Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh Java

Well I have been doing a project in Java (obviously not my choice, I would rather be using C++). I have started to get annoyed with how verbose Java can be at times. For instance say you have two string, string1 and string2, and you wanted to see if they were the same; instead of just typing string1 == string2 like you would be able to in C++ you have to type string1.equals(string2). I should note that string1 == string2 is allowed in Java but it checks to see if the two objects point to the same location in memory, and in most cases this is not what you want to check. But check this out, apparently if you want to compare two characters using the == operator is perfectly fine, gosh Java just make up your mind already. Well that's enough Java bashing for a while, I suppose that I just prefer C++ because it is what I learned first and have been using for much longer. I will admit though that Java does have its upsides (this will be left for another post).

The other day I got around to wondering why I never needed to defragment. the drive with Linux. I have just had people tell me this and have read it online but never actually got around to seeing why. So I got on Google did a quick search and found my answer, and was quite pleased with the result. Here is a link to probably the easiest explanation to follow. After reading that article I saw on the page a link to something about how to "properly delete files", something I have always wondered about and now was just as good a time as any to read about it. I won't go into it too much here, but when you just hit the delete button it is similar to just deleting the pointer that tells you where the information is stored and not the information itself. If you want a better explanation and information on how to "delete" the information just follow this link (you will see why I put delete in quotation marks once you read the article/post).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Why Teachers Weep

This is not mine but I found it to be quite funny and true at the same time. I am glad that I am finally in classes where students are honestly interested in learning the material and not so much about knowing just what will be on the test.

Then Jesus took his disciples up on the mountain and gathered them around Him. And He taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are the merciful, Blessed are you who thirst for justice, Blessed are you who are persecuted, Blessed are the peacemakers...

And Simon Peter said, "Do we have to write this stuff down?"

And Phillip said, "Will this be on the test?"

And John said, "I'm sorry. Would you mind repeating that?"

And Andrew said, "John the Baptist's disciples don't have to learn this stuff!"

And Matthew said, "Huh?"

And Judas said, "What does this have to do with real life?"

Then, one of the Pharisees, an expert in the law said, "I don't see any of this in your syllabus. Do you have a lesson plan? Is there a summary? Where is the student guide? Will there be any follow-up assignments? How will this affect the bell curve?"

And Thomas, who had missed the sermon, came to Jesus privately and said, "Did we do anything important yesterday?"

And Jesus wept.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Follow up on Amendment 2

Now this article from isn't about Florida but it is about the same topic so in my opinion it is just as good.

Here is a link to the article, please actually take the time to read it and the links that it sends you to.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Intermediate Value Theorem

Well I have stared looking over some analysis problems in preparation for the Putnam exam. Though I will admit I have not prepared as much this year as I have in the past, or would have like to.
Well here are some of the problems I have worked on, none of them are particularly difficult but they make you think for a few seconds.

Here are the solutions.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Integral Test

Here is my post on the integral test. The post is located at my WordPress blog.

Integral Test.


Well for unknown reasons (well not totally unknown) I can no longer use LaTex on this blog. I did look up ways to get this back but ran into a few problems. Most of the solutions only worked for Unix like systems, and I would like to be able to use LaTex on the blog even if I was on a Windows machine. Also most of these solutions would have required me to add another version of Tex to my linux system and I didn't really want to do that. There was however, one solution that would work with all systems (supposedly). All I had to do was edit the source code for a GreaseMonkey script, but after doing that I was still running into the same issues as before so I quickly gave up on that dead end.

I will still be using this blog but whenever I want to post anything mathematically related I shall post a link to my WordPress blog in the post. The reason I am using WordPress is becasuse it has LaTex built in and thus less work on my part.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Welcome Home Steve Spurrier

Well I finally went to a UF football game. I was pretty much forced into it by Veronica and Juliana. Really it wasn't a bad choice for a first game really, UF was playing USC (South Carolina, not Southern Cal), so I got to see Steve Spurrier.

We had pretty good seats for the game, right behind the band. I admit it was quite the experience, though not all that people have talked it up to being. The game itself was not really worth it since it was a blow out (56-6 UF) and really who want's to watch that?

The half time show...oh how I miss half time at FAMU games, and that is all I have to say about that.



Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Amendment 2

Sometimes I am just shocked at how closed minded and "selfish" Americans (in this particular case Floridians) can be. Look at the title, if you don't know what I'm talking about follow this link.

Below is what one of my friends had to say about this topic. I would have to agree with him 100%, yes even the willingness to leave America and live somewhere else.

It is not often enough that something happens in this country that makes me ashamed to be a part of it. However, there has been a growing trend which has stopped me dead in my tracks. With the recent Florida elections, I have witnessed first hand the bigotry that continues to permeate our society.

I am speaking of course about the Florida Constitutional Amendment number 2. This amendment passed on November 4th, and it prohibited homosexual marriage and stripped rights from a domestic partnership. For those of you who are ignorant on the subject, domestic partnership has not been an exclusively or even predominantly homosexual union. It is merely what the name says. Two beings entering in a legal partnership in order to relieve stress of financial situations among many other things. Now, domestic partnerships across Florida have been reduced to a mere shadow of the benefits a man and a woman may have by being legally married.

This ignorance is gut wrenching. Imagine a similar amendment, one which prohibited interracial marriage. That's right Florida, let's all vote on whether our constitution says I can marry a black woman. Such a proposition would be met with instant hostility and cries of overwhelming racism. Hell, lets take it one step further. Black people can't marry. Period. There is no alternative to give them equal status of being "married". By the simple fact that they were born black, they are denied the rights which are extended to another race.

If you think there is a fundamental difference between those two examples and amendment 2, you are blinder than I ever thought my friends could be.

There is no excuse for this. There is no justification. This, and the progression of 29 other US states is fueled by nothing but sheer bigotry towards homosexual people. In the process, states such as Florida have crippled many non-homosexual partnerships, all in the name of preserving the American family.

I cannot and I will not tolerate this. My desire to complete my education keeps me in the US, but I vow that if such blind hatred continues to be entwined into the very constitutions of the states that make up this nation, I will be leaving. I love America, and I have always thought how lucky I was to live in a nation that was for the most part, better off than most others. But this is not an issue I will compromise.

Normally, I would be open for debate on an issue, but I'm afraid I am making an exception to this. I am not gay, and honestly this decision will probably never affect my personal life. It is the principle itself which is evil. If you think this could have been defended by saying that the domestic partnership was abusable, then I counter with allowing homosexuals an equal equivalent to marriage. If you counter with marriage only being between a man and a woman by decree of God, I will counter with an absolute declaration of your stupidity.

My only salvation is to hope that in the future, children will read about this is textbooks, much as we read about the injustices against black people in America and their faces will be filled with shock. Shock that at one point in the not so distant past, their country, their grandfathers and grandmothers, could have believed in such bullshit.

Also I would like to mention that I am not gay and just like my friend this will most likely not affect me in my life. But it is the principle of the matter, who gave the government to power to say that marriage is the union of one man and one women? Some people will say something like "'s in the bible...", well I am still waiting for someone to actually show it to me. Also since when was the bible the doctrine that governed this country? The bible also says to turn the other cheek...and yet we are in a war over a particular even that happened a few years ago. So don't tell me that we are a "Christian nation", because being a Christian is about more than just reading the bible, you also have to follow the lifestyle, and so far this country isn't doing a very good job. Yes I know that homosexuality is looked down upon by the bible (this I have actually read and/or been shown) but so are the 2 commandments Jesus gave us (for crying out loud he cut the 10 down to 2, at least have the decency to try and follow them both). Here they are, "The first commandment is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your hear, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29 if you need a reference). Now I don't know about the first one, but this Amendment surely goes against the second.

I shall leave you with the following quote, and if you don't see how it relates then I truly do feel sorry for you.

If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one - if he had the power - would be justified in silencing mankind.
- John Stuart Mill

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Minor Incidents

Well I have decided to tag a Computer Science minor to go along with my Mathematics major. After this semester is over I will only have 4 more CS classes to take before I have completed the minor, this basically comes down to 1.3333... CS classes per semester. The classes I have to take are; Applications of Discrete Structures, Intro. to Computer Organization, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Operating Systems. Due to prerequisites I will be taking the fist two next semester, then Data Structures fall of next year, and finally OS my last semester (because this seems to be the most difficult of the 4 and I would rather not to have to worry about it while working on graduate school applications).

I came to this decision after realizing that there weren't any outside of major classes that interested me, other than Economics, Finance, or CS. Honestly, I find all these disciplines to be just as interesting and rewarding. However, what made me choose CS was the kinds of people that would be in the classes. In my experience most of the people in the Economics or Finance classes don't seem to have any interest in the subject and are only there because they have to take it for the major. In addition they constantly complain about the work and other consequential details about the class. While the CS majors are very adamant about their classes and willing to learn. Also there isn't as much complaining about the class (unless it is to say that they aren't learning enough or that it's not challenging enough).

In addition to the above issues there are some other personal "problems". Now that I think about it problems really isn't the most appropriate phrase to use. Here is the general overview: A little while ago (2-3months) stopped talking to one of my friends because I felt used. A few days ago I was pretty bored and lonely (most everyone I knew was out of town) and I considered giving them a call. After thinking about it I didn't mainly because I would feel that I was using them, and that's just something I refuse to do, even to someone I no longer care about. Well I care about them but it is basically at the same level I care about a complete stranger. The day after this happened I talked to one of my friends and basically what I remember from the conversation was this, " will constantly be filtering people in and out of your life. It sucks at time but it is just something you have to learn to accept."