Category Archives: mathematica

How to drill a well

In one of my courses this semester students were learning about the coriolis and centrifugal forces that things seem to experience on the earth. There’s a problem at the back of the chapter that asks when a dropped rock would … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, physics, teaching | 7 Comments

Genetic algorithm for randomizing oral exams

I’ve written before about using genetic algorithms to solve problems, but I wanted to show how flexible they can be by writing here about how they helped me this week. My problem was that I wanted to assign standards to … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, syllabus creation | 8 Comments

Double pendulum roller coaster FIXED

My last post was wrong. I’m to blame. But in thinking about it and talking about it with with lots of helpful friends I ended up learning a ton. Here’s the upshot: There were kinks in the roller coaster loop … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, physics | 7 Comments

Double pendulum roller coaster

EDIT: SEE THE NEXT POST THAT FIXES A MAJOR MISTAKE IN THIS ONE I’ve been doing a lot of modeling of beads on wires lately, but today I discovered something that really surprised me. The surprise came when I found … Continue reading

Posted in mathematica, physics | 8 Comments

Lagrange multipliers revisited

I spent the last few days trying to decide whether to teach Lagrange multipliers in my Theoretical Mechanics course. Ultimately I decided to go ahead and do it and I wanted to get down my thoughts on why and what … Continue reading

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What does the conducting paper lab teach?

At my school we have a lab for electric fields/potentials where they measure potentials at different locations on a piece of conducting paper that has been attached to a power supply (the + lead and – lead of the power … Continue reading

Posted in fun, mathematica, physics | 5 Comments

Evolution of the traveling salesperson

The traveling salesperson problem is a relatively famous math/geometry/computer science problem. The version I’ll be talking about in this post is where the salesperson has to visit several points on a map, minimizing the travel distance. Repeating a point on … Continue reading

Posted in fun, math, mathematica | 11 Comments