Michigan State University students had an unconventional math class this week after professor John McCarthy, 57, reportedly stripped naked in Calculus 1 class and began screaming that “there is no f—ing God” and “It’s all an act and none of it’s real.” In the age of laptop computers, the most surprising thing is that the students noticed and looked up from their computers. Presumably one student asked the standard question of “will this be on the test?”

Witnesses said that McCarthy was going through a routine derivative equation when he started to talk about his colleagues and how “they’re all actors.” He added that “It’s all an act and none of it’s real.”

McCarthy was arrested but not actually charged with a crime. He can certainly be charged with indecent exposure but I hope that he is not and that the police show a modicum of discretion. He obviously had a psychological meltdown. Brilliance sometimes comes with such mental issues as vividly shown in movies like “A Beautiful Mind.”

I would also hope that the faculty treats this matter as a mental illness and allows McCarthy to seek treatment rather than simply fire him. I realize it will be difficult for him to return to the classroom, but we need to treat mental illness like other forms of illness. Thus far the school has merely reassigned his classes. I expect that he is unlikely to return to teaching but in my view the school should treat this matter as an illness rather than misconduct. What do you think?

Source: NY Daily News

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@Otteray Scribe – “Matt Johnson – 1, October 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

sonofthunderboanerges

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”It’s none of your business.==========================

Hmmm… OS could this guy be one of your

potential____ stalkers? I think I may have been right about him being like a Hannibal Lecter like character (the fictitious one not the real one – Pietro Pacciani).@Matt did you hear about the NYPD cop in the news recently? 100 women he wanted to serve them up with fava beans but not Chianti like Hannibal but San Gria? Sluuurp!

(Sorry for the extremely sick humor – couldn’t resist)🙂sonofthunderboanerges 1, October 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Matt – What’s with the terse challenge to OS? I don’t get it. He’s just stating an apt likely probability in general not some cryptic reference to you. He is qualified to make such a statement as that’s what his line of work is. You have to realize this bunch is the real-deal. They mostly all are professionals in what they comment on.

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It’s none of your business.

SotB,

On her way home from work the other day (night shift) she came upon a state trooper and a county guy with his pickup truck. They were standing in the road contemplating a dead black bear that had been hit and killed during the night. She did not think the county guy was going to do much good trying to pick up that 400# roadkill with his shovel.

Os- oh I see. Add to 2nd choice wrestling bears, cougars, and coyotes (pack).

SoTB,

She does not carry in the jail. She just wants pink grips for her pistol. She likes to go to the range. She does not like being out late at night unarmed and has had a couple of scares in the past year. She is honing her skills for when an opening comes up for patrol officer. I have not been encouraging that career move, but that is what she wants to do. I keep asking her which she would rather do at 2:00 AM; wrestle a drunk in the air conditioned jail, or wrestle a drunk out on a mountain road in a freezing rain with the wind blowing.

Tonyc – somebody already wrote the js code. He told me that I am looking for bigint perfect powers with it’s base and exponent. He is going to add the function. Most calculators can’t display large integers with 50 or more digits without scientific notation.

Actually both of you helped. Tony was right on the money about RSA. I liked Slart’s explaination about logarithms and reciprocals. I really learned something new here. Of course no such agency likes keeping folks like me like mushrooms. Being that autodidatic I have to teach myself this stuff. And I tend to choose the hard topics.

Thanx professors!

Tony—no helping! 😛

I’m not going to write

anyjavascript (I used Java for about 2 weeks a decade ago, which doesn’t exactly make me an expert…), but that’s not SotB’s problem right now—he needs to know what he’s trying to do* so that he can ask for help (or find it himself). You’re making a bunch of assumptions and running down a couple of plausible lines of thought before establishing the context—nothing you said is wrong, but I don’t think it’s very helpful either…* in the sense of being able to pose the mathematical question correctly

@Slart: He must be looking for a root (1/n). I am certainly not going to write an arbitrary precision Javascript.

many “bigint” packages (google that) will not handle anything but integers; they are designed primarily for RSA encryption and decryption applications.

So if his routine will not handle fractional exponents, a binary search would probably run fast enough; since he has exponentiation, he can square candidates and determine if each test candidate is too big or too small.

For a twenty digit number, ~ 10^{20}, the root should be between 10^{10} and 10^{10.5} = 3.17 * 10^{10}. (For an N digit number, between 10^{N/2} and 3.17 * 10^{N/2}.)

So 2.17 E+10 candidates; that is under 2^35 so a binary search should take no more than 35 trials to be within 1. Easy enough for most programmers to figure that out.

For a {1/x} root, for example the 7th root, a 10^{N} number will have a root between 10^{N/7} and 10^{1/7}*10^{N/7}, because numbers bigger than that upper threshold will have more than N digits, and numbers smaller than the lower threshold won’t have enough digits, when raised to the 7th power.

SotB,

My only comment on twisted lasers is that I don’t know anything about them and I don’t know anything about an LCD gate—let alone anyone giving free samples of them (although I know a lot more about quantum gateways now than I did a day or so ago…

As for my help, I’ll gladly give it, but you’ve got to do a couple of things to get it (Tony: this isn’t how I would treat a customer [where I would take as much of the burden that I am trying to put on SotB as possible], but it seems appropriate in this context): first, you need to make sure raff has some earplugs and something to bite down on if necessary and then you need to correctly pose the problem you wish my help with (unless your problem was the trivial one I addressed below, in which case, you’re welcome 😉 ).

For your convenience, I’ll try to clear up some of the misconceptions and errors in your terminology:

A

radicalis the thingy that looks like the symbol you use for long division with a check mark on the front. Sometimes there’s a number about the checkmark (let’s call it“n”) which indicates that the radical is an nth root (if it’s not there then n is assumed to be 2).A

wholenumber usually refers to a non-negative integer—i.e. an element of {0,1,2,…}—while arealnumber (on a computer) would be a number in scientific notation with a fixed number of significant digits—i.e. 9.646432809946 x 10^345).The operation that is the reverse of

exponentiation(raising something to a power) is taking thelogarithm. In other words, if z=x^y, then y=log_x (z) (read“y equals the log to the base x of z”).If, by “radical power”, you mean that you can raise a real number to another real number (i.e. x and y are both floating point representations of real numbers in your expression) and get what you want, then you are done. Taking the nth root of a number is

exactlythe same thing as raising it to the (1/n) power—for instance, the square root of 5 can be written 5^(1/2) or 5^(0.5).If this doesn’t address your problem then try to state more clearly and precisely what you are looking for and I’ll see what I can do…

OS – I have a cool black flashlight too was $50 bucks from Sears. Why does she need a “pistol” in her line of work again? I would thin that would be the LAST thing you’d bring to her job.

Gene H – Thank you!

Matt – What’s with the terse challenge to OS? I don’t get it. He’s just stating an apt likely probability in general not some cryptic reference to you. He is qualified to make such a statement as that’s what his line of work is. You have to realize this bunch is the real-deal. They mostly all are professionals in what they comment on.

Slarti – I need your help. I want to find the radical root of whole (real) large numbers (i.e. a number that is over 20 digits long). There are several calculator programs out there but I need a Javascript coding that can do this. I found one that can do a radical power (x^y) and display up to hundreds of digits on the screen. However, I need to go in reverse too.

On quantum computing this reminds me of optical or photonic computing. I know they are not the same. However, a “high-speed LCD optical gate” mfg was giving away samples of their gates if you could explain your application to them. Do you know of any other mfg’s giving out free samples of this kind of gate?

Any comments on twisted-lasers yet?