Author Archives: apgoucher

Tetrational machines

A pair of people called Pavel have independently developed remarkable automata that last record-breakingly long before halting. In both cases, the number of timesteps that it takes for each automaton to halt is so large that it cannot be written … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Infinitely many rational dodecahedra

Thomas Blok and David Madore have recently made significant progress on the problem of finding rational dodecahedra inscribed in the unit sphere, culminating in an infinite parametric family of solutions. In particular, Thomas began with the constrained version of the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments


A field F consists of two compatible Abelian groups — an additive group on F and a multiplicative group on F \ {0} — such that multiplication distributes over addition. In certain cases, though, this multiplicative group can be the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

29-year-old Conway conjecture settled

Ilkka Törmä and Ville Salo, a pair of researchers at the University of Turku in Finland, have found a finite configuration in Conway’s Game of Life such that, if it occurs within a universe at time T, it must have … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Training a random Gaussian generator

I’ve spent the last couple of months tackling the problem of designing an algorithm to rapidly generate high-quality normally-distributed pseudorandom numbers on a GPU. Whilst this may seem quite pedestrian, it turned out to be much more interesting than I’d … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Involutions on a finite set

Suppose that R is the (assumed to be finite) set of solutions to a certain problem, and you’re interested in determining the parity of |R|. The following proof strategy works surprisingly often, namely in at least two different scenarios, and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Hamming backups: a 2-of-3 variant of SeedXOR

EDIT (2021-10-14): I’ve written a reference implementation of the Hamming backup idea introduced in this article. SeedXOR is an approach for splitting a Bitcoin wallet seed, adhering to the BIP39 standard, into N ‘parts’ (each the same size as the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

An efficient prime for number-theoretic transforms

My new favourite prime is 18446744069414584321. It is given by , where . This means that, in the finite field , 2^32 functions as a primitive 6th root of unity, and therefore 2 is a primitive 192nd root of unity. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Hamming cube of primes

Given two nonnegative integers, m and n, we say that they are Hamming-adjacent if and only if their binary expansions differ in exactly one digit. For example, the numbers 42 and 58 are Hamming-adjacent because their binary expansions 101010 and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


I’d like to take this opportunity to highly recommend Oscar Cunningham’s blog. One of the posts, entitled A Better Representation of Real Numbers, describes an elegant order-preserving* bijection between the nonnegative reals [0, ∞) and ‘Baire space‘, , the space … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment