Unsolved!: The History and Mystery of the World’s Greatest Ciphers from Ancient Egypt to Online Secret Societies by Craig P. Bauer – A review

This book was sent to me by the publisher as a review copy.

This is a book of some impressive magnitude, both in terms of the time span that it covers (being millennia), as well as the ways in which it discusses the context and content of the ciphers, most of which, as the title suggests, are unsolved. The book starts with perhaps the most mysterious of all unbroken ciphers: The Voynich Manuscript (the entirety of which can be found here). This story in itself is perhaps the most fascinating in the history of all encrypted documents, and that we still don’t know if it truly contains anything of interest, or is just a cleverly constructed (though several hundred year old) hoax makes it all the more intriguing.

The writing rather effortlessly weaves between the potential origin stories, the history of the ownership of the manuscript and the attempts to decode it.…

By | July 29th, 2017|Book reviews, English, Level: Simple, Reviews|1 Comment

Counting to Infinity

I have decided to share something which I found interesting while reading up some Mathematics this holiday.

The idea I am going to talk about is that of the cardinality of a set. In simple terms,

Definition 1: Cardinality is a “measure  of the size” of a set.

Suppose that we have a set, A , such that A=\{a,b,c,d,e\} . The cardinality of the set, denoted by |A| , is 5 , because there are 5 elements.
It is indeed worth noting that unlike ‘lists’, in Mathematics, order and number of elements doesn’t determine much concerning the identity  of a set. This means that

\{a,b,c\}=\{a,a,a,b,c\}=\{a,b,b,b,c,c\}=\{a,...,b,...,c, ...\}

as long as you use the same elements, they are all equal. Of course, cardinalities would be the same, because all of them are a representation of the same mathematical entity.

Let’s  talk about something slightly more interesting. Suppose that you have another set with infinitely many elements, like the set of natural numbers, N , or real numbers \mathbb{R} .…

By | July 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Quantum Computing (Part 0): A Brief Introduction

These days, the vogue in science and technology is all things quantum, especially in the continuously-advancing frontiers of computation and data analysis. Applications such as AI and crunching through Big Data require ever-faster processing of ever-larger datasets. The amount of data generated by companies such as Google and Facebook is already mind-boggling and is only set to increase at an exponential rate. However, it is clear that in many contexts, simply adding datacenters and processors is not going to be enough: a complete paradigm shift is required if these kinds of technologies are to become effective in the lives of billions of people around the world.
This is where the quantum realm comes in. At the smallest scales of our universe, the behaviours of the “classical” mechanics governing our everyday lives is replaced by something entirely different; the laws of quantum mechanics are unintuitive and confusing, hiding layers of complexity in ways that simply cannot exist at our macroscopic scales.

By | July 10th, 2017|Level: Simple|0 Comments