Friday, February 27, 2009

Rock Garden India

Its Friday and I have to make sure that I use this weekend well. Yesterday while taking a break at the browsing section of library I discovered this book on Nek Chand. Obviously I was more than curious to find about the content. It was a delight. I didn't know that Nek Chand Saini had done so much. The beautiful mosaics and hundreds of statues made out of thrown away tiles, crockery, cement, and steel are enchanting and now it has grown to be among one of the most visited place in India after Taj Mahal. The story of Nek Chand's humble origin and his quest to work on his dream is equally inspirational. If all that makes you curious check out this web page.This link is though not going to last forever. You can also check the wikipedia page and this link too for some more information.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Leonardo and Van Gogh

While taking a study break at the Morris Library I came across these two wonderful books. I have read few books about Leonardo da Vinci, so I had some idea about what to expect. Its a good collection of many of Leonardo's painting. I liked that book shows you the close up of some of his more paintings including the last supper and Monalisa. Leonardo was a bitter rival of his younger contemporary Michelangelo. He didn't paint a whole lot of paintings but whatever he did have been cherished by many people. So in this book you will see all his famous paintings and a little vignette about each which gives more meaning to his paintings. It doesn't focus on his other drawings especially the human anatomy and scribes. Its a artists view of Leonardo and so all his geometrical sketches are also overlooked. Its a small book meant for artists and if you want to know his artist side this is a good book.
The Book on Van Gogh is pretty good and I especially liked it because I was only aware of very few paintings of Van Gogh. Vincent did several of his sketches. His painting style is very different. It seems like he paints with cylindrical pixels. The book was an eye opener to me. I didn't know that he paint so many portraits and his own bedroom. I loved the one in prison, the chapel and the more sombre one about potato feast. Do check this book out. Its a visual treat.


Today was great. At the lunch hr I sat with Jay. He is from Trinidad. We started discussing words and Jay was a Niagara of nice words. We discussed the following words

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I watched in utter silence when Slum dog Millionaire won the Oscars. I haven't yet watched the movie but what I heard from Sachio was that it isn't earth shattering and now it has won 8 Oscars. Wow !!

Toastmasters at Cape

Last Saturday I along with Karen and Amy went to the Toastmasters meeting in Cape Girardeau. The meeting was held at Good Shepherd Church. It was great to see the other toastmasters Dori, Lary and Dan whom I have met at other occasions. Dan is a 3 times DTM and has more than 7 competent communicator awards which speaks of his dedication to Toastmaster. Its great to meet people who think alike and have passion for toastmasters. I got my first CC button there and when I came back home there was a packet for me containing my certificate and two new booklets. I have now assumed the role of 2nd officer besides being the club secretary, I am now also the vice president of public relations. I got trained for this role this time. Its exciting that now I can flex more muscles in recruiting new people to our toastmasters club. Later in the evening we all went to Lambert's for the dinner. Yes the famous Lambert's the house of the throwing buns.

Friday, February 20, 2009


My weekend begins right now and I am updating this from the Wham Computer Lab. Today is international festival so I am thinking of going there. Its been 4 years since the last time I attended the festival. I have several things in my to go over the weekend to make this a productive break. Besides teaching in the morning I had a homework to turn in and attend my share of classes. I plan to spend time on Div, Grad book plus I will have to prepare a lecture for Math 302. I am instructed to cover Mathematical Induction and Strong Induction. So I am pretty excited and pepped up about it as there are some wonderful examples one can show that can be solved with Mathematical Induction.

teaching today

Derivative under Integral

Obviously this has become lot popular after Richard Feynnman's book. Surely you must be joking where he makes a reference about this method. The method also goes by the name of Leibnitz's method and can be found with proof in the Schaum's Advanced calculus. Wikipedia also has some nice worked out examples under the above heading. Its fairly simple to explain. Suppose your integral is a function of some variable 'a' for example
f(a) = 1/(1-a*cos(x))
int(f(a),x=u1(a)..u2(a)) note that u1(a) and u2(a) are also function of a
Then the derivative of the above function (integral) of a w.r.t a is
int(del(f(a)/da,x = u1(a)..u2(a))+del(u2(a))/da*f(u2(a))-del(u1(a))/da*f(u1(a))
With this we can prove lots of neat results for example there are situations when the integral is shown to be equal to some result and can be verified by taking derivative on both sides.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day in Pictures

I attended the international food fair, (Its Malaysian dish the very first thing I tried) and the snippet from my class lecture.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Non Standard Integral int(1/(a-b*cos(x),x)

int(1/(a-b*cos(x),x) types of integral can be readily solved using the substitution tan(x/2) = u. Which gives cos(x) = 2 *(cos(x/2))^2-1 = (u^2-1)/(u) and du = 1/2*(sec(x/2)^2*dx and change of variable gives 2*du/(1+u^2) = dx and substitutin^2+1g for dx and cos(x) in the original integral int(1/(a-b*cos(x),x) in terms of u is now a breeze !

The Toastmaster meeting today

Today was a laugh riot at Toastmasters. 6 people showed up and that meant couple of people wore more than 1 hat. I was among the chosen two. Jay donned the hat of both timer and grammarian and I filled in the role of Table Topics Master and the General Evaluator. This was the first time I was the table topics master at such a short notice and I enjoyed that challenge. I posed questions about Kaira's favorite book to Kelly a book she cherishes but won't reveal in public to Paul about the influence of magazines in growing up. Jay took the question of reading online and our guest Michael talked at length about the influence of devices like Kindle on our reading appetite. Kaira did her first icebreaker and she did it with gusto. She used her purse as a prop and gave insight in her personality by revealing the contents of her purse. Kelly did the honors of providing her the feedback. Overall another invigorating and a fruitful toastmaster meeting tonight.

Update from Carbondale library

Its 17:12 and I am updating this from Carbondale library. I haven't been here in a while so naturally at the browsing shelf I found several new books. I have decided to check out 3 books . These are "Worldly philosophers by Robert L. Heilbroner, Magic Mayhem and Mavericks a book on physical chemistry and the last one is Dreaming the future by Clifford a pickover which talks about prediction and its written by a mathematician but on a cursory flipping it seems to be a light reading. I switched my insurance from All State to Diedrich and its going to cost me much less as my affable agent Cindy Parrone made me realize that.
Things to do today are attend the Toastmasters meeting. Work on some problems from the homework of my Advanced Calculus and take some rest. By the way the International Food Festival today was awesome. I was able to savor the foods from Taiwan, Japan, Nepal, Malaysia, India and Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

class update

Monday, February 16, 2009

Surface Integral explained

The best way to motivate surface integral would be to use the Gauss's Law which says that int(int E. n ds)) = q/epsilon. Where E is electrostatic field and n is a unit normal vector, ds is the infinitesimal area of the surface. Surface integral is a double integral. All surface integral are of the form int(int F.n ds)) where F is a vector field and n is the unit normal vector. To understand this one need to first understand the unit normal vector. The unit normal vector is a vector which is normal to the surface. To derive the unit normal vector for a surface oriented over x-y plane we define two vectors u and v and take their cross product at a particular pt on the surface. Its remarkable that this normal vector comes out to be
(-del(f)/dx-del(f)/dy+1)/ sqrt( (del(f)/dx)^2+(del(f)/dy)^2+1)

and doesn't contain any information about u and v we considered. The above expression is easy to derive by considering two planes one parallel to x-z plane and other parallel to y-z plane. The angle the surface makes is del(f)/dx and del(f)/dy. ux and vy are the components along the x axis and y axis for the vector u and v respectively. The component along z axis can be calculated by ux*del(f)/dx and vy*del(f)/dy.
and the surface integral for the scalar function becomes

int int f(z) sqrt( (del(f)/dx)^2+(del(f)/dy)^2+1) dx dy

The one for the vector field is slightly more complex its just that you are writing the components of the field and multiplying with the unit vector.

Today so far

Its Monday and I am here on the 5th floor of Morris library and updating this blog from a computer next to the exit gate and opposite the elevator. Today I started the Curve Sketching in my Math 140 class. We are doing convex functions in optimizing class, Dr. Parker did some review in Analysis and proved a theorem on series convergence. I went over the surface integral part of Div, Grad book and understood the derivation of surface integral.
I ate two red apples and a lunch of fries and cookies. The plan is to do some more line integral and divergence besides some proofs of Analysis

Saturday, February 14, 2009


  1. the disgrace or infamy attached to conduct viewed as grossly shameful
  2. anything bringing shame or disgrace
  3. reproachful contempt for something regarded as inferior
Their familes needed to be shielded from public opprobrium.
the name was a by-word of scorn and opprobrium throughout the city" F D Roosevelt
Being both dramatic author and dramatic performer, he found himself heir to a twofold opprobrium. --De Quincey.

Rice and Spice dinner

Every Friday the interfaith center in Carbondale hosts a dinner called "Rice and Spice". Its a vegetarian dinner and is pretty good. Yesterday it was food from "Guatemala". It was sumptuous. The bread was slightly crisper than tortilla bread. The spicy rice with hot salsa and red beans was just sublime. There was this one fried potato taco. I would say similar to pakoda instead of flour it was the taco itself which was fried with potato filling. Later Michael showed his new book rack he was working on. It was impressive

Getting a black eye

On Wednesday this week while coming out of the student center. I bumped myself into the glass wall. The first reaction of mine was if somebody was looking and yes there were people who were looking. The next reaction was should I cry ? It was amusing. I thought my head will be a little swollen. The next morning I woke up with a black eye. I never had a black eye before and now I could relate it to people who get black eye . I was talking to Elaine at coffee hr where she narrated her own story of getting a black eye when she was a teen. Funny enough her first thought was also the same if people were looking instead of how am I feeling now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blog before Weekend starts

I am updating this from Faner Hall. I been here for a while. Its Friday and I am thinking of finishing off several things. Yesterday I started the book Div, Grad and Curl. I now have a personal copy of that book and which means I can annotate it. The book uses electric field as the motivating example. It has only 4 chapters and less than 200 pages. The first one is the basic familiarization with Couloumb's law and Electric Field notation. The second one is surface integral and divergence. The third one is line integral and Curl and fourth one is Stoke's law I believe.

I also met Dr. Clark today and he encouraged me to go to some conferences so I am seriously considering to go to the one at Urbana because its on weekend and sometimes during the last week of March.

My plan for this weekend will be to study analysis and finish more chapters from the Div,Grad book, do some research and use my time effectively and wisely.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Class update for today

I today distributed the first midterm of the class I am teaching. Today I introduced the first derivative, critical point, increasing-decreasing functions, concave up, concave down and the idea behind first derivative and second derivative test. I feel good about the performance of my students.

Flint and Vindictive

Flint :

This word came up when I was talking to my friend and he mentioned about president Obama using this in a sentence " something to do with bringing flint measures to streamline the economy".
A flint is a very hard stone and it produces spark when struck with steel. A search on google brought me this picture which shows how flint can be use to light fire.

This word came up when Kaira was speaking. She fumbled with this word and caught her using it wrongly and corrected herself. The word vindictive means disposed to seek revenge. Example "a vindictive man will look for occasions for resentment". So being vindictive is not a nice thing as you are subjecting yourself to negative emotions.

Today at Toastmasters

Its wednesday night and I am here on the first floor of the Morris Library. I just came here after attending the Toastmasters meeting. Tonight I was the Toastmaster and the theme was "Love is in the air". The meeting went well and I thoroughly enjoyed being the TM. Table Topics was done by Jay Cupps and he had many wonderful topics up his sleeve. Kaira spoke about the topic of Cupid and his story. She was so charming with her story telling skills that when she abruptly ended her after realizing that she has gone over her alloted time everybody just cringed for the imposed time limit for table topic. Amy and Karen did speeches today and Kaira, Joe and Kyriakos were the evaluators. Kyriakos stepped up to the challenge to be an evaluator at such a short notice and he was very discreet in giving a constructive criticism. I love Joe and his thorough evaluations. He always takes copious notes about everybody's speech and that's one reason he makes and excellent evaluator and a terrific speech giver. Herbert was the new guest and I liked that he participated on his very first visit. Michael Fisher and Kyle were also there.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Today I give the first mid term to my math 140 class. Yesterday I did a review and in the evening I went to attend a talk on the issue of creationism in the school. I had to leave the talk as it was just about the politics of tug and war between Darwin and Creationist people.

Caitiff, Bosky, Schnorrer, Tenebrous, Esperance, Contrail, Yelper, Clamant, Tergiversation, Canard

Caitiff, mean, evil, or cowardly person


Schnorrer, a person who lives by begging or by sponging on others

Tenebrous, dark gloomy


Contrail, a white trail of condensed water vapor that sometimes forms in the wake of an aircraft; vapor trail

Visibility was good with some cirrus and contrails in the sky.

To utter a short, sharp bark or cry: excited dogs yelping; yelped in pain when the bee stung.



  1. clamorous; noisy
  2. demanding attention; urgent

1 : evasion of straightforward action or clear-cut statement :equivocation 2 : desertion of a cause, position, party, or faith

1. to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.
2. to turn renegade.
Writing is to be preferred before verbal conferences, as being freer from passions and tergiversations

The colonel, after all his tergiversations, lost his life in the king's service. --Clarendon.
  1. a false, esp. malicious, report that has been fabricated with the intention of doing harm
    1. an airplane whose horizontal stabilizer is located forward of the wing or wings
    2. the horizontal control and stabilizing surfaces in such an aircraft

The Glasgow newspaper found it proper to repeat this canard, without citing its source, as an expression of faith in its accuracy.

My take on these words

I like to avoid religious discussions not because I am a Caitiff or claim to know much more than other people but the sight of people yelping and tergiversating and still clinging to their opinion with a circular reasoning is just not amusing.

Colored Chalks

I prefer colored chalks when I am teaching as student find the writing more engaging than the monotonous single color scribble. It also helps one to highlight and show important points. Recently the staff in my department got a different set of colored chalks for me as the previous brand wasn't meant for writing on the blackboard. It was really hard to erase. Thanks to Diane Fritcher and Linda Gibson for acting on my request. I got a new set of chalk with some eye catching color and which is also very easy to work with.

Some Integrals

Monday, February 09, 2009

Some Analysis

Saturday Reading

Its Monday evening and I am updating this after a hiatus of 2 days. Well the weekend was spent doing laundry, grocery shopping at Aldi and Walmart and reading book at Barnes and Nobles. I read the book Iconoclast, Its not a radical different book as it does borrow from Gladwell's book but still its a good read. The book classifies iconoclast as person who perceives things differently than other ordinary people. Iconoclasts inherently a strong term and means people who mock cherished orthodox beliefs but it has positive cannotation. I remember when I first encountered this word. I associated with Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Iconoclasts according to book differ from the hoi polloi in perception, fear response, and social intelligence. I liked his comparison of Pablo Picasso and Von Gogh. Both of these artists work now rake in millions while Von Gogh died penniless. Pablo was able to amass a fortune and despite his unassuming physique. He was a darling of the masses. Iconoclasts do not see things different from other people but they do perceive it differently and as a consequence able to see value in it. I enjoyed the one chapter on how iconoclasts become icons. They have plasticity and are able to make changes in the perception of masses who are not iconoclasts. Overall the message of the book is why ordinary people don't bring about big changes. The three factors are Flawed perception; Fear of failure; and the inability to persuade.

The infinite book was another fun book I read. It has the usual topics you can find on most infinity book but I was delighted to find the topic on the question of eternity.

The stories in Stone was a coffee table book which you may want to peruse to discover the various symbols and their meanings. I am sure once you read this book, visiting the neighborhood cemetery would never be same again. Highly recommended.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Robert Cornuke at SIUC

I am in Morris library updating this blog. Its Friday and the weekend has begun. I did go to the coffee hr. I met Kevin there. He is from Cobden and it was one of those moment when the other person thinks that he knows you but cannot put a finger on what place or time. It turned out that he saw me at Barnes and Noble, a place I frequent whenever I have some spare time. He works at the coffee shop there.
Today has been good so far. I had two homeworks to turn in. Math 450 and Math 471 and I manage to complete them on time. Now I am in library waiting for a Robert Cornuke's presentation in the Law School auditorium. Cornuke seems to have gain notoriety by claiming to have found the Noah's ark. It will be interesting what kind of evidence he will be showing. The things I would be interested in what is the size of the claimed ark and how many people could it hold. A quick search on internet revealed that its somewhere in Iran on some mount Sulieman he has found the evidence and apparently not many of his contemporaries buy that argument

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Quadrature forms

Multivariable Calculus uses Hessian Matrix same as 2nd derivative. These are symmetric matrices and the associated property is positive definite, negative definite, positive semidefinite, negative semidefinite or indefinite. The concept for finding the maxima or minima in that case is similar. The indefinite form gives saddle point. By finding the determinant or eigen values one can come to conclusion about the definiteness of the matrix.

My 140 class report

Toastmaster meeting at Ohio Room

Its 4 minutes past nine and I am in Faner Hall updating this blog. We had another good toastmasters meeting tonight. Joe was the toastmaster. Kelly was table topics master, Kyriakos was the grammarian, Paul was general evaluator, Jason did a speech, Jay was the timer and I gave a feedback on Jason's speech. The theme was dreams. Joe made some comments about dreams like"Vision without action is daydreaming and action without vision is nightmare". I was asked to speak about Obama's recent fiasco. I expressed my ignorance about current state of affairs but reaffirmed that why I think it shouldn't matter because he is intelligent and can steer the country and such fiascoes are part of any decision making. Kelly did a good job with some very good questions which did caught off guard many of us. She asked one person which celebrity they adore. Kyriakos was the grammarian and his astute commentary on days grammar usage and tracking of ah, um and filler words was praiseworthy. Jason's speech was titled conformity and non conformity. His speech was impromptu and he divided into 3 parts Music, Relationship and Society. How we tend to blend in to or at the other extreme become rebel. It was a great speech and I enjoyed giving him feedback. Joe was brimming with ideas tonight and one was to leave old toastmaster's magazine at doctor's or barber's place with the address and meeting time of our toastmasters club. Other was to have bowling nights after the meeting. Jay as usual was our timer and his timing report ended another productive toastmaster meeting.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Taylor Formula and 2nd derivative test explained

Its Tuesday Night and I am updating this blog from Morris Library. I came to school today early morning and haven't gone back. I had lunch at the local Baptist Church, which sponsors free lunch for students. Its a good place to connect with friends and enjoy a good meal. I spent some time today going over the Taylor's formula. Taylor's formula is made up of two parts. The first part is P(n) and the second part is R(n). P(n) stands for polynomial and R(n) stands for Remainder. The n stands for number of derivatives. If the function f(x) on closed interval [a,b] is n times differentiable and has (n+1)th derivative existing and continious on open interval (a,b) then it can be written as a sum of P(n) and R(n). If it has all derivatives then it can be written as sum(f(c)^(n)*(x-c)^n,n = 0..infinity). Once you realized this its easy to see how 2nd derivative test work. For 2nd derivative test it should have both first and second derivative to exist and continuous over the interval [a,b]. At critical pt c. f(c)^(1) is zero. However the remainder (x-c)^2 is always positive. So the sign depends upon f(c)^(2) and depending if its positive or negative we can tell if the function has minima or maxima

Path of the Genie

The other book I read during my outing to St.Louis was Path of Genie by Dilip Abeyasekara. Dilip is adorned by lots of people. He is a world renowned Toastmaster and was twice runner up at the world contest. His book Path of the Genie is part biographical and part motivational. It reminded me of a similar titled book "The Aladdin Factor". However Dilip's book is different. He makes a parallel between burnishing the lamp to the three wishes granted Genie. His personal struggle as a fob to his accepting Christianity and the benevolence he received in America. However aside from few remarks its not religious as Dr. Dilip quotes from various other religions especially Buddhism. Dilip was trained as a chemical engineer and discovered his passion of public speaking at Toastmasters. Its a book you can readily identify as it speaks from the heart.

Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun

I had the privilege to read this book on the way to St. Louis courtesy of Karen. Definitely this book is not for skeptics. I had heard about this book from lot of people and how it impacted their life. The book is a no-brainer. As expected brother Yun is epitomized as the true god fearing person and his accounts of personal miracles and unimaginable hardships he had to endure against his unwavering faith which conquers every obstacle is an engaging story. It is a story of a man whose faith is stronger than a chrome alloy and who at the same breath eulogizes and excoriates his western brothers about the need to have Jesus in their life. If you are religious and need a shot in your devotion this is a book for you, if you are a skeptic this will only make you wonder if brother Yun is pandering to his audience to further his own cause.

Toastmasters Meeting in St. Louis

Last saturday I went with Karen, Kyriakos and Paul to the officers training meeting in St. Louis. It was a blast.

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