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117 comments

Mr. Ono... (-1, Offtopic)

djlemma (1053860) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959212)

any relation to Yoko?

Re:Mr. Ono... (1, Offtopic)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959292)

I was thinking more of Apollo Ono, but you're right -- Yoko would be much better at partitioning, seeing as how she broke up the Beatles and all...

Re:Mr. Ono... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34959308)

Was first post that important?

Re:Mr. Ono... (1)

djlemma (1053860) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959808)

Not really, other than my assumption that somebody would be making that stupid joke so it might as well be me. Didn't realize I had 'first post' until later. So... score? :)

Also, I'm geeky, but not geeky enough to understand all the math involved in this article. I just want to be able to contribute in some small way. Or something.

It is about time (3, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959268)

I was going crazy trying to figure a layout for the office.

Fractal Euler (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959730)

I was going crazy trying to figure a layout for the office.

I thought it was Fractal Euler's day off? Just relax.

Re:It is about time (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34961876)

I was going crazy trying to figure a layout for the office.

Easy, just build around the pizza boxes.

I guess I was using the wrong tool (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34959282)

Maybe fdisk wasn't the right approach to solve this problem.

Re:I guess I was using the wrong tool (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962892)

Maybe fdisk wasn't the right approach to solve this problem.

No one reads at 0 any more? Anonymous Coward made a funny!

Re:I guess I was using the wrong tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964276)

It was an obvious joke, and overall quite 'meh'

Fractals are sexy (4, Funny)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959318)

Fractals are the mathematical thingie that turn me on the most in all of mathematics. The paisley pattern is natures tribute to the fractal, when executed correctly. Fractals make me hot, they really turn me on. Striking oil, even hotter.

Paisley? Eh... Romanesco! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34959414)

paisley pattern?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paisley_(design) [wikipedia.org]
nature's tribute?

Not sure what you're thinking of... Parsley doesn't seem particularly fractal-esque either.

Now, the Romanesco broccoli... aye, there's some proper fractal food.

Re:Paisley? Eh... Romanesco! (0)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959504)

paisley pattern?

Not sure what you're thinking of...

Not my fault that you are doing it wrong. ;)

Re:Paisley? Eh... Romanesco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963070)

the Romanesco broccoli... aye, there's some proper fractal food.

But eating it takes forever.

Re:Fractals are sexy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34959424)

Fractals are the mathematical thingie that turn me on the most in all of mathematics. The paisley pattern is natures tribute to the fractal, when executed correctly. Fractals make me hot, they really turn me on. Striking oil, even hotter.

Got bored with Digg, eh?

That's all we need is Diggers coming in and ruining the neighborhood.

Re:Fractals are sexy (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960718)

ASL?

In English (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959344)

So what does this mean and what does this give us in practical applications?

Re:In English (4, Insightful)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959540)

So what does this mean and what does this give us in practical applications?

A new textbook version for another $150.00.

Re:In English (5, Informative)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959916)

Suppose you have a large amount of data, and you've turned it into a whole lot of integers. You might not want to store the integers each in a full byte/word/double word, as you'd be wasting a lot of memory that way.

So you come up with a scheme where small integers are stored in a slot that only takes up the number of bits that they actually need. For example, the number 5 can be stored in 3 bits or more, and the number 3 can be stored in two bits or more, which is a far cry from the "standard" size of 64 bits per integer used on many computers these days.

The Euler partition function tells you in how many ways you can split 64 bits up into differently sized slots, which is great if you want to design flexible encoding schemes that make good use of those 64 bits.

Re:In English (2)

Longjmp (632577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960070)

So, what you are saying is, I could use a 64bit int, fill it up with "1"s and I would know I have stored exactly 32 "3"s...

Sorry, couldn't resist ;-)

Re:In English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34961436)

its like subnetting?

Re:In English (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962726)

"flexible encoding schemes that make good use of those 64 bits." -- oh? do tell.

Re:In English (4, Informative)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963150)

There's a nice book on variable length encoding schemes by David Salomon. What I was thinking of was Anh and Moffat's Simple9 code (couldn't find a direct link), which goes like this: [davidsalomon.name]

Suppose you have 32 bits to play with, and you reserve 4 bits for bookkeeping, then you have 28 bits available for data. In Simple9, you partition the 28 bits in 9 equal sized slots (9 fits in 4 bits).

28 x 1 bit -> 28 numbers in the range 0-1
14 x 2 bit -> 14 numbers in the range 0-3
9 x 3 bit -> 9 numbers in the range 0-7
7 x 4 bit -> 7 numbers in the range 0-15
5 x 5 bit -> 5 numbers in the range 0-31
4 x 7 bit -> 4 numbers in the range 0-127
3 x 9 bit -> 3 numbers in the range 0-511
2 x 14 bit -> 2 numbers in the range 0-16383
1 x 28 bit -> 1 number in the range 0-268435455
----
9 different encodings -> fits in 4 bookkeeping bits.

This isn't space optimal, but it's not bad because 28 is divisible without remainder in nearly all of the cases. Moreover, it's fast to decode because it's just bit masks, and it offers localized random access whereas a lot of more efficient codes can only extract the data in order.

However, the partition function tells us how to fill the slots exactly! So in principle, if we reserve B bookkeeping bits for a number which describes a partion of the R = 64 - B remaining databits, then we should be able to decode those R bits with a template which is a function of the value stored in B. So, take a list of Euler partition numbers [numericana.com], compute the log2 of the values of p(R), calling it B, then see when R + B = 64.

For example, with R = 47, p(R) = 105558 which fits in B = 17 bits. So you can encode 105558 different partitions exactly in 47 bits, and use 17 bits to identify the actual partition being used.

Anyway, this is getting too long for slashdot :)

Re:In English (5, Insightful)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960906)

Why should it gives us any practical applications right now or tomorrow? Do you know Boole was considered wasting his time when he put together the fundation of the boolean algebra which is a cornerstone of the logical circuitry? Do you know Maxwell was also considered wasting his time working on the unification of electrical and magnetic forces? Do you know Faraday was asked what the heck the electricity was for?

All pratical things begin with someone dreaming and working on useless things otherwise these discoveries wouldn't have been done if only practical purpose and necessity was the rule. I'm tired reading peoples always asking what it's for as if everything should have a pratical usage right away. We are talking about the foundations of reasoning here, we are talking about mathematics, not about engineering in case you didn't notice.

Re:In English (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34961308)

Welcome to 2011, where instant gratification is 'everything' for better (or most likely) for worse.

Re:In English (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34961688)

And this hunt for practical uses asap is what basically killed blue sky research in our post cold war world.

If it can not be packaged and sold for a profit 24 hours after it is discovered, it is ignored as worthless.

Oh, and was not the laser considered a usless exercise in physics once? The net of today would be very different without it...

Re:In English (2)

SoVeryTired (967875) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962520)

There's a brilliant historical example of this. G.H. Hardy, one of the foremost mathematicians of his day, once gave number theory and general relativity as examples of mathematical disciplines that were interesting in their own right, but which were unlikely to ever produce anything useful. Nowadays, relativity underpins the GPS system, and number theory provides the basis for a large amount of cryptography.

It just goes to show that you never can tell...

Re:In English (4, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34961756)

Well, in statistics it's pretty common to fit models to partitions of data, and the partitioning process gets ugly when the data set is large (in terms of classes of data, not in terms of the number of points in the data.) And translating from partition numbers to actual partitions is trivial. Speaking as a statistician who only deals with number theory on the (rare) occasions that it's directly relevant to my work, I have to say that the existing partitioning algorithms, although they work, strike me as inelegant, and I'd be happy to have something cleaner that can deal with an arbitrarily large number of classes of data in "O(something small)" time. I can see this speeding up model selection problems at least somewhat, although most of the computational expense will still be in actually fitting the models and calculating the relevant performance criteria.

Ageism strikes again (4, Informative)

Dr. Gamera (1548195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959396)

Well, Ono can't win the Fields medal for it -- he's too old. (Born in 1968; you can't win the Fields medal after 40.)

Re:Ageism strikes again (1)

universegeek (1960968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959598)

Ono is one of 5 people responsible though, and the others were all postdocs (I think), so it's not out of the question for the work to lead to a Fields medal for someone.

Re:Ageism strikes again (5, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960232)

He's too old? Is it time to start writing his eulergy?

Common mispronounciation (1)

sackvillian (1476885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963084)

He's too old? Is it time to start writing his eulergy?

Huh, I don't get it. The hell is an oil-er-gy?

I'm also not clear on why Ken Ono would be described as hitting good ol' Eul just for completing a theory of his:

...which is like striking oil in mathematics."

Re:Ageism strikes again (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34961110)

but it's good news about ageism in another way: it has been said that if you don't make a contribution to mathematics by age 40, you never will (all the great discoveries in mathematics are by young mathematicians)

http://www.slate.com/id/2082960/ [slate.com]

so ono at least proves that geezer mathematicians can still do some groundbreaking stuff

Re:Ageism strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962646)

The age limit has nothing to do with ageism. When the medal was first given out they decided not to give it to some established mathematician for prior work as there would have been 100's of candidates. They didn't want the senior figures in the field just to sit around giving medals to themselves.

A Partician is: (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959432)

From the article:
"a partition is a way of representing a natural number n as the sum of natural numbers (ie. for n = 3, we have three partitions, 3, 2 + 1, and 1 + 1 + 1, independent of order). Thus, the partition function, p(n), represents the number of possible partitions of n. So, p(3) = 3, p(4) = 5 (for n = 4, we have: 4, 3 + 1, 2 + 2, 2 + 1 + 1, 1 + 1 + 1 + 1) , etc.."

Very interesting read.

Re:A Partician is: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34959694)

...Somebody who throws killer parties?

Re:A Partician is: (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960380)

Also, somebody who is not a plebiean.

I believe you mean 'paTRician'... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34961602)

Re:I believe you mean 'paTRician'... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963918)

*sigh* *whoosh* Why do you think I intentionally misspelled "plebeian"?

Ah, you know... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964722)

Never ascribe to malice... and all that.

Partician-plebiean vs patrician-plebeian is a bit of a too subtle a joke for Slashdot.
Now, had you said something like "In Soviet Russia all particians are communist particians" or "I for one welcome our new partician overlords..."

Re:A Partician is: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960832)

Thanks for the explaination.

Re:A Partician is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34961282)

Attention, illiterate fucktard: it's spelled 'partition', as you can see *in the very text you quoted*. How could anyone possibly be this fucking stupid and live? Do you get lost in your pants when you get dressed in the morning?

Unfortunately, your condition is probably incurable. I prescribe suicide, preferably by self-cannibalism. Have a nice day.

Re:A Partician is: (1)

parlancex (1322105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962480)

So if we have a way to generate exact partition numbers, does any of this mean there might be an efficient way to find the partition number of for a value where each part is equal to the others? There's potential for an easier way to find prime numbers here.

Hooo!EEEE! (0)

rueger (210566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959564)

Wow! Now I have something to talk about over brewskis between periods while we watch the Sabres/Islanders game tonight!

Good thing, 'cause the economic impact of Hu Jintao's visit had pretty been hashed out already.

Boy... (2, Interesting)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959586)

This pattern allowed them to find a finite, algebraic formula...

Yeah, but looking at the paper, still not that simple. Eventually someone will be able to program it into a function and I'll be able to call it in Matlab, but until then, I'd still be worried about making calculation errors. On the other hand, that may be saying more about my calculation skills than about the work...

You're all missing the real story here (1, Offtopic)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959608)

That being the blog author, Sarah Kavassalis, is insanely hot. I can't even tell what this theory means anyway.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34959708)

You are correct sir. I propose we setup some sort of Kavassalis worship site.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34959930)

To each his own. Girls with no discernible arm muscles creep me out, but I guess some guys are into that kind of thing.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960026)

Yeah, she's way too skinny for me. And there's no way her tits are real when the rest of her is so thin.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

universegeek (1960968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960078)

I've seen her pictures on facebook, they are real.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960610)

Good to know, Sarah ;)

Re:You're all missing the real story here (1)

universegeek (1960968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960644)

Muahahahah!

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960744)

Your username was a giveaway. ;)

Re:You're all missing the real story here (1)

universegeek (1960968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960770)

Oh I was actually kidding there, I don't have lady parts.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960990)

This post [slashdot.org] would indicate otherwise... why else would you refer to your blog with "I"? Don't be bashful now. :-)

Re:You're all missing the real story here (1)

universegeek (1960968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34961008)

Dude, I just read her blog (because I know her), I can bring links that I didn't actually create myself. I even reference people to Google sometimes and I'm pretty sure I have nothing to do with that.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34961294)

Character Stats:

Name: Vladimir S. Mashkevich
Institution: Queens College, New York
Status: Postdoctoral Fellow

Special Skills: Tries to run a gravity collaboration website http://gravitygeek.com/ [gravitygeek.com]

In short, you're actually this guy http://arxiv.org/find/quant-ph/1/au:+Mashkevich_V/0/1/0/all/0/1 [arxiv.org] right?

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960754)

You're what, a 34DD? Must be damned hard finding bras.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34961164)

Going to take a bet and say your name is Vlad.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960180)

Met her once,(met is maybe an overstatement-I stood by while my boss met and chatted with her) they looked real enough to me.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960288)

Only pretentious twits actually care.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960388)

Gotta have standards. Looks are important to me, not just brains.

Re:You're all missing the real story here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960210)

Wow, low standards there... Then again this is Slashdot.

Ken Ono is a great guy (4, Interesting)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959854)

Couldn't happen to a harder-working guy BTW, or a nicer one. I'll never forget him desperately writing the final draft of his wedding vows on the day of the ceremony.

Re:Ken Ono is a great guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34960942)

This work was actually sponsored by Fry's Electronics!

Euler?... Euler?... (0)

TuxCoder (1641657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34959886)

Can't say I've ever heard of the Euler partitioning scheme. However, I did discover the formula for MBR partition numbers when I was six years old. I'm still cranking on the GPT formula and putting my PowerBook to work on the Apple Partition Map formula.

Striking oil? (1)

slushdork (566514) | more than 3 years ago | (#34960726)

Ha! Shouldn't that be "striking Eul(er) in mathematics"?

Thang you, thang you, I'll be here all week...

Who solved it? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34961314)

We say Ono, but he played a big part in it. Was one of the people in the group a janitor who felt he was smarter than everybody else and then walked in and solved the equation? I am pretty sure that is exactly how it went down. And the janitor's friend is Ben Affleck. I have no clue why Ben Affleck is friends with a janitor, but he is

Re:Who solved it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34961598)

So Ono is secretly Robin Williams?

I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34961412)

how to exactly and explicitly generate partition numbers.

I don't care, grub still sucks.

So what... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34962180)

Ken Ono is clearly a dick.

But the important question is... (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34962448)

Does the solution fit in the margin? (I know different problem but it's ok :)

They need to speak more clearly (1)

Squiffy (242681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963226)

Why must they repeatedly conflate partitions, partition counts, and sequences of partition counts? I can't tell what they're actually saying. First the article reads, "To be slightly more technical, from Ken Ono and Kathrin Bringman, 'A partition of a non-negative integer n is a non-increasing sequence of positive integers whose sum is n.' The concept is straight forward, but how to obtain these partition numbers, in general, is actually no trivial matter."

Then later, "...a finite, algebraic formula for partition numbers thanks to the discovering that partitions are fractal." Well do they mean partitions are fractal, or partition counts are fractal?

Another article at eScienceCommons (another post here links to it) quotes Ono: “We prove that partition numbers are ‘fractal’ for every prime." How can a number be fractal? Or does he mean the sequence over primes is fractal? WTF?

Ken Ono says in the press release, "I can take any number, plug it into P, and instantly calculate the partitions of that number." Does he mean the partitions themselves or the partition count?

You'd think detail-oriented professionals would be more precise in their wording.

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