P versus NP

A researcher from HP Labs named Vinay Deolalikar announced a new proof that complexity classes P and NP are different. The paper made it to the Slashdot front-page (more on this below). What constitutes a "proof"? This is far from being the first claimed proof. There are about as many proofs that P is the same … Continue reading P versus NP

The woes of the "One laptop per child" project

Ivan Krstić writes in Sic Transit Gloria Laptopi about the woes of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. The whole essay is a bit long, but definitely worth reading. It goes through the history of the OLPC project (including its roots in early experiments), through musings about the best choice of operating system, to … Continue reading The woes of the "One laptop per child" project

How To Teach Special Relativity

How to Teach Special Relativity is a famous article by John Bell where he advocates that the way we teach relativity does not give good results. He describes an experiment now known as Bell's spaceship paradox (even if Bell did not invent it): In Bell's version of the thought experiment, two spaceships, which are initially … Continue reading How To Teach Special Relativity