Monday, June 05, 2006


JSH: SF might work, bad luck?

I had some math software once, and used it for a bit, but not recently.

I've looked at free packages and just never bothered to get one and learn how to use it.

And with my latest surrogate factoring idea, I sure could have used something to do all the math for me, but even if I'd had it, if I'd seen that result isolating z on the right, I probably would have tossed everything quickly.

Was it just bad luck that I focused on z?

It turns out that y can't solve as simply in terms of factors of the target T.

I don't know what that means yet as it still may be some trivial thing, but maybe it's not.

Maybe just such a slight little thing gives you surrogate factoring as I've envisioned it for years now, as I've searched for the right equations.

In disgust with myself I posted a bit from the pain earlier, but that's goes with the territory.

I see discovery as hunting for treasure. Sometimes it hurts. And sometimes it REALLY hurts.

I may be wrong, and I can handle that, but I need to know.

And to know, you have to get the ideas, and they have to be checked.

Sure, yes, maybe I should really get to getting the math software.

But I just don't feel motivated. I think it's better to put the ideas out there, and see if someone else in the world can verify.

When that stops working, I guess I may go to something else.

But for now, it's still working.

And with good reason, as if that simple change leads to a working surrogate factoring, then it makes a world of difference.

My research is exciting because I'm going for the hard stuff, looking for simple solutions.

Lots of people can follow along, and hope, and understand when I screw up.

But did I screw up this time? Probably. Maybe surrogate factoring is just one of those ideas that will never really fly, but now we get to wait, and hope someone out there in the world comes back with an answer.

And to me that's kind of exciting.

Did I just take a wrong turn at the end? Is it over for RSA? Or are these still just the ramblings of a "crank"?

[A reply to someone who said that James should learn pre-algebra, algebra, trig, and calculus.]

I have a B.Sc. in physics. I taught myself calculus when I was a kid, having to go back and teach myself trigonometry when I kept bumping into all these things with "sin" and "cos" in them in the calculus texts.

Kind of funny in retrospect as when I was a kid I wondered what "sin" had to do with math!

I taught myself geometry at Duke University as part of their Talent Identification Program (TIP).

When I was in high school a math teacher came across me working on partial differential equations and wanted to tutor me. History might have changed if I had accepted, but I was already too independent.

As a hobby when I was a kid I was fascinated with parabolas. I'd draw them, play with the equations for them. Trace out tangent lines, and marvel over their properties—and I liked to rotate them into hyperbolas. Just for fun.

One day in high school fascinated by a demonstration of gyroscopic properties, I worked out the differential equations explaining why. Yes there are other ways to do it but I used to be fascinated with vectors and vector calculus.

After that I had a different perspective when I saw a spinning football go straight.

I have forgotten more mathematics than most people ever learn.

I DID take abstract algebra at Duke after I finished up geometry, but found it dry and boring, so I put the book down. Ironic.

You people talk so much you believe your own nasty press about me.

I am way off the scale with my mathematical knowledge, and have been off the scale most of my life.

Of course, now some of you can start attacking Duke University and its gifted program.

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