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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

April 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Dr. Strangelove

Title of this post is the subtitle of Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick’s 1964 movie) and it has a twofold symbolical meaning related to the theme of my post (only the one of those meanings will be revealed in the post, though).

Recently I got an idea (during a stroll) for my next year’s Mobile Robotics class project. One thing led to another – and I got an idea for my master’s thesis. It was a bit strange – I always thought my thesis will be something theoretical and closely related to mathematics, like the bachelor’s thesis I wrote. It looked to me like I finally learned to stop worrying (about my love for mathematics) and love the bomb (bomb being engineering in this metaphor).

Few days after, I’m still up for that project – but I don’t want it to be my thesis in the end – it’s a matter of principles, I guess – I want mathematics.

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I don’t mind people rejecting my papers…

January 12, 2011 1 comment

… but I do mind when they reject my stories. I know I’m not talented for writing, I know I’ll never publish a book containing my random scribbles, but why do all magazines need to reject my SF stories? I haven’t tried to send them to real SF magazines, since it’s too much science, but I can’t understand why mathematical and physical journals aimed at high school students, publishing all sorts of recreational materials reject it.

Why do random people and people whose opinion matters to me say the stories are interesting if they are so unpublishable? Are they just being nice or the editors are being too conservative?

My favourite tag in the mail. Not.

Categories: Scientific Writing

Writing Science Fiction, Flatland style

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Few years ago, I wrote a short story about mathematical analysis – no, it was not a research paper, or a survey article, it was an SF parody, written in Flatland style.

Flatland cover

Flatland cover

When I write ‘normal’ fiction – Borges and Kiš are my role models: short stories with fiction packed like facts, stories composed out of made-up excerpts from other people’s stories (those other people are made up as well). I enjoy that kind of literature – both reading and writing it (although I am very well aware of the fact that my writing is not worth much).

On the other hand, when I write ‘mathematical fiction’, stories using the argot and spirit of mathematics and taking place inside mathematical concepts and terms, mathematics come first, style comes second. Still, I think I might get some Borgesian spirit in them – knowing how Borges promoted mathematical concepts (infinity, convergence, chance, randomness, geometry), it would be most appropriate!

Long story short – there is an idea for a new story, proposed to me by a colleague TA: quantum mechanics love story!

Categories: Scientific Writing

Writing about trivial stuff

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

When a man gets a few days off to spend in bed, fighting with flu – it is always a chance for his thoughts to go wild. This time I lassoed the thoughts with my favourite knot theory book (pun very much intended). Still, after going through all knot invariants known to mankind thoughts wandered and I ended up reading a C code of a standard, simple program written by a freshman at my institution for homework – and the implementation of certain procedures in it gave me an idea for a paper. Two obstacles are in my way (not counting the iron gate – “open the gate” will solve that one):

1. It is nowhere near my area of interest and expertise. That is almost an advantage, and not an obstacle – it could make a fine excursion in a brave new world of Comp. Sci.

2. The topic, implementation and results are almost trivial – interesting, but still trivial. But hey, someone has to write about those things too.

If there is nothing serious to handle, trivialities keep the brain young…

Categories: Scientific Writing