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Author: Rachel Traylor

On the Essential Nature of Foundations

On the Essential Nature of Foundations

We get asked frequently a valid question: why fund our research? Why fund mathematics research, when I can't see what the finished product will be, and you can't give me a guaranteed code library next quarter? I'm going to use an analogy of building and stray from my usual temptation to use math analogies. Every…

Paper Review: Active Queue Management with Non-Linear Packet Dropping Function

Paper Review: Active Queue Management with Non-Linear Packet Dropping Function

As promised in the previous article, I plan to review Reference 2, Active Queue Management with Non-Linear Packet Dropping Function, by D. Augustyn, A. Domanski, and J. Domanska, published in HET-NETs 2010, which discusses a change in the structure of the packet drop probability function using the average queue length in a buffer. I mentioned previously that…

Networking Mathematics: Random Early Detection and TCP synchronization

Networking Mathematics: Random Early Detection and TCP synchronization

Computer networks are something most of us take for granted--speed, reliability, availability are expectations. In fact, network problems tend to make us very angry, whether it's dropped packets (yielding jittery Skype calls), congestion (that huge game download eating all the bandwidth), or simply a network outage. There's an awful lot going on underneath the hood…

Little’s Law: For Estimation Only

Little’s Law: For Estimation Only

I had been intending on writing some posts on queuing theory for a while now, as this branch is the closest to my research interests and was the spark that sent me down the road that eventually led to my PhD dissertation. Most are quite familiar with the concepts of queuing theory, at least intuitively,…

Dialogue: What do We Mean by Predictive Analytics?

Dialogue: What do We Mean by Predictive Analytics?

Predictive analytics is a phrase that gets used often as a feature in many tech offerings. Predicting when a problem is likely to occur allows either a human or an automated system to take some action to mitigate a potential issue before it occurs and has potentially catastrophic effects. If we take data storage, for…

Cayley’s Theorem: Powerful Permutations

Cayley’s Theorem: Powerful Permutations

We've discussed before how powerful isomorphisms can be, when we find them. Finding isomorphisms "from scratch" can be quite a challenge. Thankfully, Arthur Cayley proved one of the classic theorems of modern algebra that can help make our lives a bit easier. We'll explore this theorem and note the power of groups of permutations.  (more…)

Commentary: White Papers Don’t Impress Me Much

Commentary: White Papers Don’t Impress Me Much

I spent the last week at an event called Tech Field Day (my second time). In a nutshell, it's a traveling panel of 12-15 delegates who are generally IT professionals (and me) that visits 8-10 companies over three days to hear various presentations on their technology. Sometimes it's storage tech, sometimes networking, or cloud, or…

Isomorphisms: Making Mathematics More Convenient

Isomorphisms: Making Mathematics More Convenient

Much of pure mathematics exists to simplify our world, even if it means entering an abstract realm (or creating one) to do it. The isomorphism is one of the most powerful tools for discovering structural similarities (or that two groups are identical structurally) between two groups that on the surface look completely unrelated. In this post,…

The Red-Headed Step-Distributions

The Red-Headed Step-Distributions

Almost every textbook in probability or statistics will speak of classifying distributions into two different camps: discrete (singular in some older textbooks) and continuous. Discrete distributions have either a finite or a countable sample space (also known as a set of Lebesgue measure 0), such as the Poisson or binomial distribution, or simply rolling a…

(Commentary) Spectre and Meltdown: Spokes on a Wheel

(Commentary) Spectre and Meltdown: Spokes on a Wheel

There has been a flurry of articles and discussions related to Intel’s Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. Many good writings discuss the technical nature and implications to hardware, and you can find a selection here, here, and here. As of this writing, many software developers and security experts are frantically trying to create patches to protect…