Monday, August 22, 2016

From Providence

I've come here with Carol many times, I've even worked here.  I'm in the cafeteria on the ground floor.  Carol needs to come back later this week as her measures are out of whack.  She's lower energy as a result, but up for walking around the grocery store next.

I've shared the Harold Kroto email with the Physics Learning list, an association of physics teachers concerned with best practices.  Our discussions are free ranging.  I'm not a physics teacher so much as an invited guest.  Dr. Bob Fuller recommended me to this listserv.  We're also yakking about what counts as "CS-friendly math" at the high school level (CS = computer science).

Computer science and physics are both explicitly concerned with the time dimension, its advance.  Mathematics has "pure forms" in the Platonic sense that don't change with time, a tetrahedron for example.  In the Synergetics language we call these "pre-frequency" if drawing attention to the eternal aspects, the surface and central angles mostly.

When it comes to vectors, as used on CAD (computer-aided design), 3D printing, these may be timeless.  Once time enters the picture, it's a matter of computing a "next frame" and a "next frame" after that, as when making animations.

Gerald de Jong, Karl Erickson, Russell Chu and a few others, were involved in early animations based on elastic vectors, meaning structural members that resisted further compression, or further stretching, according to various simple formulas.

Gak!  My next stop was the grocery store, top-level parking, where I discovered:  no computer satchel on the back seat, with mom's walker.  Oh yeah, I'd put that down next to the car, in the hospital parking garage.  Oh God, I'd felt a bump backing out and idly wondered what that was.  Putting two and two together, that was me driving over my own computer.

I asked mom to accompany back to the scene of my misdeed, for emotional support, dreading the smashed device I would encounter.  Instead a kind lady had it leaning next to her pickup across the way, and was dialing for Lost and Found.  She was going to turn it in.  Nor was the computer gone or inoperable.  Everything survived.  My camera had been in my pocket...

Mentally, I'd gone through some of the process of not knowing many passwords.  I rely on my computer to store them.  I need to print out a hardcopy backup again, right away.