Saturday, March 31, 2001

11. Chudnovsky

The Chudnovsky were two brothers (David and Gregory) whose love for math helped them overcome poverty and disease. Both brothers were born in the Soviet Union near Kiev. Although Gregory was five years younger than David, it was clear that Gregory had a definite talent for math. Both brothers, though, got a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Unfortunately, Gregory was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder of the muscles. Soon, it got so bad that the brothers had to move to Paris and then the U.S.A. for help. At first the Soviet Union didn't let them, but once the media heard about it, they were permitted to leave because of much pressure from the world. The brothers bought an apartment in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and rented two supercomputers to calculate PI on. There were two problems though. The first one was that Gregory was writing, running, and monitoring the whole PI-calculating process from in bed. The other was that they were renting a supercomputer and living the rest of their life off of their wives' pay. In addition, a supercomputer generates a lot of heat. The brothers were forced to build their own supercomputer from parts in their apartment, and they still had a money problem. Fortunately, Gregory was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in mathematics. This not only solved their money problem for many years, but gave Gregory full medical coverage too. The money helped them upgrade their supercomputer. That computer helped them set world records in calculating PI with 480 million, 1 billion, and 8 billion digits. Unfortunately, they don't hold the record now.

1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923 0781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460 9550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954 9303819644288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091456485 6692346034861045432664821339360726024914127372458700660631558817 4881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384 1469519415116094330572703657595919530921861173819326117931051185 4807446237996274956735188575272489122793818301194912983367336244 0656643086021394946395224737190702179860943702770539217176293176 7523846748184676694051320005681271452635608277857713427577896091 7363717872146844090122495343014654958537105079227968925892354201 9956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960518707211349999998 3729780499510597317328160963185950244594553469083026425223082533 4468503526193118817101000313783875288658753320838142061717766914 7303598253490428755468731159562863882353787593751957781857780532 171226806613001927876611195909216420199

Thursday, March 29, 2001

10. Horowitz

Many Americans have been involved in a continuing struggle to right the wrongs
done in this country. They do so out of a sense of loyalty and dedication
to the nation. Not every battle has been won, or even addressed. Slavery and
its aftereffects is one such matter which have yet to be settled with finality.
The author takes the position that a great theft has taken place. And those
who have been robbed have never been financially compensated nor apologized
to for that great crime. Reparations can be a resolution to that. The author
is also an admirer of Charles Ogletree who has taken up the case of American
Reparations and will be following this saga with great attention.

Sunday, March 25, 2001

9. William Kentridge

Drawn from local collections, this exhibition of work by internationally renowned South Africa artist, William Kentridge, features drawings, prints, film and preparatory drawings for films. Kentridge's moody, powerful and expressive work tells the story of a post-industrial society that is in disrepair - similar to the current state of South Africa as it copes with the scars of apartheid.

8. Black Sholes
The famous Black-Sholes solution for pricing derivative is based on the
assumption that the log of price returns are normally distributed.