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Single Letter Frequencies in English

Single Letter Frequencies in English

Every time that I read a paper that discusses the frequencies of single letters in English, I feel like I should sit down and calculate them for myself from a sample of English text. Today, I finally did. Here are the probabilities and negative log probabilities of the characters in English over the corpus of […]

Higher Order Programming

Updated: 2.17.09 Advocates of higher order programming languages, ranging from Lisp to Ruby, usually claim that programming in a higher order language is more efficient than programming in a language that is designed for easy translation into machine code, such as C. The case for higher order programming languages can be made on many points: […]

Fair Copyright in Research Works Act

Given that we know that the Democrats are the party of the people, it must come as a surprise that Democratic Representative John Conyers has re-introduced the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, which will remove the legal requirement that all research performed by federal agencies be published in journals providing open access to the […]

Princeton Graduate Student Housing

Princeton Graduate Student Housing

For any Princeton graduate students who are interested, here’s the success rate for graduate students applying for school housing. These charts were built using the data from the 2008-2009 Room Draw Statistics pamphlet provided by the Division of Housing here at Princeton.

Change You Can Download

I have to admit it: I prefer change I can download to change I can believe in.

To Create Difficulties Everywhere

It is now about four years ago that I got the notion of wanting to try my luck as an author. I remember it quite clearly; it was on a Sunday, yes, that’s it, a Sunday afternoon. I was seated as usual, out-of-doors at the cafe in the Fredricksberg Garden. I had been a student […]

Paul Graham and Friedrich Hayek

It may be difficult to say why the old method fails, but that it does fail, anyone can see. When is software delivered on time? Experienced programmers know that no matter how carefully you plan a program, when you write it the plans will turn out to be imperfect in some way. Sometimes the plans […]

Late Night Flippancy

If history is so corrupted by patriarchical mores that it should be called herstory, should histograms be called herstograms?

If I Had a Text File, I'd Hack Regexes in the Morning

If I Had a Text File, I’d Hack Regexes in the Morning

Yesterday the topic of academic citation counts came up, so I decided that I should write up some tools for exploring cite counts. The first thing I did was to build a cheap screenscraper in Ruby for pulling citation count information from Google scholar. You’ll see the ugly hack I produced below. 1 2 3 […]

The Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on Process Patents

Bilski, et al., v. Doll is now on the Supreme Court’s docket. Now that is something to be excited about.