

Gabriel Hanna said...

@fls:The plaque appears to make the point that blowing up the building and killing researchers was a natural, although unfortunate, consequence of the antiwar movement. Was the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King a natural, although unfortunate, consequence of the civil rights moement?

No to both. One was an evil act committed for what some thought a good end; the other was an evil act committed for what most would call an evil end. Both were evil, neither was unfortunate, they were committed deliberately. MLK was not shot accidentally by a guy celebrating civil rights with a gun shot in the air, and neither was that building blown up by mistake by a demolition crew that got the time and address wrong.

When you blow shit up to make a point you have to exercise due diligence to make sure no one will get killed, or you are a murderer. Given the working habits of physics grad students, a building that caters to them will never be empty.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Prove that the square root of two is irrational:

Assume it IS rational. Then it can be written as a ratio of two integers, m/n.

There are two possibilities: m and n are both odd or only one is odd (all integers are either odd or even, and if they are both even we can cancel the factor of two until we get one or both odd).

m cannot be odd, because m*m = 2*n*n, which means that m is even, so n must be odd, because we would have canceled the factor of two if it weren't.

Since m is even, we can write it as 2k, and so m*m = 2*n*n can be written 4*k*k = 2*n*n which is the same as 2*k*k = n*n, which means that n must be even. But we already proved it couldn't be.

So n is a number that is not even and not odd, so it is not an integer. And so the square root of two cannot be written as a rational number.