Archive for April, 2007

V I Fabrikant

Note: There has been some confusion about this post. Let me make it very clear — I am NOT Fabrikant, nor do I have any relation to him, or even know of him in any way. I just came across this hilarious correspondence address on the internet. I have NO idea who this guy is, or whether the people commenting below are who they claim to be.

Look at the correspondence address of this Journal of Applied Math article

Utilization of divergent integrals and a new symbolism in contact and crack analysis
VI Fabrikant

Prisoner #167932D, Archambault Jail, Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec, Canada J0N 1H0

Correspondence: Email: [email protected]

Received for publication 15 June 2006. Revision received 1 December 2006.

The main potential function, used for the complete solution of the contact and crack problems for elliptical domains, is presentable as an integral of an expression comprising a logarithm of a distance between two points. These integrals were considered to be impossible to compute, though various derivatives of these integrals were computed in the past. The new symbolism, introduced here, combined with utilization of divergent integrals, allows us to compute these integrals exactly and in a closed form. It also introduces a dramatic simplification in the final expressions and restores some mathematical symmetry and elegance.

You can look up this guy on Wikipedia.

tax forms must be designed by idiots

CA income tax form is the worst.
MA is only slightly better.
The federal one is a disaster but at least I’m used to it.
These things require reverse-engineering the spagetti code behind the instructions in order to see the actual calculations, which are all fairly simple. And yet, there is no logic to the instructions, like why the apportioning of income for non-residents need to be calculated multiple times, or why rate and value calculations are interleaved in random order, or why two forms that should give the same answer, don’t… Argh!

interactive sites, many of which i’ve never heard of

Some marketing image

and statistics


another combinatorial puzzle (allocation)

Well, the original problem was X-rated, so let me recast it.

Three surgeons (A, B, C) participate in an operation involving three patients (a, b, c). For simplicity, each surgeon operates with just one hand, and operates just once on each patient. There are a bunch of sterile surgical gloves that stop contamination from one side to the other. What’s the minimum number of gloves needed to ensure that no body part ever comes into contact with another, even indirectly? Note, surgeons do not want to contaminate each other either.

Clearly, the upper bound is 9, for the 9 pairings. The lower bound is 3, for the 3 patients, or alternatively the 3 surgeons. Is the answer something in between?
(Read the article)