Transmitting Chinese Cultural Values

I’ve been learning a bit of Asian history, since it is something I know little about. One question is about the role of ancient Chinese culture across other East Asian societies. Buddhism played a role in transmitting Chinese cultural and social values to both Korea and Japan. This is because the Buddhism that went to Korea and Japan carried with it a more intensely Chinese form of the philosophy than the version originally developed in India. Grigg’s entire thesis is the Buddhism of Japan, Zen, is derived from the Korean form (Seon), itself an import of the Chinese Chan form

Circular Reasoning

Mathman strikes again. Here’s a nifty picture I have borrowed from Cracked.com. The text, by Cracked user RainbowCrash, says, “Manhole covers are round so that they cannot possibly fall through their own holes. Any shape other than a circle would be able to fit through in at least one way.” Curiously, RainbowCrash’s profile advertises, “I’m not stupid anymore!” So let’s help him out here. There are shapes, other than a circle, that meet this definition. The requirement, when generalized, is that it must be a curve of constant width. Wolfram defines this as “Curves which, when rotated in a square,

Implications of Coarse Data Allocation Methods for Flood Mitigation Analysis

I went looking for a copy of my working paper from the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings and realized, it does not seem to be online. And neither does my poster! So I figured I should fix that. Here’s a link to the poster and the proceedings paper. The key idea here comes from my work on flood insurance and trying to understand the county-level effects of flood mitigation grants. Some grants are given to state agencies. In other words, the granularity of reality is insufficient for my goals. Normally, it’s just a data problem. So I investigated, briefly, four logical

Students and Customers

This semester, I’ve been teaching a course I don’t normally teach. This has been an interesting experience. The course is wholly online, so we have “homework,” and “quizzes,” and “tests,” but these are not really different from each other. They are all open book and open Google. Except for the final exam, which has a 72-hour window, all material is given at least a week before it is due. Because of these constraints, it can be difficult to construct assessments that meaningfully gauge a student’s ability. What I have done this semester is use the standard homework problems for “homework.”