Software! Math! Data! The blog of R. Sean Bowman
The blog of R. Sean Bowman
November 21 2015

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how important and influential the GoF Design Patterns book book has been. If you have been living among the rocks, do yourself a favor and get a copy of the book. It’s considered prerequisite reading for software developers these days. Interviewers love to hear you mention one or two of these patterns by name (in the appropriate context, of course), and just thinking about design in this way will make you a better programmer.

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November 08 2015

Software design patterns have gone from something of a phenomenon to requisite knowledge for any competent programmer. Their history is fascinating, though, and rooted in abstractions people noticed after writing and looking at lots and lots of code. Smart people figured out common elements, and then were able to describe them eloquently to the rest of us. Let’s have a look at a few important patterns, including some history.

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October 03 2015

At the risk of alienating those of you who are more interested in software than abstract mathematics, I’d like to write about some basic category theory. The idea is to work my way up to defining a monad, because that seems to be a requisite exercise for any programming language blogger. Here, I’d like to talk about something a bit simpler: monoids.

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September 18 2015

I’d love to write more about persistent homology, and eventually I’ll get around to it, but right now I wanted to talk about some math that undergraduate math majors who know a little algebra can understand. Although this is prerequisite stuff for really understanding persistent homology, you’ll certainly be able to understand the basics of persistent homology without understaing this. You might not ever decide to, but you could also come back later, after you’ve learned a bit about persistent homology, to get an idea of how the details work. (I should mention that this stuff is worth studying because it’s cool in its own right, and one reason I’m writing it is as an opportunity for me to try to remember some of it!)

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September 16 2015

I have lots of heros and role models: mathematicians, compter scientists, academics, practicioners, articulate polymaths, and even a politician or two. Here I’ve collected some quotes I like. I’ll periodicaly add to them if I can remember to.

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September 04 2015

This post is a short, incomplete, and probably mistake-riddled introduction to the field of topological data analysis. Broadly speaking, we try to apply ideas from the relatively “pure” parts of topology and geometry to problems in data analysis. Although the field has a pretty long history, it has just started to become very popular thanks to evangelism by a few prominent mathematicians. (Increasing computer power and memory probably don’t hurt, either!)

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