Daily life

I have had great fun today finishing off my investigation of Gröbner bases, which can magically solve all sorts of interesting problems. The most interesting to me is calculating the intersection of two ideals, which is very neat, but something more of you can relate to is solving big linear systems of multivariate polynomials. There is not obviously any other way that I have come across. I have had many digressions along the way, like investigating fast ways to solve polynomials over finite fields (answer: give up and do the obvious Chien seach, which is basically a clever name for testing every value in the field), among other fascinating finds (bit-shifting tricks on bignums…).

As a piece of information the less mathematical might appreciate, I found out on the train back from Westminster last week that I went to same school as the dean (Lycée International, Saint-Germain-en-Laye). It was rather unlikely we would have ended up on the same train in the first place, as we met by accident on the platform after he had seen Lady Wilson and we had been at Kat’s birthday party.