New Math Symbols

Somehow I managed to do well in Calculus many years ago, even though towards the end of the Reagan administration I was submitting answers of "Christopher Columbus + C" and getting partial credit.By that point I'd had enough of math class, though. 

I learned something today. Apparently there are no longer enough mathematical symbols.  Their like oil.  Apparently this is the era of "Peak Math Notation."  So someone created new ones.

According to Wired:

For 70 years, mathematicians have been stuck on the Halting Problem: Computers occasionally hang on one line of code and fail to move on to the next, and no one can reliably predict when that will happen. (The result is the unending hourglass or pinwheel of death.) But a few years ago, Microsoft researcher Byron Cook and his colleagues did the unthinkable — they hacked a fix. When Cook tried to describe the workaround, however, he found it impossible to explain with existing mathematical symbols.
His only option, he decided, was to invent new ones.

... More

I think I understand the problem they are addressing.  It's something hyperthreading, multi-tasking, predictive branch execution, and dual core CPUs (among other technologies) tried to solve through brute force multi-tasking.

But then they start talking about the math.  And I have no idea what their talking about.  But it sure sounds cool.


Kathy said...

It's all hieroglyphics to me. I think they're just making stuff up now. You know, because math doesn't change that often and it must get boring for the mathematicians.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Well, I read it, and I like it, but I don't really get the full meaning either. Went through advanced DiffEQ but it was a while ago. I'm sure it makes perfect sense to those who deal with that sort of thing. Seems to be presented when the computer can't recognize which of multiple sets of values to use for the next computation, which would cause the hang.

I love new symbols! Thanks for this.