I went to hike Arthur’s Seat this morning, but it was too wet and dark. I made it between the Salisbury Crags, but slipped on some invisible rocks and almost twisted my ankle: time to turn back. It’s time to buy a flashlight (or “torch” as it’s called here).

I spent the morning at a Starbucks in Old Town, studying Mathematica. Mathematica is a programming language/environment from Wolfram Research. It can be used to do symbolic math in addition to ordinary numerical jazz.

If we want to find the golden ratio \(\phi\), defined by

\[ \phi + 1 = \phi^2 \]

We can ask Mathematica

Solve[x + 1 == x^2]

Which gives

{ {x -> 1/2 (1 - Sqrt[5])}, {x -> 1/2 (1 + Sqrt[5])} }

I learned a bit about image manipulation today. You can take an image of Elon Musk, and use the Laplacian Filter to do rudimentary edge detection.

elonImage ~ LaplacianFilter ~ 1

There’s a lot more to learn, and I’m going to learn as much as I can before classes start. Mathematica seems like a great environment to prototype algorithms and it has very nice integration of it’s graphics system with the rest of the ecosystem. It’s 3:19am and I haven’t slept. I imagine I’ll stay up and hike Arthur’s Seat at the normal time. Time to clean my room!