Category Archives: Mathematics

United States of Paranoia? Italian Mathematician Terrorist Armed with a Hessian Matrix…….

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KuwaitCox2 Me1 (2)

“A math equation landed an Ivy League professor on an American Airlines flight in questioning Thursday under suspicion of being a terrorist. Guido Menzio, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, was working on a differential equation while waiting for the Syracuse-bound plane to take off from Philadelphia, the Washington Post reported. He had to present the findings of a working paper at Queen’s University. But a passenger somehow mistook the equation for Arabic or some sort of Islamic code for a terrorist attack……….”

Things are beginning to get out of hand in this election year in the land of Milk and Honey, Fruits and Nuts. Any know-nothing xenophobe (who probably can’t even spell the word) can now point a finger at a fellow flight passenger and cause a lot of inconvenience and maybe some misery.

Guido Menzio is not even a Muslim or an Arab or a Pakistani. He is obviously an Italian or an Italian-American. So , because of his Mediterranean dark looks, and because he was solving some mathematics equations, probably some of the calculus problems we all did in college, he was suspected of terrorism. They thought the mathematical equations were some dangerous foreign language, like Arabic. He was profiled. Good thing he wasn’t writing music.

Moral of the story? There probably is none,  just that some people can’t tell a Hessian Matrix from a proverbial hole in the ground.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Fibonacci and a Series of a Gaggle of Crown Princes all F(King)………

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“The Fibonacci Sequence: is a series of numbers. The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it……….” Math is Fun

Saw headline by Saudi News Agency that the “Crown Prince to the Crown Prince” ولي ولي العهد has met with some Lebanese Druze warlord, and discussed regional whatever…..

This is probably a first in the world: an official titled crown prince to another titled crown prince. Just to keep the currently powerful branches of the family dynasty mollified if not satisfied. I tried to figure it out, or rather formalize it as an equation. Mathematically it could be:
Crown Prince= Crown Prince to the King= f(King)
Crown Prince to the Crown Prince= Crown Prince (Crown Prince to the King)= f(Crown Prince to the King))= f(f(King)). Some Math purists might prefer it as: g(f(king)).

Now suppose the family feud in Riyadh and Taif and Jeddah gets more complicated and more entangled among generations and various branches of the princes. There might be a Crown Prince to the Crown Prince of the Crown Prince ولي ولي ولي العهد . That would end up being: y(g(f(King))).

Meanwhile the bloody quagmire of the assault on Yemen continues and the self-inflicted budget deficit grows. There might be a serious split within the tribal ruling classes, one that is hard to cover up. So, it could also get worse, worse-r than the Fibonacci Sequence, but maybe not as long…………

P.S.: f stands for ‘function of'(…….). Nothing nefarious and no pun intended here. Honestly, cross my heart and hope to die.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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