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Category Archives: math
Fourier Explained: [3Blue1Brown] Style!
If you ask most people to explain the Fourier series they will tell you how you can decompose any particular wave into a sum of sine waves. We’ve used that explanation before ourselves, and it is not incorrect. In fact, it is how Fourier first worked out his famous series. …read more
Posted in fft, Fourier, math, misc hacks
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Wolfram Engine Now Free… Sort Of
You’ve probably used Wolfram Alpha and maybe even used the company’s desktop software for highpowered math such as Mathematica. One of the interesting things about all of Wolfram’s mathematics software is that it shares a common core engine — the Wolfram Engine. As of this month, the company is allowing …read more
Posted in math, mathematica, mathematics, news, Software Development, Wolfram
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The Kalman Filter Exposed
If we are hiring someone such as a carpenter or an auto mechanic, we always look for two things: what kind of tools they have and what they do when things go wrong. For many types of embedded systems, one important tool that serious developers use is the Kalman filter. …read more
Posted in control theory, kalman filter, math, robots hacks
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Understanding Math Rather Than Merely Learning It
There’s a line from the original Star Trek where Khan says, “Improve a mechanical device and you may double productivity, but improve man and you gain a thousandfold.” Joan Horvath and Rich Cameron have the same idea about improving education, particularly autodidacticism or selflearning. They share what they’ve learned about acquiring an intuitive understanding of difficult math at the Hackaday Superconference and you can watch the newly published video below.
The start of this was the pair’s collaboration on a book about 3D printing science projects. Joan has a traditional education from MIT and Rich is a selftaught guy. This …read more
An Abstract Kind of Clock: The Chinese Remainder Clock
Hackaday likes clocks, a lot. Speaking personally, from my desk I can count at least eight clocks, of which seven are working. There’s normal quartz movement analog clocks, fun automatic wristwatches, runofthemill digital clocks, a calculator watch, and a very special and very broken Darth Vader digital clock/radio combo that will get fixed one day — most likely. Every clock is great, and one of life’s great struggles is to see how many you can amass before you die. The more unique the clock is, the better, and nothing (so far) tops [Antonella Perucca]’s Chinese Remainder Clock.
What separates [Antonella …read more
Posted in clock, clock hacks, math
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FxSolver is a Math Notebook for Engineers
If you like to rely on the web to do your electronics and computer math, you’ll want to bookmark FxSolver. It has a wide collection of formulae from disciplines ranging from electronics, computer science, physics, chemistry, and mechanics. There are also the classic math formulations, too.
When you first hit the page you’ll see a message that your solver is currently empty. There’s a sidebar on the left and a search box. To start, try searching for a few things you know you’ll want to use. We did Ohm’s law and a voltage divider, winding up with a custom page …read more
Posted in calculator, formula, internet hacks, math, online
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Understanding Math vs Understanding Math
One of the things hard about engineering — electrical engineering, in particular — is that you can’t really visualize what’s important. Sure, you can see a resistor and an LED in your hands, but the real stuff that we care about — electron flow, space charge, and all that — is totally abstract. If you just tinker, you might avoid a lot of the inherent math (or maths for our UK friends), but if you decide to get serious, you’ll quickly find yourself in a numerical quicksand. The problem is, there’s mechanically understanding math, and intuitively understanding math. We recently …read more
Posted in convolution, fourier series, fourier transform, math, misc hacks
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Reverse Polish Notation and its Mildly Confusing Elegance
The best rummage sale purchase I ever made was a piece of hardware that used Reverse Polish Notation. I know what you’re thinking… RPN sounds like a sales gimmick and I got taken for a fool. But I assure you it’s not only real, but a true gem in the evolution of computing.
Sometime in the 1980s when I was a spotty teen, I picked up a calculator at a rummage sale. Protected by a smart plastic case, it was a pretty good condition Sinclair Scientific that turned out when I got it home to have 1975 date codes on …read more
Posted in Interest, Jan Łukasiewicz, math, RPN, RPN calculator, sinclair scientific
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Wolfram Alpha Shows its Work
The bane of math students everywhere is the teacher asking for you to show your work. If you’ve grown up where a computer is a normal part of school work, that might annoy you since a lot of tools just give you an answer. We aren’t suggesting you cheat at homework, but we did notice that Wolfram Alpha now shows more of its work when it solves many common math problems.
Granted, the site has always shown work on some problems. However, a recent update shows more intermediate steps and also covers more kinds of problems in a stepbystep format. …read more
Posted in homework, math, software hacks, wolfram alpha
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New Method for Measuring Lots of Resistors Using Very Few Wires
[Daqq] is back at it again with the linear algebra, and he’s now come up with a method for determining the resistance of lots of resistors using little of wires and loads of math.
Like any reasonable person, [daqq] decided it would be fun to “solve one of those nasty [electrical engineering] puzzles/exercises where you start out with a horrible mess of wires and resistors and you are supposed to calculate the resistance between two nodes.” You know, just an average Saturday night. At the time, he was also fascinated by Charlieplexing – an awesome technique that either allows one …read more
Posted in linear algebra, math, multiplexing, resistors, systems of equations
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