Diary Summer 2007

09-03-2007: Beautiful labor day. The family still fights the jetleg. Catch up with some work like organizing the new course.
09-02-2007: Flight back to Boston. Try out the new Google earth flight simulator feature. It had been possible since November 2006 like here but now it feels more real and one has control about flaps, gears etc. Strangly enough, the feature does not show up on my Mac Mini for some reason.
09-01-2007: Early drive to Ben Gurion Airport and flight to Budapest. Have a few hours in Budapest and time for a Budapest city tour with a stop at the citadel, thinking about Erdoes and John von Neuman in a Hungarian Cafe I update this file at the airport before and bording the plane.
08-31-2007: Tel Aviv Dizingof Center and Tel Aviv beach and run with Ben. Dinner on the beach. more panoramas.
08-30-2007: An other nice beach afternoon. Run along beach on a route, I ran 20 years ago almost every day. It needs some time to get used running barefoot. Tomorrow, we will move to Tel Aviv.
08-29-2007: Second day in Haifa seeing family. A panorama of Haifa and a beach panorama and a a movie from a wave. taken a the beach of Haifa.
08-28-2007: Arrival in Haifa A picture from a house of a relative and a picture at the beach of Haifa.
08-27-2007: Flight to Budapest, then to Tel Aviv. I'm updating this file while waiting in the airport. A picture taken by the laptop camera in Budapest.
08-26-2007: Trip with the Weidling (a wooden boat) from Langwiesen to Diessenhofen. A panorama taken about here.
08-25-2007: Velofahrt with Matthias through the beautiful Zürich Weinland on Mountain bikes. Panoramas of dinner.
08-24-2007: Cleaning up in the house and trip back to Uhwiesen by train.
08-23-2007: An other nice day. Walk to Baltschiedertal. Unfortunately, the battery of the camera is empty already.
08-22-2007: Wonderful day in Wallis. After getting up late, eating outside, a walk to Raaft-Leiggern. Panorama.
08-21-2007: Trip to Wallis. Arrival by rain. Playing games in the house and reading.
08-20-2007: Getting up late, breakfast. Walk with Ruth and Ben to the rheinfalls. Relaxed run with Matthias around Uhwiesen. Eating with Knills from Dorfstrasse.
08-19-2007: Run with my 360 camera in Uhwiesen. A picture taken near Dachsen. Swimming with 360 camera (I don't think anybody has made such a picture yet) and a nice dinner.
08-18-2007: Flight to Zuerich via Philadelphia. I'm reading in Frieman's "the world is flat", DeGault's "Th!nk" (a rebuttal to "Blink") and Surowiecki's "The wisdom of crowds". The trend with such books is to summarize in the title a single message. The flight showed that the world is not flat: the "geodesic" from Boston to Zuerich went over Philadelphia. Efficiency is a weird metric, but not flat.
08-17-2007: The papers reflecting the work of this summer are submitted: see the project website. (paper 1, paper 2, paper 3)
08-16-2007: It is funny to see CNN's optimism about the stock market. Since when does "Dow makes stunning comeback" apply to an overall loss during the day? There is a lot of psychology involved but the networks have already lost so much credibility in the last years, who will believe them in the future? Its not the first time that the news abroad is more accurate: like here or here. It was not only a hot day for the markets, I took a swim in the Charles river in the middle of my noon run. The Charles water quality is a B+, not yet safe but soon, it will be.
08-15-2007: Continue grading. A nice but windy day. I had to move the table close to the building on the patio.
08-14-2007: Final exam in the morning, starting to grad in the afternoon after a short run. While Ben went to buy a book in the evening near Harvard square and his bike broke down and needed rescue. Squeezed a bit of administrative work in the evening. A nice quote from the book "stumbling on happyness" by Daniel Gilbert, I currently read: "The only thing more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack is finding a needle in a needlestack". It applies also to information technology, the needle stack being the file system or the web.
08-13-2007: Starting to wrapping up MathS300R, running the exam over to the summer school, a short run around Fresh poind, 3 h meeting and then office hours in the afternoon and work on the Mathematica gallery Summer 2007 in the night.
08-12-2007: The noon scate tour went on side streets to Bedford, partly on the biketrail and partly on the street. A bike and hike tour with Ruth and Ben through Arlington reservoir and the great meadows. In the evening, we had a nice dinner on the balcoon.
08-11-2007: Run to Woburn, passing an interesting abbandoned location from which it was a bit tricky to find back to the road. An older man was the only person walking in that gost place. He said, it had been a farm or a camp once and that Woburn plans to develop it. Currently it is full of flowers, rotting containers. Would be nice if this would be kept a recreational area instead.
08-10-2007: The final exam is finished and goes to the printer. Proofreading also of the vision stuff in the morning. In the noon, weight lifting and a run through Alewife. Final review lecture in the evening in a large lecture hall.
08-9-2007: Last lecture of summer school a and a nice warm day with a run through Cambridge. A healthy lunch after the run with Swiss Rittersport Chocolate and a Nesquick drink.
08-8-2007: Isn't there anything better than eating a Anna's Taqueria burrito in the sun? A lot or writing at the final and proofreading of papers. Coming up with original new calculus problems can be time consuming. A lot of little Diophantine problems to make sure the numbers come out not too badly. Fortunately, Mathematica helps. The noon run along the river was amazing. Expected a rainy day and it turned out to be sunny. As if the sky was ripped apart.
08-7-2007: Time flies. The last three lectures of summerschool start. I can't believe already writing the final exam. I had a nice sunny noon run over Longfellow bridge. We don't feel the high temperatures in Boston. People enjoy sailing on the Charles. Some sailing boats near BU almost stand still. They certainly could need a bit more wind today.
08-6-2007: A NYT column "Sarkozy surfs the USA" by Roger Cohen mentions that the French president Nicolas Sarkozy is currently vacationing in Wolfeboro. So, we missed Sarkozy by 30 miles yesterday (or did we?). Cohen writes:
"When De Gaulle headed for his beloved Colombey-les-deux-Eglises, and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing went fishing in the Auvergne, and Mitterrand sojourned at Latché or with his mistress in Gordes, and Jacques Chirac stayed at the summer presidential residence in the Fort of Brégançon, they were making statements about their power: its roots, its latitude and its eternal essence. Goodbye to all that. The world has moved on. Brands replaced mysticism. France got globalized."
08-5-2007: Bike ride with Tom near Plymouth in New Hampshire, the "live free or die" state. The bike tour was very nice, through hills of forests, sliced by various rivers and creeks and sparsely populated with friendly folks. Of course, I was working also on my tan. The photo near Woodstock was taken by Tom. My almost 20 year old bike still holds well (swiss quality). Here, the same bike is seen in action in a 1992 duatlon.
08-4-2007: Standard skating tour on Minuteman bikepath to Bedford. Maybe it was still a bit hotter than average, there were not too many people and the ride relaxing.
08-3-2007: Motivated by one of these route maps, I tried out a 13 mile mystic lake tour from the Hemenway gym at noon. At 34 degrees (94 F) temperature, I was glad to find some lawn water sprinklers in Winchester and Arlinton, to cool down a bit.
08-2-2007: Discovered only today a nice variant from Belmont highschool back which goes through alewife. Was forced to it by accident, when having 35 minutes left to a workshop at 1 PM.
08-1-2007: As yesterday, a run along the freedom trail, passing the bunkerhill monument and the USS constitution. Having grown up near the rheinfalls, a highly touristic place, I love to visit touristic places. Not only because they are interesting, but also because all these people in vacation make me feel being in vacation too. The Bunkerhill-Northstation-Science museum run is also one of my favorates because it passes the sea.
07-31-2007: Finally finished the new Potter. It was nice that all the conflicting rumours about the ending have kept the real ending a surprise for me.
07-30-2007: Came in in the morning completely wet. It had started to rain heavily. So, I did expect a rainy run also. The pessimism payed out and it was a nice surprise to have quite a sunny run along the Charles river.
07-29-2007: Run along pleasant route in the noon and a 32 km biking tour through the fells reservation with Ben (Photo of Ben near Stone Zoo). Both tours illustrate a common fact: Arlington did do not a good job keeping lakes publicly accessible. Most of both Spy pond and the Arlington part of the Mystic lakes are unaccessible by the public. Neighboring cities like Lexington, Winchester,Belmont or Cambridge did a much better job keeping space for recreation around the lakes. A small path around each lake would be nice but with all these private villas now established around the lakes, it is now probably too late. Finally posted the new Mathematica assignment for the summer course. Wanting to do things too nice always leads to procastination.
07-28-2007: During my afternoon run (short Arlington run), it rained pretty strongly. Was refreshing to run through deep puddles and small rivers of water on the streets. The joy of small suburban adventures.
07-27-2007: Perfect hot day. The peak of the summer. There is nothing more refreshing than running in hot weather. The dip of the Dow industrials reminded me on a datafitting illustration done in the spring, especially the degree 5 prediction. Of course, datafitting predictions can be misleading. Its still funny.
07-26-2007: Grading the entire noon and afternoon of the second midterm. Again, a wonderful day to sit outside and enjoy the sun with the red pen in the hand. Programming out a problem again proves there are four essential levels to understand a problem: 1. read about it, 2. write about it, 3. teach it and 4. program it. Writing actively about something is a multiple times more difficult than just reading it, teaching it needs a much wider understanding and a larger background. And even if one can explain things well, it is still far off from actually build things up in the computer.
07-25-2007: Watched again the elegant universe on DVD while debugging for the third night some long Mathematica program in computer vision. The movie is well done and an important attempt to make a specific problem in physics accessible to the general public. Two things I disagreed with: 1. quantum mechanics does not necessarily imply the existence of parallel universes. 2. Its not true that if string theory turns out to be inaccessible by experiments, that it is necessarily "philosophy". Even if a theory is inaccessible by experiments, it can have mathematical value and provide falsifiable statements which do not necessarily have implementations in our actual universe. A physicist can also explore physical theories which can only be simulated in the computer. So, if "philosophy" would have been replaced with "mathematics or philosophy", I would agree.
07-24-2007: Whats better than reading an hour in the evening sun?
07-23-2007: Interesting form of a debate of the democrats with questions by YouTube videos greatly moderated by Anderson Cooper. Also great that one could follow the debate life on the web without TV.
07-22-2007: Bike tour with Ben and Ruth around Mystic lakes and Horn pond. We went with the bikes up to the "Horn pond mountain" which is also called "Mount Towanda". The climb is rewarded with an unexpectedly beautiful view to Boston. Its was a bit tricky to get the heavy bikes down to the Woburn shopping center, but it was worth the trip. Some links from the web: the area once had a a ski lift. There is even a Horn pond mountain poem!
07-21-2007: Passed in my skating tour the Potter book from the Harvard Coop. I could only grab the book for a few minutes today to read the first chapter. The book was otherwise owned by Ben, who would finish it still the same day. It will take me a few weeks.
07-20-2007: Harry Potter day. At 11 PM, Ben and I biked to Harvard square. Two years ago, we had been lucky enough to wait only about 40 minutes. Today, the lines went through all Harvard square. At 1, the lines were still very long and we decided to pick the book up later. Here is a panorama of the night and 360 degree movie. The light conditions were difficult for the 360 degree camera.
07-19-2007: Finished the laws of simplicity which almost just ran in open doors. It is not one of the "digg style" '10 ways to improve ...' type of books or collections. It contains some original aspects and good stories. I like Law 10: "Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful". The trick is of course to know what is the "obvious". This is crucial not only in design, but also in teaching or writing mathematics.
07-18-2007: The 30 cement stairs in the Harvard stadium are a nice training facility for a change. It is also used by rowers, football players and field and track fans alike. Here is an example of strength training program. There is quite a view from the top. I did today only 6 sprints up but rowers reportedly do over 60 such climbs after rowing and running.
07-17-2007: Besides teaching, this was also an administrative day. Biked home via Belmont. The traffic is much worse than on Massav and there are some stress moments like the rotaries or too narrow streets. Massav is is definitely better. A light weight lifting and small run in the noon before lunch with Otto Bretscher.
07-16-2007: Run on Belmont hill was pleasant. It is a good place for running hilly. Not quite as in the swiss alps, but a good change. Watched "The Painted vail" in the evening. I liked Edward Norton also in "the Illusionist", "The italian Job" and above all in "The score". I'm proud to have identified the eyes of 'Mother Superior' as belonging to the former bond girl Diana Rigg who played in "On her Majesty's secret service".
07-15-2007: Explored a bit more of the Fells by skate. Reached the first time Stoneham and Reading by skate along this route.
07-14-2007: Half marathon distance run at noon through the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a large wild area in which native Americans have hunted for thousands of years before the colonial period. There are beautifully maintained trails. I followed the "Reservoir trail", Here is the route. Interesting that the word "Fells" is the Saxon word for rocky, hilly tracks of land is close to the German word "Fels" = Rock. No wonder, Saxon is a Germanic language.
07-13-2007: Bunker hill variant run through Bostons Chinatown. I had developed some pain in the shinbone on the lechemere run two days ago, a localized pain spot which made even hurt while walking. It completely vanished thanks to some herbal patch applied by my wife who is practicing Chinese medicine. Western medicine is completely helpless with such things: "stop running for a few days" is all they would say. Fortunately there are alternatives. Things have improved already yesterday and I had ran to the Mayhor Thomas Danehy park to turn a few rounds.
07-12-2007: First midterm exam in the morning and grading the rest of the day. First at the sun, then in a coffee shop. In the evening, finally finished the movie lost city, which took me 4 evenings to watch. Great actors (Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Andy Garcia who himself is from Cuba and directed it), nice pictures and music. And an other example that movies directed by actors tend to be slow ...
07-11-2007: Summer school reception in the afternoon at the faculty club. The talk in the evening for a general audience (pre-calculus level) worked well. I had 95 slides and a life demonstration with my 360 camera.
07-10-2007: Lechmere run in the noon and finalizing the first midterm exam so that it can be brought to flash copy.
07-09-2007: Freshpond variant run in the noon. I quickly have a look at the stones at the old burying ground in Watertown. One grave of Francis Bowman, 1630-1687 is 320 years old. Since Watertown was founded in 1630 was one of the first Massachusetts Bay settlements, some of the people buried there, belonged to the first pilgrims. More about the history of Watertown and a nice old map.
07- 08-2007: Run throught the Belmont Habitat, the forest above Mac Lean hospital and Rock Meadow. The bike ride with the family was cut short due to rain and we ended up wet in one of the Arlington Starbucks. After dinner, I watched Peaches while preparing some slides for a Wednesday talk.
07-07-2007: Magical date 07.07.07. I overslept the even more magical time 07:07 in the morning. According to Spiegel, there is significant increase of people, who get married today. Run to Winterpond in Winchester. There is a dam which reaches into the center of the pond which is the home of some swans.
07-06-2007: Vision work as usual on Friday morning, practice exams in the afternoon and rhetorik work in the night. During the noon run clouds were moving in and I literally was chased by them on the soon 101 year old Salt and Pepper bridge: the task of this race is to stay in the sun. It was inevitable. I had to try it out once: a synthetic panorama of the mandelbrot set in Povray. The computation of height and textures in Mathematica is a good test of how Mathematica 6 handles memory. A PlotPoints->700 density plot already reaches the memory limits of my Dell with 3Gig. I remember the times, where early Linux kernels could in such instances just run off into a swap Coma. Now, also Mathematica has safeguards and aborts, if memory runs out.
07-05-2007: On my run around freshpond, I found the "Wirginia Wolff" bench. Robert Winters, an expert in all Cambridge matters had mentioned it in the afternoon while we looked together at a book on Cambridge. I had borrowed this nice book a month ago while searching for vision literature in the design library. The Wolff bench had been constructed in the forest without permission in 1994. But since it was made so nicely, the city did not remove it. The bench is near a neglected railroad track which leeds to Watertown and was used to transport ice. I have run on the tracks a few times the last couple of years. It is for me a fun connection between the Freshpond running routes and the river running routes. The tracks could become bike path from Cambridge to Watertown but - Robert's knowledge helped out again - as long as the rails are still under commission, it is not possible to modify their use. Here is a short history of Fresh Pond.
07-04-2007: It's busy when skating on the bike trail to Bedford. As during any holiday with decent weather, the bike trail is full of bikers, skaters and walkers. On the way back, I skate on the street which is less crowded. After a relaxing afternoon, and some rain, the family decided not to walk up to the Robbins farms but to stay put lazy at home. The panoramas on the top of these pages can now be seen larger.
07-03-2007: Feels like the weekend with the 4'th of July coming up. Introduce functions of several variables in the multi-variable course. Watched Chrystal, a tragic but beautiful movie with nice music. And slow, as often with movies directed by one of the actors (here Ray McKinnon). Clint Eastwood directed flicks or the movie Infinity directed by Matthew Broderick illustrate this rule better. Directors are just unable to cut their own scenes ... It's actually not so bad here and the movie is quite poetic. I didn't first remember, where I had seen McKinnon before, but the fist fight made it. He had been in a funny fist fight with George Clooney in O brother, where art thou, one of my most favorite movies.
07- 02-2007: After buying new athletic membership for the entire family in the Murr center, I run on the harvard 400 meter track for a change. Running a loop has something soothing. I often have done that in Pasadena after swimming. Its quite good in combination with thinking about a problem.
07-01-2007: A 32 km skating tour through Bedford, Waltham and Lexington. Like so often here, the whether starts to change around noon and doing outdoor stuff in the morning is much better. Its indeed much cooler in the afternoon. As for many weekends, work an hour in Starbucks. Google desktop update: indexing is still under way. The application has choked through 300'000 files and gets considerably slower with crawling. Lets see how long takes to index the hard drive.
06-30-2007: A Belmont run through Rock meadow. Watched land of the blind in the evening on DVD while doing routine maintainance stuff. I got the movie in one of 8 for 20 dollar previously viewed movie sales, which DVD renting shops now often do outdoors. For DVD's the market seems to play well and prizes are reasonable, unlike with music CS's on music, where prizes are kept high.
06-29-2007: Work with Jose in the morning. Ben came with me to the office by bike. We made a little bike tour to Boston in the noon with a picknick at the Charles river, where preparations for the 4'th of July fireworks already have started. The google desktop indexing both at home and office machine has both progressed to about 30 percent and indexed 100'000 files. It starts to affect the responsiveness of the machine. The Linux machine starts to feel like an OS X machine, where latency can still be a huge problem. When starting typing a command, the command has to be executed immediately under all circumstances. Linux is still light years ahead from OSX in this respect.
06-28-2007: Tried out google desktop on linux. To use it for my minimal windows manager blackbox, I install it with dpkg -i google-desktop-linux_1.0.1.0060_i386.deb, install the plug-in for firefox and then start it up with "dlinux start". No KDE or Gnome is needed. Tapping twice in firefox or mozilla (it works in both) opens the search windows allowing to search the harddrive. Google desktop starts a server as is apparent when it is accessed from the preference link on the search box: the server has url http://127.0.0.1:35168. I set the default search to "desktop search". Works pretty well until now and even the initial crawling does not increase the machine load average yet unlike beagle which was way too heavy for my taste.
06-27-2007: Vectors and dot product lecture in the morning, meeting with students in the afternoon. I started my noon run a bit late, had some competition with an other runner on the Boston side until the MIT bridge, then ran back on Massav to Harvard square. A friendly Cambridge police man passed me an iced cool water bottle on the way. It was a 37 degree day and hazy and I happily took the refreshment.
06-26-2007: An even hotter day. First day of summer school with introduction lecture. In the noon a run over long fellow bridge and back along the river. Near Boston College an other truck stranded with the roof ripped off on Storrow drive. This time, the roof of the truck was nicely peeled off. I'm glad the running route has a water fountain near Boston university, which I gladly use to cool down. Its hot also at home without air-conditioning and I take it easy, lie around in the balcony.
06-25-2007: A nice hot day with a 16km noon run to the Belmont hills connecting to a route, I often run from Arlington. The cool forest below the famous Mc Lean hospital (the number 1 psychiatric hospital in the country, where John Nash was treated in 1959)) was fantastic to cool down a bit. There is a trail which traverses it diagonally. Part of the day, work with Jose (a reading and research course) and final preparations for the summer school. First class tomorrow.
06-24-2007: It was perfect whether for the Charles river run. I ran the 7.5 miles (=12 km) route which is part of a loop I often run in the opposite direction. The race was well organized and fun. On the last mile, I said Hi to Haibo a former linear algebra student of mine, who was faster than me. I ended up as 46th with 50:43. Bike home through the hills of Belmont. In the afternoon, a 20km bikeride with Ruth and Ben around Mystic lakes, a route, I also had run a few times, mostly during spring breaks. It touches 6 lakes.
06-23-2007: Work on rhetoric and a nice skate ride in the sun on Bentley college route. Quite hilly and tough for skates. I like to go downhill slalom style like with skis but often traffic does not allow this. The hill near Bentley college for example has a traffic light at the bottom and needs special attention. An annoying change in Mathematica 6:
Do[Plot[Sin[n x], {x, 0, 10}], {n, 1, 5}]
does no more display the graphs. One has now to use "Animate". Why not leave the old behavior for the sake of compatibility? I have hundreds if not thousands of little Mathematica programs which need to be adapted. Changes like this can annoy, whether it is in programming languages or operating systems.
06-22-2007: Work day on summer school stuff. Almost ready. While biking home, avoiding potholes in the street, I ask myself, which path between two points on the street surface would minimize the total hight difference traversed. There are lots and lots of minima because the functional is L(r) = | f(r(t)). r'(t)| dt which is f(B)-f(A) if there is no change of sign in the slope. One can then ask then, which of the minimal paths has minimal length. This is an optimal bike path if I'm first of all concerned about height changes and then about distance. Minima are not smooth in general. A better functional incorporating both length and height difference could be L(r) = (a | f(r)| + (1-a)) |r'| dt which for a=1 is the previous case and for a=0 leads to geodesics.
06-21-2007: Ran at noon the Charlestown II route, an urban half marathon run with a lot of view changes. I love entering the Charlestown Marina after under-crossing the Mystic river bridge. Some or Charlestown needs still development but the part near the harbor is beautiful, especially the water path before reaching the "USS constitution". Finished in the evening the book "Mathematicians in love", a gnarly SciFi cyberpunk novel by Rudy Rucker.
06-20-2007: Made a 360 panorama in povray. Having just got the Marius trilogy on DVD, there is now an addition to the mathmovie page. We had read Marius and Fanny in high school in French, but I never saw the movie until yesterday. Worked on some math and spent half a day with referee work. Tried in vain to solve an annoyance in Mathematica 6 which produces under linux long system error messages when displaying graphics. These messages appear in the terminal which called the front-end and independent of the windows manager. [Update 06/21/07: simple solution: start with math 2>>/dev/null, or add a line alias math='math 2>/dev/null' in .bashrc.] Since I use Mathematica mostly from the command line (just type "math" in a terminal), I use in linux a file ~/.Mathematica/Kernel/init.m. to display graphics.
06-19-2007: Played more with Mathematica 6. In Linux, there are still some graphics issues. The mouse arrow can disappear and distortions of the windows render the text unreadable. Can not get enough from "Manipulate". It is possible also manipulate number theoretical functions, algebraic expressions or sound
Manipulate[Prime[Floor[n]], {n, 1, 300000000}]
Manipulate[D[Sin[x]/x, {x, Floor[n]}], {n, 1, 10}]
Manipulate[Play[Sin[c*1000 x], {x, 0, 1}], {c, 1, 10}]
For demonstrations in calculus there are now infinite possibilities. Here is the mother of all calculus animations which must have been programmed so many times.
06-18-2007: Start from scratch to write a new Mathematica project page for summer school. While running at noon near Storrow drive, I saw a truck stuck under a bridge. (Here is the news). Having seen pictures of trucks "going through", I would have expected the roof to be shaved off. Instead, the back was folded. It looked a bit like here, only much worse. I had almost had such an adventure myself, when moving from Austin to Arlington in 2000: after reaching Storrow drive, tree branches started to pat the truck. The good trees warned in vain but a more persuasive police horn guided me off storrow drive before I could crash into one of the underpasses. Because the renting company had mixed up licence plates of the truck, the police had taken the truck away from me on the spot.
06-17-2007: A new piano page. A run on "fathers day" through the rock meadow in Belmont, passing the National archives in Waltham, through the former Metropolitan state hospital area (Met), and run back to Arlington through Lexington. Rock meadow is full of mosquitos. Without shirt on this sunny day, I could explore at which speed threshold the mosquitos still can catch up. They did when I climbed blue water reservoir on Wellington Hill. Both Belmont and Lexington keep nice conservation areas. In the article one can read the area is so open because Indian tribes used to burn the underbrush making it look like an English park and that Rock Meadow still looks as it did during colonial times. It is a fantastic place to run. I liked it even more, then the old Met was still a "ghost area". It could give you the creeps running through the area with no soul nearby, knowing about the murders and hidden tunnels. One of the paths still passes cementary containing hundreds of anonymous graves ...
06-16-2007: Most of the day editorial work on rhetoric. A noon bike tour with Ben to Lexington and along the Minuteman sites. Except for a flat tire on Ben's bike in the middle, it was a nice tour. Here is the map.
06-15-2007: Some math in the morning and a nice run past MIT in the noon. A skating tour with my panorama camera in the evening.
06-14-2007: Wow. First steps with Mathematica 6. Its wonderful, especially the "Manipulate", "Animate" features and also students will appreciate that standard libraries will not have to be loaded first like for ContourPlot3D. Also nice for multi variable calculus is SphericalPlot3D. A short example with these features:
Animate[SphericalPlot3D[Sin[t^2+Sin[2Pi c]]^2,{t,0,Pi},{s,0,2Pi},Mesh->None,
AspectRatio->1,PlotPoints->40,PlotRange->{{-1,1},{-1,1},{-1,1}},ViewPoint->{1,Cos[2Pi c],Sin[2Pi c]},
PlotStyle->{Opacity[(2+Cos[2Pi c])/3]},Boxed->False,Axes->False],{c,0,1}]
06-13-2007: Math and work on summer school preparation. Web Mathpanorama for the new personal page. With a real camera, I can explore the surroundings 360 degrees, with my computer, I can render scenes with 360 degree cameras.
06-12-2007: Math work and main page. Mac Math panorama for the top of this page.
06-11-2007: Since the Harvard Mac is closed, I now always run from the Hemenway gym.
06- 10-2007: Linux math panorama. thesis online, after some struggle with latex2html bug. latex2html produces lower border bars in my setup and I had to cut all pictures. It can be removed with "pnmcrop -black -bottom" but this changes the size of the pictures which needs grep'ing out image sizes.
06-9-2007: Usual rhetorik.ch and rheinfall.ch editorial work. Bike tour with Ruth and Ben from Arlington to Belmont through the rock-meadow. Lots of Mosquitos there but beautiful. Here is the map.
06-8-2007: Math work. Cleaning up some websites. Also a bit work in the garden. Only my part. Ruth's herb garden should not be touched. Since it is difficult for Oliver to differentiate between "weeds" and "herbs", Ruths side is "off limit" for me.
06-7-2007: After wrapping up the old semester and doing some planning for new semester, I start to prepare for Summer school 2007 to which I look forward to. I also work more intensively on a math problem After 6 years, I start major update of my personal website. The commencement is on the way. Lots of people. This year, the weather is favorable. Unfortunately I didn't run into Bill Clinton, and fortunately not into Bill Gates who were present.
06-6-2007: A nice sunny 46 km skate from Arlington to Walden pond near Concord with a swim break there.
06-5-2007: Continue to work with Jose on paper. Ordered an other load of books on computer vision. I think, we have have now the core books.
06-4-2007: clean up more in the office and replace some pictures. Bought a nice 1936 areal photo of Harvard.
06-3-2007: Ben won a third state award and Ruth, Ben and I biked from Arlington to Boston, where after the ceremony each chose its favorite place, which we visited in turns all together: Starbucks for Oliver, "Le Bon Pain" for Ben and "Whole Foods" for Ruth.
06-2-2007: Finally the TIMSS tapes have been cut in flash.
06-1-2007: I enjoy the new digital Piano. I hope to have some tunes up later up this summer.

Oliver Knill, Department of Mathematics, Harvard University, One Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. SciCenter 432 Tel: (617) 495 5549, Email: knill@math.harvard.edu Twitter, Youtube, Vimeo, Linkedin, Scholar Harvard, Academia, Google plus, Google Scholar, Ello, Webcam, Fall 2017 office hours: Mon-Fri 4-5 PM and by appointment.