# Pejorative Manifolds of Polynomials and Matrices, part 2

In an unpublished 1972 technical report "Conserving confluence curbs ill-condition," Velvel Kahan coined the descriptive term pejorative manifold. In case you don't use it in everyday conversation, pejorative means "expressing contempt or disapproval."... read more >>

# Pejorative Manifolds of Polynomials and Matrices, part 12

In an unpublished 1972 technical report "Conserving confluence curbs ill-condition," Velvel Kahan coined the descriptive term pejorative manifold. In case you don't use it in everyday conversation, pejorative means "expressing contempt or disapproval."... read more >>

# The MATLAB Technical Computing Environment2

The ACM Special Interest Group on Programming Languages, SIGPLAN, expects to hold the fourth in a series of conferences on the History of Programming Languages in 2020, see HOPL-IV. The first drafts of papers are to be submitted by August 2018. That long lead time gives me the opportunity to write a detailed history of MATLAB. I plan to write the paper in sections, which I'll post in this blog as they are available. This is the seventh, and final, installment.... read more >>

# How Far Apart Are Two Random Points in a Hypercube?3

Two days ago I wrote about random points in a square. At the last minute I added the paragraph asking about the generalization to random points in a cube. I have to admit that I didn't check the Web to see what was known about the question.... read more >>

# How Far Apart Are Two Random Points in a Square?5

How far apart can you expect two points chosen at random in the unit square to be? I found this problem on the YouTube channel maintained by Presh Talwalkar, Mind Your Decisions. He correctly calls it a very hard puzzle. At first, I guessed the answer might be $1/2$. But the correct answer is more interesting than that.... read more >>

# The Classic Crossed Ladders Puzzle

Here is a classic puzzle. A pair of ladders leaning against the sides of an alley form a lopsided cross. Each ladder is propped against the base of one wall and leans against the opposite wall. If one ladder is 30 feet long, the other 20 feet long, and the point where they cross 10 feet above the ground, how wide is the alley?... read more >>