Saturday, October 28, 2006


Mid-November 2007, this blog restarts in earnest.

Still working on Boltzmann (well, experiments, really, but the Boltzmann is on my mind, and almost bloody done). Once I'm done with that, I'm gonna drastically change things here. Not sure how, yet!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How to count stuff

A new primer on combinatorics that I wrote can be found here. I first cover basic stuff like permutations and combinations. The rest focuses on a more complicated counting problem, which leads to a derivation of the multinomial coefficient. The multinomial coefficient is used in a lot of fields. For instance, it comes up in the derivation of the Boltzmann Distribution in statistical mechanics.

As usual, comments on the document are welcome.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Probability refresher

A PDF of my newly revised probability theory refresher can be downloaded here. It is a quick and informal review of concepts from elementary probability theory. If you want to refresh your memory about what a prior probability is, what marginal probabilities are, or what Bayes' Theorem is, it provides such information. As always, I am on the lookout for comments that will help me to improve it.

Now I am working on a tutorial on counting things (permutations, combinations, and such). It should be a useful reference for the derivation of the Boltzmann Distribution, which involves quite a bit of combinatorics.

It looks like the neuroscience blogosphere is starting to fill out nicely. I guess I should update my sidebar this weekend!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I'm not dead, just writing a grant

I expect to kick-start this puppy in August. I've been working on a grant, which I will send out next week.

As for the Boltzmann distribution post I keep promising, I luckily found a good text, Statistical Mechanics: A Survival Guide. It has an amazingly clear description of its derivation, and answers exactly the questions I was getting confused about (and this was after consulting a few physicsts and stat mech texts).

I will work up a brief summary of what I've learned about Boltzmann once I'm back. Also, I want to go back and edit some of my earlier entries to make them more clear and felicitious in their composition. I'd also like to change the format of the site, to make room for expansion in the future. Oh, and finish summarizing the first half of Hille and get on to more books!!! I'm thinking of something a bit more fun, and amenable to discussion, like Sejnowski's '23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience' or something.

See you all at SFN!