hey i’ve thought of a new way to explain the difference between math research and science research are u ready

math research: Why does pizza get hot in an oven? Well, let’s first prove ovens exist. Then we can try to prove ovens get hot.  Wait, have we even proved that pizza exists? Have we proved that pizza can get hot? Have we proved that heat exists? Have we proved that I exist? That you exist?

science research: Why does pizza get hot in an oven? *sticks hand into burning oven* ahhHHHHHHHHHH WHAT’S HAPPENING

Survivorship Bias

I have posted about survivorship bias and how it affects your career choices: how a Hollywood actor giving the classic “follow your dreams and never give up” line is bad advice and is pure survivorship bias at work.

When I read up on the wikipedia page, I encountered an interesting story:

During WWII the US  Air Force wanted to minimize bomber losses to enemy fire. The Center for Naval Analyses ran a research on where bombers tend to get hit with the explicit aim of enforcing the parts of the airframe that is most likely to receive incoming fire. This is what they came up with:


So, they said: the red dots are where bombers are most likely to be hit, so put some more armor on those parts to make the bombers more resilient. That looked like a logical conclusion, until Abraham Wald - a mathematician - started asking questions: 

- how did you obtain that data?
- well, we looked at every bomber returning from a raid, marked the damages on the airframe on a sheet and collected the sheets from all allied air bases over months. What you see is the result of hundreds of those sheets.
- and your conclusion?
- well, the red dots are where the bombers were hit. So let’s enforce those parts because they are most exposed to enemy fire. 
- no. the red dots are where a bomber can take a hit and return. The bombers that took a hit to the ailerons, the engines or the cockpit never made it home. That’s why they are absent in your data. The blank spots are exactly where you have to enforce the airframe, so those bombers can return.

This is survivorship bias. You only see a subset of the outcomes. The ones that made it far enough to be visible. Look out for absence of data. Sometimes they tell a story of their own.

BTW: You can see the result of this research today. This is the exact reason the A-10 has the pilot sitting in a titanium armor bathtub and has it’s engines placed high and shielded.

Something that happened at my school today, but also imagine your OTP
  • Teacher: Compare answers with friends around you.
  • Boy: what if you don't have any friends?
  • Teacher: Then compare answers with your nemesis.
  • Boy; *sighs and turns towards the guy next to him WHO IS actually his friend* What did you get?
  • Guy next to him: *pushes the boys paper off the desk without looking up from his phone*
  • Boy: GOD DAMN IT

13.05.17 // Updated my physics window for the first time in ages! Had some thoughts over the past few weeks surrounding a free scalar field universe model so I drew them up as well as some old game theory because I watched a Beautiful Mind and felt nostalgic. I hope you are all having wonderful days / evening / whatever plane of existentialism you currently observe 😉

There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the world’s beaches.
More stars in the universe than seconds of time that have passed since Earth formed.
More stars than words and sounds ever uttered by all humans who have ever lived.
youtube

Finding the Golden Ratio in Harry Styles’ face and calculating his beauty percentage

On this day but in 1750, Caroline Lucretia Herschel was born.

Caroline Herschel was the sister of the astronomer William Herschel. After learning astronomy alone and math with the help of her brother, she became his assistant. His most significant contribution to astronomy were the discoveries of various comets, especially comet 35P / Herschel-Rigollet.

Some study tips for lazy students like me:

Make an aesthetic study table, get everything you need so you don’t need to get up repeatedly. Keep everything on your table organised and aesthetically pleasing.

Before you start, skim through all the content you plan to study. Try learning the challenging concepts first. Don’t miss out on anything, make a checklist.

Timetables suck. Keep a clock on your study table and keep adjusting your time e.g you finish half a chapter in an hour then add another hour and 15 minutes to complete and the rest revise at the end.

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10/02/2017

I haven’t been at university this week for personal reasons but nevertheless I’ve done so much work and I’m really proud of myself. In particular, I’m so happy with my progress in programming. I managed to write 5 functions in MATLAB 2 weeks before the deadline which I wouldn’t have been able to do at all last semester! Happy days ☺️

There’s all these stories of famous mathematicians, physicists, and other scientists, who were poor but by chance got lucky and found, and vastly improved the world of science and mathematics, because they got lucky.

This doesn’t mean that other poor people didn’t just rise up for the community because they weren’t smart enough. No. Capitalist has hindered our scientific and mathematical advancements, everyone poor who vastly contributed to our world all acknowledge how lucky they got, and so many are not afforded this luck.

There are just as many people passionated, dedicated, and clever enough to make further advancements in our society who will never be given the chance to add to our society. That’s what capitalism has done to us. It has made education a thing for the rich and lucky, not for all. If education was for all and failure wasn’t penalized we would move so much further as a society.

In every breath we take, we inhale as many molecules as there are stars in all the galaxies in the visible universe. And every breath we exhale is circulated through the air and mixed gradually across the continents; It becomes available for others to breathe.
—  Neil deGrasse Tyson // Cosmos - Deeper, Deeper, Deeper Still