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Do you find some mathematical activities useless?
04-25-2018, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 04-25-2018 11:44 PM by Egan Ford.)
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RE: Do you find some mathematical activities useless?
(03-31-2018 10:29 AM)pier4r Wrote:  At the last Mathjam in Berlin there was the topic about searching digits of PI or similar quests apparently pointless. For example computing PI, square root of 2, e, biggest prime, etc. Of course the quest can be also theoretical, not only of numerical nature.

I do not think any of these or other mathematical activities are useless. Esp. if it's fun and/or something (anything) is learned or discovered (self). I can think of many other useless activities. Math will never be one of them. :-)

Computing Pi to a large number of digits requires some learning about disciplines that are not necessary purely mathematical, e.g. hardware design, computer architecture, storage, availability, power consumption, networking, algorithm optimization, etc...

I while ago, when I had more personal time, I learned 10ish popular assembly languages from the 8008 to the 68000 and computed Pi to 1000 digits on each of them. Each required it's own math code to be optimized for the features (and lack there of) of each processor. I did this because I wanted to better understand the evolution of early microprocessors. But I did it mostly because it was fun. I also learned how to write emulators, timing with 8086 interrupts, how the 8008 evolved to the 8080/8085 and 8086, etc... good times.

Quote:the newly idea of cryptocurrencies* (see primecoin), and so on.

I've been working with blockchain and cryptocurrencies for the last 3 years. My team built an Ethereum-based edge computing platform ( using our own instance of Ethereum. And, we created our own currency (bacon and bacon-bits). An incredible amount of learning and thought was a byproduct of this exercise.

Re: Proof-of-Work (POW) and power consumption. It is a known issue, worse however, is the lack of transaction throughput. Other consensus algorithms are being worked on, e.g. Proof-of-Stake. If cryptocurrencies are going to have a chance of being mainstream, these issues have to be resolved. There is an incredible number of people focused on these issues.
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RE: Do you find some mathematical activities useless? - Egan Ford - 04-25-2018 08:13 PM

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