Monday, January 31, 2005


Turns out my proof of FLT is erroneous. Yet Another False Alarm :(

Fermat's last theorem

Fermat's last theorem had intrigued mathematicians for more than 350 years, till Andrew Wiles came up with a rather complicated proof that most mathematicians alive today will find difficult to understand. As some of my readers might be aware, I have been working on finding an elegant proof of this theorem. I believe I have found it finally! I'll post it here soon after I check it once again. There've been quite a few times when I thought I've solved the theorem, when in fact my proof had been faulty. So I'm not going to post my proof in a hurry. :)

If my proof is correct, you should find it on this page in the next 24 hours.

In the meantime, click here to learn more about FLT and its history.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The TVIPE theory

The Temporal Variation of Indian Parental Expectations Theory is as follows. A typical Indian parent would expect his/her kid to be better than the best when it comes to academics or extra-currics during his school/college years. But strangely enough, when its time to decide on his career choice, parents prefer their child to be among the average - i.e they arent too keen on seeing their child grow up to be, say, a social revolutionary. Why should the kid not aim for things that havent been done before?

I hope I've explained the theory well enough. I dont claim credit for the theory- had read it sometime ago. But I do take credit for naming it the TVIPE theory :p

McKinsey and automechanics

Well, this past week I had the opportunity to again drive one of the most wonderfully crafted machines that a human brain has ever conceived of - my TVS Champ. (Fyi: On a vaguely related topic, I havent quite ridden any bikes as yet) Getting back to the point, I had to visit an automechanic to set right a few minor probs in my two-wheeler. While I was at this guy's shop, I couldnt help but think how he would do very well in the McKinseys and BCGs of this world. He asked me what the problem was, and given this data he got down to work rather systematically. In his mind, he seemed to have broken down the vehicle into various interlinked sub-systems, and by studying each subsystem independently he zeroed in on the problem area - and he did this in around 10-15 mins. I'm told that consulting companies look for high levels of structured thinking while recruiting. So I figured the consults would be well-advised to recruit such people. As if to prove my hypothesis right, my vehicle broke down half an hour after I left the place! :(

What if...

... God was one of us? - thus goes a song that I've been addicted to recently. The lyrics of the song is of the type that I would categorize as "strong". Find below the excerpts from the lyrics that I like the most

"If God had a name, what would it be
And would you call it to his face
If you were faced with him in all his glory
What would you ask if you had just one question"

"If God had a face what would it look like
And would you want to see
If seeing meant that you would have to believe
In things like heaven and in jesus and the saints and all the prophets"

Of course, my first reaction to this song was extreme satisfaction that I was indeed the answer to the song. After all, since I am THE God, and I am one of us (by definition), I pretty much fit the bill, right? Never mind, dont answer that question :)

The complete lyrics are available here.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

50 more days....

Thats the countdown to the end of my academic life. It seems so unfair that I have to get out of this mode - in which I've been comfortable for the past 2 decades , and tread into a relatively unkown world. But again as Nalla writes to A. Ars in his parting note, "Adutha nodiyil olithu vaithirikkum aacharyangal ivvulagathil eralam... Acharyam niraintha intha ulagathai nambi payanikkiren". Translated in English "Every moment in the future has hidden in it several surprises... I continue my journey with my trust in this world full of surprises"

O World, here I come!!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Blogs and the tsunami

Have recently spotted two blogs that provide rather detailed coverage on the tsunami's effect in TamilNadu. A journo pair Amit Varma and Dilip D' Souza are currently touring these areas. Some excerpts from their blogs..

1. "Mariamma says, only the Muslims helped us that day. Understood? From the whole town, only the Muslims. The Muslim ex-MLA here, Nizamuddin, organized food and water for us after the wave, and has been sending more to us every day. Only those "Islam people" helped us! The Hindus did nothing for us! Write it!

But aren't you Hindus? And if so, what do you mean by "the Hindus"? We are scheduled castes, Pariyars, explains Pakiyam. The Hindus don't care for us. That's why they didn't help us.

This is hard for me to say. But I have never faced such an insistent demand: write it! Over and over. So I wrote it. I write it."

2. "You look at the pictures and you know: the wailing mothers, the families carrying their dead, the people lining the roads asking for news of their missing -- if not entirely, these people are overwhelmingly our poor. Not the investment bankers or the Page 3 dudettes.

The same in every disaster.

Though it sometimes takes months to comprehend the true magnitude of that sameness. In Kutch in 2001, a gigantic quake killed by the thousand. In particular, several high-rises collapsed, killing their middle-class residents and leaving the survivors to spend nights on the streets. But when I went back exactly a year later, travelling across Gujarat showed me just who was still feeling the after-effects of the quake. All over Bhuj, for example, I found hundreds of people still sleeping in the open, on the rubble of their hovels and tenements. Still waiting for what their government had promised them by way of help, so far unable to right their own lives, living on a generosity shared by their fellow residents of the rubble.

So yes, nature's cliched fury knows no lines of wealth or class. On Chennai's Marina beach as on the Sri Lankan and Thai coasts, joggers and tourists were swept away just as surely as fishermen in their huts were, if in smaller numbers. But go back in six months, go back in a year. The fishermen's colonies will still look like disasters, their residents will still be trying to pick up their lives."

3. A quote in one of the blogs attributed to an anonymous reporter currently doing some relief work. “The journalists from the Hindu are all flying around with dignitaries. That is the kind of reporting they do.”

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Tsunami relief

Happened to visit this site, and found it pretty interesting - especially the on-field reporting about the tsunami relief measures being undertaken in Tamil Nadu.

Insignificant point of origin

Well, in case u dint realise, the title refers to all the gala abt the New Year. Wotz the point of all these celebrations? New Year is but a point of origin that can be shifted to any date without loss of generality!!

Btw, happy new year! :p