Scientific Computing
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math
Teaching & Learning Math & Science with Technology:
Graphing Calculators, Numerical Methods, Computer Algebra Systems & Linux Clusters

Why Shadowfax? Our cluster is so fast that we named it after the Lord Of The Rings character!

Website once known as http://CalcPage.tripod.com (1988 – 2008)

LAB07 was all about static arrays and dynamic arraylists! We started with a discussion of Strings and arrays of characters. Then we compared and contrasted the use of arrays vs. arraylists writing a ROT13 class 3 different ways. The rest of this lab was about practice using for() loops, while() loops anf for each loops with arrays!

UNIT10 was all about establishing the convergence or divergence of infinite sequences and series of Real constants with all positive terms. I used to have a separate UNIT09 about Improper Integrals. Now I combine UNIT09 with UNIT10. So, UNIT10 starts with a discussion of Improper Integrals. Then we talk about p-Integrals so when we get to the Integral Test, Improper Integration and p-Series are easy! We also talk about Geometric Series and Alternating Series. Then we play with the Divergence Test, The Comparison Test, The Ratio Test and the Root Test. Once we have Series of constants down, next UNIT11 on Power Series will be a snap when testing the end points of our intervals of convergence!

Chapter 10 was all about Conic Sections. First we learned about how to graph Conic Sections on the Cartesian Plane when the graph has horizontal or vertical symmetry: Ax^2+Cy^2+Dx+Ey+F=0. Then we talked about using Polar Coordinates to graph rotations: Ax^2+Bxy+Cy^2+Dx+Ey+F=0, B!=0. We also had fun with several applications: Parabolic Satelite Dishes, Elliptical Orbits and Whisper Galleries plus LORAN: LOng RANge Hyperbolic Navigation and Radar Systems!

Before we can continue with our openMPI project, we need a Linux Cluster! We used to have a classroom full of quad-core Linux boxes where we could setup a 100-core 50 GFLOP/s cluster for free! Now we only have Windows boxes, what to do? So, instead of going with Big Iron, maybe we should switch gears and try building our very own Little Fe Linux Cluster out of Raspberry PI 3.0 single board computers? As I type, we are looking into funding for a project similar to the one you see in the YouTube clip above. Maker Space, here we come!

February Homework!

In the meantime, you can download the BCCD ISO file and burn your own bootable CD. BCCD stands for Bootable Cluster CD. Don't worry if your first burn doesn't boot. You can use that CD as a "Linux Coaster" for your favorite beverage the next time you play on SteamOS. If you can make this work at home, try to run GalaxSee HPC Module from the BCCD documentation page.

Also, here's our fourth reading assignment. BTW, I was an editor on this book. That's why I recommend it. It's all about setting up and programming a Linux Cluster aka Super Computer with COWS (Commodity Off-the-shelf Work Stations = ordinary PCs). What's unique about this book is that it uses Java for all its coding samples making it an easy read for anyone who has taken AP CompSci!

NEW DECOR (Display Case):

Featuring ChromeCast & Processing!

NEW DECOR (Room 429):

Featuring Tapestry from RedBubble!

So, what's all this good for aside from making Fractal Zoom or Shrek Movies?

SETI Search

Econometrics

Bioinformatics

Protein Folding

Beal Conjecture

Scientific Computing

Computational Physics

Mersenne Prime Search

Computational Chemistry

Computational Astronomy

Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Computer Algebra Systems (CAS)

These are but a few examples of using Computer Science to solve problems in Mathematics and the Sciences (STEAM). In fact, many of these applications fall under the heading of Cluster Programming or Super Computing. These problems typically take too long to process on a single PC, so we need a lot more horse power. Next time, maybe we'll just use Titan!

YouTube Wednesdays are alive and well! Every Wednesday I try to introduce my students to guest speakers from around the world talking about something at least remotely related to topics in Math and Computing that we're studying without ever leaving class!

2018 Update:

I did something a little different this year. I decided to start each month with a filk. So, the first Wednesday of the month this whole year so far has been devoted to Tom Lehrer: New Math, The Elements, Lobachevsky and Hanukkah In Santa Monica plus Christmas Time! The only exception was January when I did my New Year's Resolution post. The 2nd semester has just begun and I have run out of Tom Lehrer FIlks about Math and Science. Maybe we'll play Chris Hadfield aka The Singing Astronaut on the ISS, Aurelio Voltaire, Weird Al, DaVinci's NoteBook, Bare Naked Ladies, Tom Smith, They Might Be Giants, Epic Rap Battles or How It Should Have Ended? Another thing I changed up this year: I started the first semester, after filking, with StarTalk TV videos by Neil DeGrase Tyson from the National Geographic App. I played The Martian episode for my CompSci students and the Ramanujan episode for my Math students. Now, second semester I'll start with Bill Nye Saves The World episodes from Netflix! I'll have to screen The Martian and The Man Who Knew Infinity movies after AP Exams this year too!

Original Post:

Below you will find a number of educational documentaries I show in various orders each year. I usually start the year with some Filks by Tom Lehrer and a few documentaries about Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. Then I start showing NOVA and National Geographic documentaries. At this point, I'll show a different documentary in Math class as opposed to Computer Science class since some of my students are in both classes. Above is a new documentary I screened in November about a laptop someone lost in the Mediterranean some 2000 years ago??? I think that the TED Talk below talks about the inventer of this laptop! What say you?

Below, you will find a sample of all my YouTube Wednesdays from just a few years ago!

June YouTube Wednesdays!

Last, but not least, we talked about Watson the SuperComputer on NOVA and Jeopardy. I hope you enjoyed our YouTube interludes. Have a great Summer, see you next year!

May YouTube Wednesdays!

YouTube Wednesdays would not be complete without the Nova about Cliff Stoll and the Cuckoo's Egg!

April YouTube Wednesdays!

We started one of my favorite YouTube Wednesday features. In the name of AP Computer Science review of Computer History and Computer Literacy, I played the only National Geographic Special not about warm, fuzzy animals! It's called "Miniature Miracle: The Computer Chip" and it's all about the history of electronic computing. I remember seeing this live on NBC around 1983 listening to Alexander Scourby's iconic voice and Elmer Bernstein's phenomenal musical theme! I used to have this on online, but YouTube made me take it down. I copied it from my VHS version, recorded live with rabbit ears, to a DVD. I then uploaded it to YouTube as MP4 files. I still have these files to play with VLC, unfortunately I can't show them to you online. You can get your own VHS copy on EBay or Amazon if you like! Here's a little review from 1985 in The New York Times!

February & March YouTube Wednesdays!

We haven't had a lot of time of late for YouTube Wednesdays what with all the Snow Days and February Break. We did manage to start a NOVA called "Ancient Computer" about a lump of bronze found off the coast of Greece. It was found with several lost works of art dated circa 70 BC. However, noone thought anything of this lump of bronze until someone decided to X-ray it! I'm showing this episode of NOVA for 10 minutes each Wednesday through the end of March. BTW, this used to be on YouTube. Unfortunately, the Nova YouTube Channel was converted to show only 2-3 minute previews, so you have to go to PBS.org to view full episodes. I used the PBS app on my Kindle Fire HD 8.9 over WiFi. I also used an HDMI cable to attach the Kindle to the SmartBoard in HDMI mode.

ALERT: Look at what Neil DeGrasse Tyson is up to! Dr. Tyson was one of our "Guest Speakers" during our Astronomy Month YouTube Wednesdays (see November below). He has now taken it upon himself to update the seminal Carl Sagan series named Cosmos. You can catch the new and improved Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey starting this Sunday at 9PM on NatGeoWild. Midterm Week: Ingite, TED and Filk!

Showing a 5-10 minute YouTube at the beginning of class once a week is a great way to start a 5-10 minute discussion on interesting topics related to your curriculum to which students may otherwise never be exposed! Recently, I tried out an Ignite Thursday. The Ignite Show used to be on the BBC. It was great in that the speaker had exactly 5 minutes to speak. Also, the speaker had 20 slides to talk about that auto-advanced every 15 seconds. Needless to say, this makes for a very quick and informative, presentation! I found a nice Ignite by a curator at the Walters Museum, William Noel. His talk was about how he discovered long lost texts by Archimedes buried inside a medieval palimpsest. What's amazing about this discovery is that the text shows Archimedes doing advanced Combinatorics and Calculus circa 200BC! That Ignite video led us to a TED Tuesday also by William Noel! Now I think I have to show a documentary about the Antikythera Device! There's a nice NOVA about Ancient Computers and here's a related youtube.

By the way, I also throw in Calculus Filks at random intervals whenever we cover a related topic (some are by my own students):

Definition of Continuity

Definition of the Derivative

Position, Velocity, Acceleration

Product Rule

Quotient Rule

Chain Rule

L'Hopital's Rule

AntiDerivatives

More AntiDerivatives

Some Physics

Some BC Calculus

Even Outer Space

Don't forget VI Hart!

January YouTube Wednesdays!

Now we turn our attention to Nova and Fractals:

December YouTube Wednesdays!

December 9th was Grace Hopper's birthday and the Hour Of Code! So, we revisited Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace. We were also practicing preCalculus and Calculus Carols which are the best math filks ever.

This month I covered Conic Sections and Planet Orbits in preCalculus class. So, Youtube Wednesday saw several Astronomers as Guest Speakers. We have several Guest Speakers and Documentaries though out the year.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Bill Nye

Phil Plait

Carl Sagan

October YouTube Wednesdays!

October is devoted to one of my all time inspirations: Admiral Grace Murray Hopper.