Elbie at Trig dot Net

Thu, 21 Jul 2005

Naming conventions

In general, if you've known me for any length of time, you will typically address me as Chris. No big deal. It's my name. I answer to it and everything.

But my name is also Christopher. It is my full (first) given name. I answer to it as well. And in professional scenarios, initial meetings and other more formal situations, I will often use Christopher over Chris, at least until I develop more formality with whomever I'm dealing with. It also doesn't hurt that at my current job there is already a female Chris that I work with, so calling me Christopher alleviates some ambiguity.

I kind of like the sound of Christopher these days. I'm not sure where I made the switch of preference in my mind. I don't particularly want to make people address me in one way or the other, and I think because I'm called Christopher less often, it just sounds a bit novel these days.

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Mon, 18 Jul 2005

Extensor digitorum!

No. It's not the coolest spell EVAR from the new Harry Potter book.* I have some muscle/joint problems, probably as a result of a climbing injury I sustained from ages ago. The therapist thinks that likely what happened is when I sprained my hand, is my extensor digitorum contracted overmuch. Lately, I've been having a lot of discomfort and occasional pain as a result. So now I have some exercises to help get things more normal again.

Again, wow, it's been a long time since my last post. Two weeks almost exactly. School has been nice and busy. Work has been less busy. I went home to check out my parent's new place. It's very nice. They've moved into a condo downtown. Very central. (Central and Talbot, to be precise...). But mostly it's been school. I've been getting home and focusing on homework. Going to bed later than I've liked, and not getting enough sleep. But the end of the term is almost here. Things will ease up nicely after classes end.

*Or maybe it is. I haven't read it yet.

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Mon, 04 Jul 2005

Math is cool.

No, really.

It's been a long time since I've been in school. The last time was... *thinks* uh... seven years ago. Seven. It's been a long time. And back then, I took one math course, and one arts course as well. I'm sure I had pretty much the same reaction, but it's been so long that I no longer remember.

But yeah. Thursday's class was nothing specifically knock-my-pants-off exciting or anything, but I did have the insight that I really, really enjoy math.

Graph theory, for those that are unfamiliar with the branch of discrete mathematics (or for those of us at UW, Combinatorics and Optimisation), is a wholly fun and wonderful branch of mathematics that presented itself to me when I was younger as (then) challenging logic or mathematical based puzzles.

A couple really good examples of these are the Bridges of Konigsburg, or the Houses/Utilities problem.

That second probably has a better name. K3,3 is the name of the resulting graph. One has two groups of 3, and each element of each group connects to all the elements of the other group.

The math behind this, that says that certain types of graphs (connections of points and lines) cannot be planar (ie. drawn without the lines crossing) is what is occupying a lot of the more recent classes.

And so of course we're talking about why a K3,3 graph (and also, if you're thorough, a K5 graph) cannot be planar, and I remember this problem from years ago, and everything just clicks into place in just the right way, and I have an excitable Math is cool moment.

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