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Researchers Create a Statistical Guide To Gambling

questioner Re:Do you even bother to edit submissions anymore? (185 comments)

Read my comment again. It's the *submission* I was complaining about, not the paper. And no, I'm not American. Furthermore, I'm a statistician, which is partially why I was interested enough to click on the link in the first place; I have no issues with the content of the paper itself, or its readability.

Parse this sentence:

In their paper 'How to gamble if you're in a hurry,' they present algorithmic strategies and reclaim the world of gambling, which they say has up till recently flourished on the continuous Kolmogorov paradigm by some sugary discrete code that could make us hopefully richer, if not wiser.

Up until the "world of gambling", it's reasonable, but beyond there it ceases making any sense. If the submitter had broken the sentence down into a couple of discrete thoughts, they might have gotten their synopsis across.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Ebook Reader for Scientific Papers?

questioner What's wrong with the Kindle? (254 comments)

I've had no issues with PDFs on the Kindle, whether the DX (which is the right form factor), or the 3 (which is conveniently portable). It's not a perfect solution, but it works.

IMO, the optimal solution would be a hybrid display (like Pixel Qi make), a form factor halfway between the DX and the 3 (i.e. roughly the screen size of a normal book), and running an Android OS so apps can be written to support things like DJVU. I had high hopes for the Adam (Notion Ink, http://www.notionink.com/), but they're a little too ... grungy ... for me to be willing to spend $600 on.

more than 3 years ago

Roundabout Revolution Sweeping US

questioner Re:Well, in New Jersey, they are removing them all (1173 comments)

Given that in Australia, there are numerous million+ cities with roundabouts everywhere, the arguments that 'high traffic volume' is somehow impossible to flow with a roundabout is clearly false. The fact that the UK also has roundabouts with cities like Manchester, London, etc. also supports this idea that high volumes and high populations can deal with it.

All the people going on about how light-based intersections allow high volumes through clearly don't remember the last time they were at a stopped traffic light and sat through three changes of the light before they even made it up to the head of the line, and then a fourth change to move forward. I hit an intersection like that here in my small Canadian city every day, and it happens anywhere there are lights and a 'high traffic volume' that can't make it through the intersection in the time of the light sequence. Lots of people? You get to wait a little. At least with roundabouts there isn't wasted time as everyone waits for the advanced-left signals, the idiots who block the whole intersection because they decide to run through on a yellow and don't make it, etc., just the wasted time as everyone waits for a chance to merge.

more than 3 years ago

Wikipedia Wants More Contributions From Academics

questioner Re:Tenure, promotion (385 comments)

Exactly. When tenure is based on publishing, then teaching, then service, and editing/peer-reviewing journal articles *barely* counts as service, Wikipedia ranks somewhere between sleep and bathroom breaks in terms of priority. Academic ego has absolutely nothing to do with it: credit in a way that matters does. Academics are too busy doing 'real research' to bother editing an online encyclopedia for no benefit but warm fuzzies.

In other news, what's with posters adding their own personal bias to news articles on Slashdot lately? Just report the facts, thanks. I don't need your weird, slanted viewpoint on the issue, even if you think you're being edgy and smart.

more than 3 years ago

Finding a Research Mentor?

questioner Re:Scour the literature, or just don't bother (162 comments)

With respect to the pedigree idea, it's certainly valid, but it's not quite as all-encompassing as you stated. When doing your PhD, there is another factor that you missed entirely: the status and reputation of your primary advisor. If you have the chance to work directly with one of the top N (N. Aim high, but be happy with 'good'.

more than 4 years ago

How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?

questioner LaTeX Macros save time (823 comments)

If you're serious about taking mathematical notes, there really isn't anything to beat LaTeX except for the multi-mentioned writing tablets, where you're essentially recording images (and could do the job just as easily with pen and paper).

If you're worried about your typing of LaTeX taking too long, make macros. It's trivial to create commonly used macros for "long" things like \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} so instead, you type \iII (i - i-cap - i-cap) or some other easily remembered name. If you're still typing out every bit of math you do in LaTeX long-hand, you aren't coming close to using the true power inherent in a markup language.

Want easy ways to represent \mathbb{R} or \mathbb{C}? \rS or \cS defines work great. Integrals? Same idea. Just figure out what the commonly used things are in the class you're taking notes for, and make macros for that.

more than 5 years ago

Collaborative Online Textbook Project

questioner Re:Oh no... (192 comments)


This is the student-owned-and-non-profit-organization-run bookstore at Queen's. Originally formed by the Engineering Society some 80-odd years ago to sell supplies to eng students, it is now the source of all textbooks sold NEW on campus.

Their prices are basically as low as they can go and still break even (non-profit). However, if you check out Amazon.com.uk and compare some prices there, you'll soon find that textbooks there are cheaper in some cases.


Because publishing companies have different prices for different countries, and different continents.

If you really want cheap textbooks, find someone from India and have them bring back all your books from there when they come back to school in the fall. *The* textbook on electronics (Sedra & Smith) is roughly $155 CAD ... and can be found for roughly $4 in India. :)

It's a rip-off ... plan ahead, find out what texts you need, and import them. I ordered three texts from the UK, and even with shipping saved $30 on each one. Not too bad for a little bit of work and some web browsing.

more than 10 years ago


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