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Comment Depends on what their interests are. (Score 1) 630

I mean, there's two ways you can go. There's high school level problem solving texts and then there's college level math.

If they're looking for interesting high school level math problems, then I'd look into Art of Problem Solving series (the two texts at the bottom). There's also Problem Solving Strategies by Engel, which is also an excellent book. If they're looking into some accessible "higher level" (meaning, proof-based) math, I'd suggest number theory. Niven has an excellent treatment of introductory number theory.

As far as introductory college level math goes, you could always hand them a multivariable calculus, linear algebra or differential equations book. As far as recommendations go, Axler has a pretty good treatment of linear algebra if you already have some background, Apostol's series on calculus (vol. 1 and vol. 2) has a more theoretical approach to single and multi variable calculus (it's more advanced than high school calculus, but not quite an undergraduate analysis text), and Birkhoff/Rota's differential equations book has an advanced approach to differential equations probably not for high schoolers. If you don't think they'll be scared by rigor, you could always refer them to Little Rudin, which is pretty much the standard for an undergraduate real analysis class. If you're looking for an analysis book that isn't ridiculously overpriced, I've heard about this one but I've never actually read it. For a pretty readable treatment of algebra (a.k.a. modern algebra or abstract algebra), see Artin. For a more theoretical approach (less recommended for high schoolers I guess), see MacLane/Birkhoff.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Bill Gates' Plan To Destroy Music, Note By Note 659

theodp writes "Remember Mr. Microphone? If you thought music couldn't get worse, think again. Perhaps with the help of R&D tax credits, Microsoft Research has spawned Songsmith, software that automatically creates a tinny, childish background track for your singing. And as bad as the pseudo-infomercial was, the use of the product in the wild is likely to be even scarier, as evidenced by these Songsmith'ed remakes of music by The Beatles, The Police, and The Notorious B.I.G.."

Cape Wind Ready To Bring First Offshore Wind Farm 147

An anonymous reader writes "The Cape Wind Project, a wind farm of 130 turbines to be built in Nantucket Sound off the coast of Cape Cod, can finally move forward as they have been given a green light by the US Minerals Management service. Leaders from labor, civic, and environmental groups across Massachusetts and the country hailed the release of the report, as it is the final federal environmental report needed for the long delayed and much scrutinized project to finally move forward. When completed, Cape Wind will be capable of supplying up to 420 megawatts of electricity, potentially offsetting as much as a million tons of carbon emissions and saving more than 100 million gallons of oil every year. But the environment wont be the sole beneficiary of Cape Wind. It will likely be a boon to out of work Massachusetts residents, as well, given that as many as 1,000 green jobs could be brought to the Bay State in addition to a significant supply of clean, renewable energy."

Overzealous AirTran Boots 9 Passengers Off 1002

An anonymous readerwrites "On Friday the wonderfully customer centric AirTran decided to remove a family of 9 US born Muslims after a comment between two family members regarding how close to the Jet engine they had been seated. The wonderful part is that after the FBI cleared the family 2 hours later, AirTran refused to fly the family, and refused to rebook them on their way from Washington to Orlando, Florida. The family purchased additional tickets on US Airways later that day, after AirTran requested that the irate father be escorted from their booking podiums by security. This whole story highlights the pathetic customer service we are getting from the Airlines these days — they actually treat us like criminals first and ask questions later. Just don't get me started on Delta." It's nice to see that stupidity still knows no bounds.

Google, Apple, Microsoft Sued Over File Preview 250

ClaraBow writes with this excerpt from MacWorld: "A small Indiana company has sued tech heavyweights Microsoft, Apple, and Google, claiming that it holds the patent on a common file preview feature used by browsers and operating systems to show users small snapshots of the files before they are opened. ... Cygnus's owner and president Gregory Swartz developed the technology laid out in the patent while working on IT consulting projects, McAndrews said. The company is looking for 'a reasonable royalty' as well as a court injunction preventing further infringement, he said. ... Cygnus applied for its patent (#7346850) in 2001. It covers a 'System and method for iconic software environment management' and was granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in March of this year."

Comment Re:Papers and seminars are useless (Score 1) 91

That's because Runge-Kutta is a well known method. You can even find an algorithm on Wikipedia. For the speaker's audience, this is common knowledge - it's covered in basic differential equations classes (or numerical methods classes) - and it's boring to go over the details. People aren't going to his talk to revisit elementary concepts. If you don't know the basic concepts required to understand his talk and aren't even willing to look it up on Wikipedia, stop going to talks.

Researchers Claim To Be Able To Determine Political Leaning By How Messy You Are 592

According to a study to be published in The Journal of Political Psychology, you can tell someone's political affiliation by looking at the condition of their offices and bedrooms. Conservatives tend to be neat and liberals love a mess. Researchers found that the bedrooms and offices of liberals tend to be colorful and full of books about travel, ethnicity, feminism and music, along with music CDs covering folk, classic and modern rock, as well as art supplies, movie tickets and travel memorabilia. Their conservative contemporaries, on the other hand, tend to surround themselves with calendars, postage stamps, laundry baskets, irons and sewing materials. Their bedrooms and offices are well lit and decorated with sports paraphernalia and flags — especially American ones. Sam Gosling, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, says these room cues are "behavioral residue." The findings are just the latest in a series of recent attempts to unearth politics in personality, the brain and DNA. I, for one, support a woman's right to clean.

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