Computers and Computation
I have several research projects in computational group theory using the
Wildebeest cluster computer
located here at CCNY. These projects involve distinguishing members of families of difficult one-relator
I like use the computer algebra system Mathematica (from Wolfram Research).
I have written a number of items as part of an effort to use
Mathematica in calculus as well as upper division and graduate courses.
- Vector and Multivariate Calculus: Some Mathematica Explorations, Kennel
Press, 1998, 120 pages.
workbook for multivariate calculus students, with topics ranging from partial
differentiation to Stokes' theorem. Covers some introductory aspects of the functional
programming of Mathematica. This text is for Math 77 third-semester multivariate and vector calculus course at CSUF.
- Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Fourier Series: Mathematica
Workbook for Scientists and Engineers, Kennel Press, 1998, 108 pages.
A collection of Mathematica examples, explanations and exercises covering
topics including Laplace transform, series solutions to differential
equations, linear dynamical systems, Fourier series, and numerical techniques.
This text is for Math 81 fourth-semester calculus course at CSUF, which includes differential equations,
linear systems, Fourier series and other analysis tools useful to scientists and engineers.
- The Mathematica Mystery Tour
(with Larry Cusick), Kennel
Press, 1998, 80 pages.
An introductory book suitable for all calculus students interested in getting
acquainted with symbolic algebra, calculus, plotting and programming
- The CSUF Calculus Mathematica Competency Statement which
summarizes departmental expectations of students facility with Mathematica in various
courses as well as giving some examples.
Teaching and Outreach
- LEGO Mindstorm Robots are a great way to teach introductory programming. I developed and taught a summer course for talented high school students as part of the COSMOS program at UC-Davis.
I taught a wide range of programming and structures courses at UCLA's
Program in Computing which
is the UCLA Mathematics Department's program to teach programming and computer
science to a general audience.
- Organizing donations of older computers for schools is a great way of helping
schools get much appreciated equipment. In Fresno, I worked to
get unwanted or unused computers available for elementary, secondary and adult education
programs. So far, there are more than 600 computers that have been made available as
part of the program and there are plans for even more.
I have been a longtime user of Apple Computers.
Unix, NeXTs and mh
- Powerbook Duo Dock Page with a fix for the dreaded Tick of Death
I am a big fan of Apple's (now long discontinued) line of Duo Powerbooks.
These Duos are
very small notebooks which can be inserted (like a tape into into a VCR) into a desktop dock to become
a desktop machine. They have the best of both the portable and desktop worlds, and
are smaller than comparable vintage laptops. I have acquired a collection of Apple DuoDocks.
fine products are unfortunately susceptible to the Tick of Death failure
in which the power supply starts ticking instead of supplying power. The fix
for this failure is not too bad and involves soldering a replacement capacitor
onto the power supply board- I describe this process on the Duo page above.
This is a good free implementation of Unix for older (68k) Macs that runs well on
IIcx's and IIci's, for example. One good way of having a constructive, productive semi-retirement
for older Macs is to use MacBSD to run them as web servers.
There was a very good implementation of Linux for most PCI PPC macs which is now been supplanted
since Apple's OS X is a better implementation of a Unix-style environment. I worked to get the system set up for the Powerbook G3 Original,
which can be set up as a dual-boot machine. A good source of information
about LinuxPPC was the LinuxPPC FAQ-o-Matic to which I have
contributed solutions about Powerbook G3 Original configuration problems
as well as ways of using an external HD install on machines with both
single and dual SCSI busses. I did highly reccommend
Benjamin Herrenschmidt's page which contained BootX, a very useful tool which dramatically
simplifies LinuxPPC installation and booting, for which I worked as a beta-tester.
- The CSUF department had a 30 station lab
of NeXTs which we had been very
happy with and gotten great mileage from as instructional machines running
I have been a longtime fan of mh an excellent
mail handler for Unix. The old man page for mh had a subtitle something like
"How to get 100 mail messages a day and still get work done" at a time (1989) when getting
a 100 email messages a day seemed preposterous... The package mh is a scriptable collection
of commands and
if you want to compile it for the (somewhat nonstandard) Unix on NeXTs,
send me mail for some benevolent wisdom.
- The various successes of networked Linux boxes in the Beowulf
projects are exciting and our Wildebeest cluster is an implementation of a large number of
commodity-grade, tested and simply configured Linux boxes.
I have written several commerically successful software packages, the
most notable of which are the statistical software package by a company which
I founded in 1981, and the least notable of which included numerous games, utilities,
and encryption tools.