Brian Shelburne's Alternate Home Page
This is my Working Home Page
The programmer, like
the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds
castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few
media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily
capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. Yet the program construct,
unlike the poet's words, is real in the sense that it moves and works,
producing visible outputs separate from the construct itself. It prints
results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and
legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a
keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were
nor could be. ... The computer resembles the magic of legend in this respect,
too. If one character, one pause, of the incantation is not strictly in proper
form, the magic doesn't work. Human beings are not accustomed to being perfect,
and few areas of human activity demand it. Adjusting to the requirement for
perfection is, I think, the most difficult part of learning to program.
- F. Brooks ("The Mythical Man
Month", pages 7-8)
Links to Talks I've Presented, Papers I've Written, Stuff I'm Interested In
From the U.S Constitution to IBM: Herman Hollerith, the 1890 Census, and the founding of IBM
Zuse’s Z3 Square Root Algorithm: How the Z3 computed a
square root; revised text of talk given at the Fall meeting of Ohio Section of
MAA in 1999.
Five Quadrable (Squarable) Lunes: a famous
problem with a 2500 year history
How the ENIAC Took a Square Root:
Revised text of a talk given at the Spring
meeting of the Ohio Section of the MAA in 2002.
Method for Extracting Cube Roots: Expanded text for a talk given at the
Spring meeting of the Ohio Section of the M.A.A. in 2005. Also available is a .pdf version
of the transparencies I used.
The First Use of a Computer
(the ENIAC) to Determine the Digits of pi. How I got interested in the problem and what I found out.
As a follow up I presented a contributed talk titled
Pi to 10,000 Digits
at the Spring Meeting of the Ohio Section of the M.A.A. in 2013 which filled in some of the details
for the ENIAC calculation.
From News Around the Hollow: The Pi Guy
March 2013 Pi Day Entry: The ENIAC and Pi
The ENIAC at 70: Details of the Euler-Heun Computation - on-line supplementary material giving the details of the Euler-Heun computation described in "The ENIAC at 70", Math Horizons, Volume 24, Issue 3, February 2017.
Ternary Notation: Revised text of talk given at the Spring meeting of the
Ohio Section of the MAA in 2006
Exploring Asymmetrical Results in Mathematics: Asymmetries in the Real Numbers Paper for MathFest 2019 and Poster of same title.
- A Mathematical Potpourri
: Conundrums, Puzzles, Tricks and Other Trivia -
.pdf file of PowerPoint presentation given on August 30, 2010 as part of "Math Monday" series
One of my favorites, the proof of the Schroeder-Bernstein Theorem that states for infinite sets A and B if |A| <= |B| and |B| <= |A| then |A| = |B|.
Four Architectures: How I taught Comp 255: Principles of Computer Organization using different computer simulators
Links to Other Interseting Sites - Some Humorous
Brian J. Shelburne
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
"Always do the right thing. This will gratify some people and
astonish the rest" - Mark Twain
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan
an invasion, butcher a hog, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give
orders, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects" - Lazarus Long from "Time Enough for
Love" by Robert Heinlein
"There probably is a God. Many things are easier to explain if there is than if there isn't" - John von Neumann