What is the longest song?April is also National Poetry Month. In honor of April I am running my first (and perhaps last) annual math poetry contest. Winner will receive a copy of"ℵ

_{0}bottles of beer on the wall."Happy Mathematics Awareness Month!

*Complexity of Computations and Proofs*(Jan Karjicek, editor), volume 13 of Quaderni di Matematica, Dipartimento di Matematica della Seconda Universitá Napoli, 2004.

Submit your new original poem on a mathematics or theoretical computer science theme in the comments section of this post with your name and/or email. One entry per person. Entries due by 11:59 PM CDT on Monday April 18. A panel of celebrity judges will choose the winning poem based on whatever criteria they deem fit. The decision of the judges are final.

**Update**: And the winner is…

I was reminded of this poem when

ReplyDeleteI saw your post... A poem by

Samuel Coleridge to his brother

on the construction of an equilateral triangle... and proof

that the construction is right.

If a proof must be beautiful, none

is better than one that rhymes.

This is now--this was erst,

Proposition the first--and Problem the first.

I

On a given finite Line

Which must no way incline;

To describe an equi--

--lateral Tri--

--A, N, G, L, E.

Now let A. B.

Be the given line

Which must no way incline;

The great Mathematician

Makes this Requisition,

That we describe an Equi--

--lateral Tri--

--angle on it:

Aid us, Reason--aid us, Wit!

II

From the centre A. at the distance A. B.

Describe the circle B. C. D.

At the distance B. A. from B. the centre

The round A. C. E. to describe boldly venture.

(Third Postulate see.)

And from the point C.

In which the circles make a pother

Cutting and slashing one another,

Bid the straight lines a journeying go,

C. A., C. B. those lines will show.

To the points, which by A. B. are reckon'd,

And postulate the second

For Authority ye know.

A. B. C.

Triumphant shall be

An Equilateral Triangle,

Not Peter Pindar carp, not Zoilus can wrangle.

III

Because the point A. is the centre

Of the circular B. C. D.

And because the point B. is the centre

Of the circular A. C. E.

A. C. to A. B. and B. C. to B. A.

Harmoniously equal for ever must stay;

Then C. A. and B. C.

Both extend the kind hand

To the basis, A. B.

Unambitiously join'd in Equality's Band.

But to the same powers, when two powers are equal,

My mind forbodes the sequel;

My mind does some celestial impulse teach,

And equalises each to each.

Thus C. A. with B. C. strikes the same sure alliance,

That C. A. and B. C. had with A. B. before;

And in mutual affiance,

None attempting to soar

Above another,

The unanimous three

C. A. and B. C. and A. B.

All are equal, each to his brother,

Preserving the balance of power so true:

Ah! the like would the proud Autocratorix do!

At taxes impending not Britain would tremble,

Nor Prussia struggle her fear to dissemble;

Nor the Mah'met-sprung Wight,

The great Mussulman

Would stain his Divan

With Urine the soft-flowing daughter of Fright.

IV

But rein your stallion in, too daring Nine!

Should Empires bloat the scientific line?

Or with dishevell'd hair all madly do ye run

For transport that your task is done?

For done it is--the cause is tried!

And Proposition, gentle Maid,

Who soothly ask'd stern Demonstration's aid,

Has prov'd her right, and A. B. C.

Of Angles three

Is shown to be of equal side;

And now our weary steed to rest in fine,

'Tis rais'd upon A. B. the straight, the given line.

-S.T.Coleridge

But, but, I know of a song which is strictly longer than that one -- "?? bottles of beer on the wall."

ReplyDelete(That should read aleph_1 with unicode support)

scratch that, that _would_ have read aleph_1 with unicode support had my browser and/or blogger not decided to eat the unicode and spit out question marks.

ReplyDeleteHere's a song that may or may not be longer than the second commentor's (depending on your set theory) ;-)

ReplyDelete"Continuum many bottles of beer on the wall."

This isn't actually mine, and I don't actually know who the author is, and it's only a limerick, but it's the only math poem I know off the top of my head:

ReplyDeleteA dozen a gross and a score

Plus two times the square root of four

Divided by seven

Plus five times eleven

is nine squared plus zero, no more.

We're always eager to produce a new result Even if an oracle we must consult

ReplyDeleteFor though $P=NP$ is ever open

To solve it we're still hopin'

And though exponential search we despise

We're not afraid to relativize

For we will never weary

Of computer science theory

Conference on Computational Complexity Theory

March 1983

Santa Barbara, California

(This was precuror to the current COMPLEXITY THEORY conference.)

Integral z-squared dz

ReplyDeletefrom 1 to the cube root of 3

times the cosine

of three pi over 9

equals log of the cube root of 'e'.

Haiku for P�l Erd?s

ReplyDelete"My brain is open,"

Pali b�csi used to say

"Let n be a prime..."

E PERCY P

ReplyDeletePercy P was a mathematician

whose "pureness" was never denied.

But he found one day, to his sorrow,

that his theorems had been applied!

He had used all the standard precautions;

his papers were pointedly dry!

But his own esoteric notation

had been solved by a physicist spy!

The colloquium buzzed with the gossip;

he could offer no valid excuse.

Percy P was a traitor of traitors,

for his work was of PRACTICAL USE!

Nobody dared to defend him.

Could it be that he'd plead the crime

That his work was just then needed

to effect quantization of time?

Ignored when he joined conversations;

one would think that he poisoned the air.

And he felt on his way to the office -

a new man might be in his chair.

A committee was in operation,

working twenty four hours a day,

Deleting his name from the journals,

and throwing his reprints away.

He knew where his future was leading,

no sense in prolonging the pain;

He left with a handful of papers,

and never was heard from again.

So take heed all you mathematicians

who pretend your endeavor is pure;

Tho' your luck may hold for a decade,

in the end you can never be sure.

~

~

Note- this is not mine

Its just in my files

But I think its good

Even though it goes on for miles

~

The next four posts are from

ReplyDeletea course called CS270.

They are not mine, but are

in my files.

These are from a course CS270.

I don't know where the course was taught,

But it sounds like fun

For poet laureate I would have fought

But all I can do is pun.

There once were a tough set of problems;

Many theorists tried hard to solve 'em.

But all they e'er say

Was, "Just give me a way

To solve one and I'll have solved all of 'em."

One clever young theorist said, "Gee!

I'll define a new type called PCP."

So he did some contemplation,

Spent many days on calculation,

And finally said, "Damn, it's no simpler than NP!"

Nemanja Isailovic

3SAT is NP-complete,

ReplyDeletesay complexity theory elite.

But watch PCP -

It covers NP,

and randomized checkers are sweet.

We randomly sample the proof

but aren't so easy to spoof.

Just make the proof bigger,

and somehow we figure

The storage won't go through the roof.

Dennis Geels

Twas the second day of May,

ReplyDeletethe next to last day of class

We sat pondering the final,

and hoped we might pass.

The door flew wide open

and then proclaimed Satish:

I've got complexity theory

that I must unleash!"

NP was defined

and Cook's theorem was stated:

"If you can solve 3SAT,

this whole field's antiquated."

And though it's a worthy pursuit,

showing P =NP,

I think I'll leave that task

to someone smarter than me.

But an approximate solution!

Wouldn't that be great?

You can't win them all,

but how about seven of eight?

This proved to be easy,

we've got this one wired:

Conditionally assign,

and negate if required.

But theorists are greedy--

I'm a 3SAT whore,

Surely it's no trouble

to satisfy a few clauses more

In pursuit of this goal,

PCP was defined.

(And I don't mean the drug,

though it's just as harsh on the mind.)

From PCP we proceed

with some clever deduction

and return to > 7/8 3-SAT

via complexity reduction.

So what's the big deal?

What course have we charted?

Turns out PCP = NP

and we're back where we started.

Mark Piloff

Try it once:

ReplyDeleteIt isn't at all hard to say

What we covered in class today

Just flip a coin, and then sit tight

While we check to see if it is right

But the math gods are not playing fair

Your clever tricks get you no where

The same old curse, they do repeat

It's doomed to be NP- complete.

Then try again:

It's really hard, I do repeat.

It is what they call NP-complete.

No, no, at last we will be free,

I got a scheme called PCP.

I know that you will quickly see,

this problem is not NP, just P.

Alas, you say, you don't agree?

It's really hard, I must repeat.

You can't escape NP-complete.

Carol Hurwitz

One should never forget the master piece Scooping the Loop Snooper to be found at:

ReplyDeletehttp://www.ncc.up.pt/~rvr/MC02/halting.pdf

A shameless rewrite:

ReplyDeleteA sudden blow: the zig-zag expanding still

Above the staggering graph, her connectivity enhanced

By the compact likeness, her path caught in its web,

It holds her helpless degree upon his degree.

How can those powered components reduce

The increased degrees from its greedy push

And how can the diameter, stretched and compressed,

But grow beyond logarithmic size?

A step in mid-stage engenders there

The possible erasure of memory, an additive constant

And L=SL.

Being so caught up,

So mastered by the brute random walk

Did she put on its knowledge with its power

Before the s-t connection found?

- Homin

I'd like to nominate Harry Mairson for his poetic "New Proofs of Old Theorems" available from:

ReplyDeletehttp://www.cs.brandeis.edu/~mairson/poems/poems.html

These "poems" are in the spirit of "Scooping the Loop Snooper".

Luca Aceto

**********************************

ReplyDelete* *

* When a P-man loves an NP-woman *

* *

**********************************

Been a happy deterministic man

With a simple polynomial brain

I contented myself with P problems,

And always looked at NP with disdain.

Fell in love with a polynomial woman,

But with a non-deterministic wit,

She said she would marry me,

Only if I could show her that P=NP.

I rushed to the library and studied,

Asked Garey & Johnson for a hint to the truth,

They said "this is quite a hard question",

But none of them had a hint or a clue.

Went to church and prayed to The Almighty,

"Please Oh Lord, give me a lead the truth",

"Don't waste your time son", a voice said laughing,

For I myself on this wasted my youth.

First oracle says you will marry

Second one tells you you'll split

Time moves, paths branch, results may vary

Accept the state that finally fits

If you finally marry this girl,

And P=NP was true,

What a Chaos: E-banking unsafe, Salesmen traveling cheaply!

And mathematicians with nothing to do!

If I grant your happiness,

The precondition must be no witness,

Even you both did nothing completely wrong,

The punishments will be exponentially long.

If you really want to marry this woman,

Then randomness might be the only key,

But please stop praying for an answer to me,

For I could not decide on this P=NP!

Not exactly a poem per se, but I did recently compose a rap ditty on an appropriate theme. (full version with hyperlinks is available here):

ReplyDeleteSmash the polynomial hierarchy!

I got the P! I got the NP!

Yeah, you know me!

I got coNP! I got BPP!

Got them all, don't you see...

Give me space! Give me logspace

Gonna take my place, gonna play my ace,

My AC0, gonna be a hero

People think I'm so bizarre, see

Gonna smash the polynomial hierarchy!

My warring machine is a Turing machine,

Recoil in horror y'all when you see my oracle

And call for your momma, yeah, when you meet my automata

Don't get mean, and don't you get snarky

But I smashed the polynomial hierarchy

Take any 3SAT, I spit it right back

Word to my homies all, it's polynomial

Me always in P-time, committing no crime

I steal RSA like it was your car keys

'Cause I smashed the polynomial hierarchy

I got the P! It equals NP!

I ain't on PCP!

I got RPP, all of NPC!

Million bucks be comin' to me

Stephen Cook better rewrite the book

C, L and R S attend my classes

And Michael Sipser can start calling me sir

Chris Papadimitriou can worship at my feet, yo

...don't you be calling me Aho, I ain't no ho...

[repeat to fade]

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

ReplyDeleteI remember when I was at CTY F&M back in the mid-90s, our Contemporary Mathematics class thought we came up with the idea of Aleph-null bottles of beer on the wall... we even put in on our class shirt at the end of the summer ;)

ReplyDeletethis is bases of the first couple of numbers of the Fibonacci Series.

ReplyDeleteArcs

are

Measured

In two ways

One is by degrees

And the other is by its length

Charlie O'Keeffe

okeeffe141@yahoo.com