ʻOumuamua

Figure 1. Artist’s impression of ʻOumuamua [image: ESO/M. Kornmesser]

ʻOumuamua is the first ever interstellar body that was observed while it passed through our solar system, which makes it a really cool object. Hundreds of thousands of asteroids and comets have been observed, but all of them originated from within our own solar system. It was known that… read more

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Submitted on 23 December 2017

What is a Hadamard Matrix?

A Hadamard matrix is a matrix with all elements equal to \(+1\) or \(-1\), and for which the rows are mutually orthogonal. If you pick two rows from the matrix and write it as vectors \(\bf x\) and \(\bf y\), then these are orthogonal if… read more

Submitted on 6 December 2017

Jerk

What is jerk? Jerk is to acceleration as acceleration is to velocity. And, acceleration is to velocity as velocity is to position. So let’s start there. The instantaneous velocity at which you travel tells you… read more

Submitted on 20 November 2017

The Birthday Paradox

How many people do you need before the probability that two of them have the same birthday is 50%? The answer to this question is, amazingly, 23. This surprising result is known as the birthday paradox. The word paradox is used here in the sense that… read more

Submitted on 5 March 2017

Exponentiation by Squaring

In this article, I present the simple idea of exponentiation by squaring. This idea saves computation time in determining the value of large integer powers by “splitting” the exponentiation in a clever way into a series of squaring operations. The technique is based on the fact that… read more

Submitted on 12 February 2017

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