Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Wisdom of Wikipedia

Ye gods. The Wikipedia entry for Definite Descriptions until a moment ago read: Bertrand Russell … proposed according to his ‘theory of descriptions’ that when we say “the present King of France is bald”, we are making three separate assertions:1. … Continue reading

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Praise where praise is due

I’m finishing marking a stack of dissertations and “assessed essays”, submitted for examination in the Philosophy Tripos. I have some philosophical grumbles (of course!), but it is a beautiful late spring day, and I’m feeling cheerful, so let me give … Continue reading

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It’s that time of year again …

Things will continue to be quiet here for a while. Tripos starts tomorrow, with piles of marking to come. But in one way or another I’ve already been marking all week (reading dissertations and submitted essays, interspersed with looking at … Continue reading

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Quantum computation again

The audience is thinning … but we’ve got through Peter Shor’s cunning quantum algorithm for factorizing numbers exponentially faster than the best classical algorithm. Fascinating stuff (even if the biggest number a real-world implementation has so far has managed to … Continue reading

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Maddy on logic

My blog postings on Maddy’s Second Philosophy came to an early halt, largely due to the pressure of other commitments. But our reading group is continuing to work through the book. I liked the partly historical, scene-setting, first part of … Continue reading

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Gowers online!

Tim Gowers’s lectures are being recorded: the first five lectures are now fully online in various formats (including iPod friendly video) here, with the rest presumably to follow.

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Quantum Computing Since Democritus

Tim Gowers this morning recommended Scott Aaronson’s notes for a lecture course ‘Quantum computing since Democritus.’ I’m half way through, and the notes are a great read and highly illuminating. So I add my recommendation, if you want to get … Continue reading

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The State of the Nation

I’ve just finished helping do the shortlisting for the Analysis Studentship. Without inappropriately giving things away, what have I learnt about the state of the nation, philosophically speaking? (A reminder: the studentship is intended for those who are finishing or … Continue reading

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Tim Gowers’s lectures

I’m going to Tim Gowers’s graduate course on Computational Complexity, and we’re four sessions in. It must be the first time I’ve followed a full-blown maths lecture course since I was a Part III student (once upon a time, when … Continue reading

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