In lieu of a foreword

In this blog, I plan to write about the fascinating/curious stuff that I come across. My plan, for the moment, is to stick to topics I have some familiarity with: CS/math, programming, tools. I’ve a deep interest in certain areas of mathematics and computer science — analysis, combinatorics, probability theory, design & analysis of algorithms, graph theory & network effects, computational problems. Many of my posts would be on these topics. Some would be about EMACS, the one true editor. The remainder would be on programming languages, performance hacks, bitwise tricks…

Over the years I’ve occasionally chanced upon “things” about these topics that I wished I could have shared with more people. While many of them have been spoken of elsewhere, others haven’t generally been publicized on the web/blogsphere. Of course, others no doubt would have thought of or come across ideas similar to what I would be blogging about; so I definitely do not assert any claims of being the first to discover them. But I do feel that there would be some people interested in reading about them.

Even if I turn out to be the only one reading this blog, there’s a very good reason why I should still do it — it would help improve my clarity on the things I feel important enough to share with others. Steve Yegge wrote a neat post explaining just this. Dear reader, if you don’t blog (for whatever reasons), you should at least consider reading that.

A bit on the timing: I’d been thinking of starting a blog for quite some time now (all the while “gathering” interesting material to speak about), and my sabbatical (this whole of December) have given the nudge I needed to finally start one.

Till you come ’round again, here’s a little problem from IMO to ponder on: If f(n) is defined from \mathbb{N}\rightarrow\mathbb{N} such that f(n+1)\,\textgreater\,f(f(n)) for each n, then prove that f(n)=n for each n. For another interesting problem involving the solution to a functional equation, check out TAOCP Exercise 1.2.4 — 49.