113 / 2011 Commutative diagrams in LaTeX

Mathematicians have been using diagrams of objects and arrows to explain their work since at least 1945. Conventially, these are called commutative diagrams (even when they don't commute). You have a choice of tools for making commutative diagrams in LaTeX.

Take a look at :: http://www.jmilne.org/not/CDGuide.html


112/2011 Saluting a mathematical genius

India celebrates 125 years of Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920). . It is so gratifying to note the way we are celebrating this gift India gave to mathematics.

THE HINDU, India's most respected newspaper, carries a full supplement of 8 pages dedicated to Ramanujan. It also carries a whole page interview with Robert Kanigel, author of Ramanujan's biography "The man who knew infinity". The year 2012 has been nominated as the year of Mathematics. 22 Dec.(his day of birth) will be declared as the "National Mathematics day". The Prime Minister of India will inaugurate the year-long celebrations. A movie on Ramanujan's life has been planned.

I can't help comparing this expression of celebrating mathematics, with the less than lukewarm attention this same newspaper gave to ICM 2010, a world class conference on mathematics, held in 2010 in Hyderabad.

In my own little way, I have added two books on mathematics/Ramanujan to
the Professor's bookshelf

Let us hope all this will inspire our future mathematicians, and bring us at least one more Ramanujan.



108/2011 Kathmandu -- Where sparrows greet you

The one thing which attracts me to Kathmandu is the chirping and frolic of sparrows everywhere. We have successfully banished them from all our towns and villages in India. In India, our children will see them only on TV, museums and blogs like this ::
. Or, if you want to see the real birds, come to Kathmandu.


107/2011 Books on history and mystery

There is a cop in every one of us. This set of books will educate all of us on how cops and criminals think. http://manipalblog.com/2011/04/7-books-to-read-before-you-diefor-history-mystery-lovers/.

I wish my students will read some of these books before attending my course on cryptography.



106/2011 The biggest e-governance project of the world uses FOSS !

I am proud to be an Indian, and a FOSS devotee

Imagine counting 1.2 Billion sheep before you go to sleep. Imagine having to give unique identification numbers to each sheep. This is exactly what the Adhaar project of India is trying to do. Aadhar (http://uidai.gov.in/) is a project of the Government of India, which involves assigning Unique Identification Numbers to each person living in India. India is the second most populous country of the world with about 1 170 938 000 people (basis Wikipedia http://www.google.co.in/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_pop_totl&idim=country:IND&dl=en&hl=en&q=india+population), which is about 17.5% of the world's population. To add to this huge challenge, the fact that India is not amongst the richest of nations, makes such a project an impossible feat. In addition to counting and identifying every individual, many demographic statistics and biometric indicators are also to be acquired and recorded for each person. India's most prestigious and mammoth e-governance project, makes it unique in the history of Information Technology. And, to assist them in this mammoth and ambitious task, the Government of India (Unique Identification Authority of India UIDAI), chose FOSS tools and technologies. The FOSS tools they chose include :: RabbitMQ, Mule, Hadoop, Pentaho, Apache Tomcat, Mongo DB, Apache Solr, MySQL + + + .

The unique ID is a 12 digit number with some interesting mathematical properties.

What more proof do you want about what FOSS can do for us all ? Why should we still be slaves to vendors who make and sell fliMSy, and cluMSy products ?

Aadhar provides a flood of opportuniies for FOSS developers, to develop related applications.

I am proud to be an Indian, and a FOSS devotee, and I have got my Adhaar number.

(Based on a story which appears in Linux For You, December 2011)


105 / 2011 And now, it is the turn of Bulgaria

And now, it is the turn of Bulgaria to learn about Partha's Linux efforts. Partha's Linux post-installation HOWTO is in Bulgarian language !

See ::

Partha's Linux documents have already been translated into :: Japanese, Dutch, French, Turkish, Russian, Spanish, German. Details are available at :: http://algolog.tripod.com/linux1.htm

Thank you Mr. Albertio Ward ( albertioward@gmail.com ).

104/2011 Managing bibliography lists

Take note, ye LaTeX lovers: BibTex is pass\'{e}. Try :: # biblatex, natbib, Biber

Start here ::http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/25701/bibtex-vs-biber-and-biblatex-vs-natbib

103/2011 Direct manipulation interface

A new way to look at GUI -- Direct manipulation interface.

For my friends who have not understood the meaning of GUI, here is something more to learn ::


102/2011 How good a teacher was I ?

This is what my latest batch of students say. This feedback was obtained at the end of my course on crytography, at Kathmandu, Nepal. Take a look :


101/2011 Reason to rejoice !

I made it !

I just posted my 100th entry for 2011 in my "Professor's blog", located at http://partha-the-prof.blogspot.com/2011/12/designing-feedback-forms-for.html.
This is in addition to 24 posts in my "personal blog", and innumerable tweets on Twitter. Of course, I must add the countless additions I made to my web sites. All of this has generated a fan following, and friends, for me worldwide.

The greatest beneficiaries have been my students and my colleagues. Let me quote an email I received just now : QUOTE Prof. Partha: It is very interesting your Web page. I am enjoying it and learning. Thank you again, it is very kind of you. With all my respects to you, from Venezuela, Hugo Rincon.UNQUOTE

For 13 long years, a bunch of incompetent and mentally retarded clowns mocked at me at the place where I worked. In fact, they finally managed to sink the very organisation which they were pretending to manage. Their company is now extinct and fossilised. It is true that, to destroy an empire all you need is a bunch of irresponsible and incompetent mininsters (or, shall we say, Managers ?). By contrast, I am now noticed, respected and recognised, by scholars and students all around the world. It is now my turn to mock, and laugh at those imbeciles.



Designing feedback forms for educational courses

Obtaining and analysing participant feedback is an important part of any educational course. Whereas the instructor and his superiors are keen to get honest and frank feedback, often the participants themselves do not have enough motivation to spend time and effort in this exercise. Feedback should be made a painless exercise, both for the teacher and the taught. This article summarises some design considerations for feedback sessions. As usual, feedback on this article itself is welcome. Please send your opinions and suggestions to the author.

This paper will soon be aceessible at :: http://www.freewebs.com/profpartha/publications/downloadables.htm

You can also request a copy from drpartha.



How technology helps learning

Personal Learning Networks


Create your own PLN today !


The best reward for teaching at KU

The monastery at Namo Buddha (link) can be reached from Dhulikhel (or KU) by road. It is about 15 kilometres away. The sinuous and bumpy road takes you uphill, through some spectacular scenery. At the summit you find a beautiful monastery, the kind you see in your dreams. This is the site, they say, where a young Prince sacrificed his own body, to save a starving tigress which had just given birth to five cubs. The Prince was reincarnated, and later became Buddha.

Namo Buddha, is a place worth visiting. My visit was made possible, because of my stay at Kathmandu University for teaching cryptography.

Be ready for some adventure (ride on the bus rooftop), if you plan to go to Namo Buddha by bus !


Teaching in Nepal

I wish I had seen this earlier ::


About the great rewards, I agree fully. In fact, I can list out some other rewards too (e.g. Nepalese gifts like "Dhaka topi" , "khada", and lovely objets d'art). And, the experience itself is a great reward.

Thank you Nepal.


PS:: What did I tecah in Nepal ? See here ::


Is a bicycle "user friendly" ?

I am amazed by the naivity of many of my colleagues, most of whom are MS worshippers, who claim that a software is "user friendly" if it has a GUI. This is like saying that a bicycle is no good because it does not have a mouse and GUI. There is lot more to user friendliness than usage of a mouse.

Just because a product has a GUI, it does not become superior to anything. In fact the colours and the frills become just a camouflage to cover its flaws. Reminds me of a saying attributed to Albert Einstein ::: "Two things are infinite : the Universe, and human stupidity. I am not sure about the Universe"

Watch this space for more discussions on this subject.


Comparing apples and oranges, statistically speaking.


Some time ago I gave a lecture in Nepal Engg. College Kathmandu (Changunarayan), on the use of FOSS in teaching. One of the examples I chose was about R (a FOSS package for statistics). One teacher took the standard and stale stand about "user friendliness" of SPSS with respect to R. The argument, predictably went around in circles. I now have a more profound anser to that person's remarks. Since I do not know his name, I hope he will be reading this blog, and will realise the fallacy of his arguments.

Please take a look at ::


Most Interesting Websites

Web site designers can learn a thing or two from ::


And, they say, India is a poor country....

Is India really a poor country ?


And, how about some innovative toilets ?

Take a look and feel jealous ::



PS I made this blog entry, just to remind our educational institutions about the need to provide clean and aesthetic toilets in Universities and colleges. All you need is a little thoughtfulness and imagination.

Libraries of the world

Visit all amazing libraries. Take a look at ::


I hope can visit the most famous library of the world :: Alexandrina some day before I die.



The penguin in the court

QUOTE The Supreme Court of India has directed all courts across the nation to switch over to Ubuntu 11.04 as their pimary operating system. A free SMS channel has also been created to increase awareness about the features and functionality of Ubuntu Linux OS among judicial officers, technical personnel, and other members of the court's staff. UNQUOTE

(Linux for You, November 2011)


PS: This is in addition to the amazing list posted in my earlier blog entry.

Amazing list of Linux users.

Here is an
amazing list of Linux users worldwide.

How much more of dilly dallying do you want to do ?

At least, take a look at this list, and see for yoursel what you have been missing.


PS: I felt proud to notice that India is listed twice --Tamilnadu state (my birth place), and Kerala state )I taught there).


Interesting property of Fibonacci series

When we take a look at Fibonacci series, through modulo arithmetic, we get some interesting observations :


Maths is interesting, because there is so much beauty to discover.


PS: This was a question in my exam for Kathmandu Uiniversity students.


How good is your password ?

To all my students who attended my recent course on cryptography and e-security, at Kathmandu University ::

Remember my long discourses on using strong passwords ? I found a cute tool which helps you visualise how good/strong your password is. IT gives you individual scores on various parameters which decide the strength of a password, and also an overall score for your password.

Great tool. Try it. Use it every time you choose a password.

The tool is here ::http://www.passwordmeter.com/

Never take chances with security.



Cryptography and e-security questions

I just finished delivering a course on cryptography and e-security, at Kathmandu University. The end-term question paper is here.

The suggested solutions will also be posted on the web, soon.

Watch this space !



It's hard to say goodbye

It is hard to say goodbye,
to a land where nature is in full bloom,
where the hills are so inviting,
where people know how to smile,
where Buddha was born,
where Siva reigns as Pashupatinath,
where the snow is warm and the sun is cool,
where my students live, and learn,
where my daughter has her nest,
so, let me just say:


There is hope for Nepal

As long as there are colleges like NEC and teachers like Daya Ram Budhathoki, there is hope for Nepal. Wish them good luck and success.


Dear Dr. Partha,
Thank you very much for your wonderful and expert presentation in Foss for educational institution at Nepal Engineering College. I think your lecture definitely gave some rays of hope on migrating to Linux from pirated version of Windows and other proprietary software.

I hope, NEC in coming days,will be using:
1. GCC compiler instead of Turbo C for C and C++ lab.
2. KOHA for Library Management System
3. Scilab for Matlab
4. OpenOffice.org instead of Micorsoft word.
5. Mysql or Postgresql instead of Oracle
6. Moodle for For Course Management System
7. iTALC for intelligent Teaching and Learning with Computers.
8. Latex for Documentation, Thesis and Report writing.
9.Linux System instead of Microsoft
I would like to appeal all the faculty members, students, management committee and non teaching staff to promote open source movement in Nepal Engineering College. Really, there is no doubt you will feel the liberty in Linux that you will never experience in Microsoft Windows.

Thank you.

Lecturer. Daya Ram Budhathoki
Nepal Engineering College
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Changunarayan, Bhaktapur
Mob. no:977-1-9741213794
Email: dayaramb@nec.edu.np


Indian impact

Spent a day today (2011/11/17) at Nepal Engg. College, (NEC) Bhaktapur, Nepal. Showed them why colleges like NEC should adopt FOSS more vigorously. I think I created a good impact. Let us wait and watch.



India does it again !

Today's (14 Nov. 2011) Google doodle is from India !

I understand that this Children's Day (14 Nov.) Google Doodle is Drawn by 7 Year-old Girl "Varsha Gupta" from Greater Noida, Congrats Varsha Gupta.



Crptography Course- V2 (KU2011-COMP560) website ::


Class #DateEvents (Each lecture is for 2 hours)
992013/01/13Lab session Recursive use of gpg for encrypting an entire partition or entire drive contents.
202013/01/11Lab session. Creating a fortress. Recursive use of md5 and digital signature.
192012/12/30Lab session . Key signing party. KU web of trust KUWOT.
182012/12/30Lab session . Use of md5sum and sha1sum.
172012/12/30Guest lecture by Prof. PR Adhikary. Algebraic systems.
162012/12/30PGPNET review. Briefing on lab. sessions.
14, 152012/12/28 Guest lecture by Prof. P. R. Adhikary. Overview of Algebraic systems.
SSL explained. X509 certificates. SSL protocol
2012/12/25LaTeX hands-on Workshop Day 2/2
2012/12/23LaTeX hands-on Workshop Day 1/2
132012/12/21RSA overview. Overview of network security tools. IPV4 vs IPV6. Firewalls, IP chains vs IP tables. IPSEC. SSL/TLS. Root certificate.
11,122012/12/16(09-hashmd5) Hash digests. md5 and sha family. Applications. Digital signatures. Use in creating a secure CDROM (How to build a fortress).
{08-cryptstandards.odp}Crypto standards. DES, 3DES, AES. Elgamal, DH Key exchange.
102012/12/14Review of GPG exercise. (07-numbertheory.odp)Number theory principles. Interruptions due to power failure.
08,092012/12/09(06-pgp97.odp)PGP/GPG. Use of Konqueror, Kleopatra. Keys creation and management, encrypt, sign, verify, decrypt. Class interrupted due to power failure.

(05-keys.odp)Keys management, Use of key server. Key strength. Video by Terrence Spies. (07-numbertheory.odp)Number theory principles.
072012/12/07(06-pgp97.odp)PGP/GPG. Use of KGPG. Keys creation and management, encrypt, sign, verify, decrypt. Class interrupted due to power failure.
06 2012/12/02(04.secure97odp) Cryptography contd. Using vi and zip for symm. key crypto. Extending Caesar's cipher. Viginere cipher. XOR cipher. Feistel networks.
05 2012/12/02Invited lecture -- Dr. K jha. Principles of algebra.
04 2012/11/30(04.secure97odp) Cryptography essentials. Sita and Rama in cryptography. Symm. key crypto. Caesar's cipher. Asymm. key crypto. Trapdoor functions. Factoring problem. Discrete logarithm problem.
03 2012/11/25(03-linuxsecu.odp) How Linux does it. Security tools in Linux.
022012/11/25(02-bewarealways.odp) Information security, basics, issues, threats, remedies. Internet fraud.
012012/11/23(00-takeoff.odp) Course inauguration by Dean (Engg.). Take off lecture. Course Overview. Security awareness questionnaire.
xx2013/01/20Scheduled end of course.
xx2013/01/24Scheduled Final exam
xx2013/01/27Scheduled declaration of results


Dennis Ritchie RIP

After a long illness, Dennis Ritchie (1941-2011), father of Unix and an esteemed computer scientist, died last weekend at the age of 70.

Ritchie, also known as “dmr”, is best known for creating the C programming language as well as being instrumental in the development of UNIX along with Ken Thompson.

All of us Linux/Unix lovers owe a lot to this genius who gave us so much.

His death follows that of another prominent figure :: Steve Jobs of Apple computers fame. Perhaps the best tribute to Dennis and Steve is the one which says :: Dennis Ritchie: The shoulders Steve Jobs stood on.

May their souls rest in peace and guide us.



A lovely quote

A lovely quote I found on the maths blog I mentined a few minutes ago ::


Dream on. I wished that I could travel back in time. To the year 1914 for example. I would go to Cambridge, England. I would take Number Theory lectures from G.H. Hardy and would make friends with Srinivasa Ramanujan. On the way back to 2011 I would stop the clock somewhere in the midst of World War II, to meet Alan Turing to watch him cracking the Enigma code.


Another matho clock

Thank GOD, they don't make clocks like this.

Maths lovers will love this clock

I found this clock on the web, while I was looking for material for my course on cryptography. How many of the numbers on the clock can you recognise and explain ? Have fun.

The clock was found in a graetly interesting maths blog ::



Ultimate list to download free e-Books

Who does not need books ? Who does not like free books ?

This is where you must start if you are not in the above list of "who"::


Enjoy !



Carrying Linux to the Himalayas

It is now almost certain, Inshallah, Partha will conduct a course on cryptography using GPG/Linux/FOSS tools in Kathmandu, Nepal. There will also be some encounters with the FOSS community in Nepal. Watch this space.



Ignore this sane advice

If you have not done till now, do it today. Visit the FSF site, and learn about the perils of getting kidnapped by propreitary software vendors (read Microsoft) ::
Ignore this sane advice if you are a suicide seeking sado-masochist.


Flattering news for Microsoft IE users ....

We knew it all along. It is now official.

Read :: "It’s official: Internet Explorer users are dumb"



Recognising symbols in LaTeX

You found a queer symbol in a LaTeX text. Want to know how to make it in your own document too ?
Just draw it by hand and let this applet classify it with standard LaTeX symbols. Works like magic.



Looking for great blogs ??

Looking for great blogs written by teachers like you and me ? Looking for some inspiration ?

Start here :: http://edublogawards.com/2009/best-teacher-edublog-2009/



Yet another remarkable mathematics blog YARMB

Take a look ::



Fact of life .......be prepared

There was a farmer who collected horses; he only needed one more breed to complete his collection. One day, he found out that his neighbor had the particular horse breed he needed. So, he constantly botheredhis neighbor until he sold it to him. A month later, the horse became ill and he called the veterinarian, who said: Well, your horse has a virus. He must take this medicine for three days. I’ll come back on the 3rd day and if he’s not better, we’re going to have to put him down.

Nearby, the pig listened closely to their conversation.The next day, they gave him the medicine and left.The pig approached the horse and said: Be strong, my friend. Get up or else they’re going to put you to sleep!

On the second day, they gave him the medicine and left.The pig came back and said: Come on buddy, get up or else you’re going to die! Come on, I’ll help you get up. Let’s go! One, two, three…

On the third day, they came to give him the medicine and the vet said:Unfortunately, we’re going to have to put him down tomorrow. Otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses. After they left, the pig approached the horse and said: Listen pal, it’s now or never! Get up, come on! Have courage! Come on! Get up! Getup! That’s it, slowly! Great! Come on, one, two, three… Good, good.

Now faster, come on…. Fantastic! Run, run more! Yes! Yay! Yes!
You did it, you’re a champion!!! All of a sudden, the owner came back, saw the horse running in the field and began shouting: It’s a miracle!

My horse is cured. This deserves a party. Let’s kill the pig!

Point for reflection: This often happens in the workplace. Nobody truly knows which employee actually deserves the merit of success, or who’s actually contributing the necessary support to make things happen.


A teacher's charter

For all teachers, academicians and administrators to see and respect :::


1. Teaching is not a science, it is an art, and should be treated as such.
2. Students are not customers (“persons who buy”) – they are clients (“persons who seek the advice of a professional man or woman”).
3. “Good learning experience” means mastering something new and advanced. To help his/her students, a university teacher has to be able to transform and restructure highly complex material from his/her subject area into a form suitable and accessible to the learners.
4. This cannot be achieved without teachers being experts in their disciplines.
5. Successful and inspirational teaching is a highly individual skill. The choice of teaching methods should reflect not only specifics of the target audience, but also the experience, teaching philosophy and individual psychophysiological characteristics of the teacher.
6. Structuring of the learning environment, choice of teaching and assessment methods have to be subject specific.
7. Values, standards, criteria of assessment in learning and teaching have to originate in, and be set by, the professional academic communities of their particular subject areas.
8. The role of managers is to create an environment which helps professional standards to be maintained; however, managers should not interfere in setting the standards.




A grateful student

It feels nice to notice that there are still some grateful students in this world.


Dear Dr.Partha,

I want to thank you sooo much for your great effort done with me and also for your golden advices that really helped me a lot , and I do appreciate the time you give me just to help me , and I finally want to say that you changed my opinion about a lot of professors who never help someone without something in return.


Best Regards,

Israa Abd El-Ghaffar Salem Mohamed*
Zagazig University-Egypt


No nonsense intro to group theory

The intriguing concept of group theory is a nightmare for many learners (and teachers) of mathematics. Here is a no-nonsense way to approach this subject ::


Discover and enjoy !



Tamil + Latex + lots of effort

After almost 6 months of painfully long experimentation, I have managed to resolve a fairly tricky problem. Thanks to the help from my knowldgeable friends I have learnt how to create multilingual documnts using LaTeX. A final report is available at :



Endless fun and dicovery .....

To learn some fascinating aspects of maths ::



Are you struggling with your maths?

Maybe you are suffering from from dyscalculia, the mathematical equivalent of dyslexia. But unlike many dyslexia sufferers, you probably haven't received the help you need to cope with your condition. Get more details here ::http://plus.maths.org/content/struggling-your-maths

Tamil+LaTeX+Linux ... end of the tunnel

After almost 2 years of effort and struggle, I am reaching the end of the tunnel. I will soon be explaining how I managed to get Tamil+LaTeX+Linux work togther, to typeset a Tamil + English document.

Watch this space for details.


A mysterious number .....

What is so special about this number ? Read::



Thus spake Jesus Christ.....

My experience with this college in Chemperi, Kerala, reminds me
of Jesus Christ.

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are
doing" (Luke 23:34)


(Watch this space. More to come)

Graph colouring...a word of caution

Added some more of my ideas about graph colouring. Take a look at ::




A mathematician's apology

A Mathematician's Apology is a 1940 essay by British mathematician G. H. Hardy. It concerns the aesthetics of mathematics with some personal content, and gives the layman an insight into the mind of a working mathematician. Hardy uses the word "apology" in the sense of a formal justification or defense (as in Plato's Apology of Socrates), not in the sense of a plea for forgiveness. (quoted from Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Mathematician%27s_Apology ).

You can download this famous document from ::


This is a "must read" for all my students, and colleagues.

And those want to know about Hardy, must see ::

Hardy was the guru and mentor of Srinivasa Ramanujan. In an interview by Paul Erdős, when Hardy was asked what his greatest contribution to mathematics was, Hardy unhesitatingly replied that it was the discovery of Ramanujan. He called their collaboration "the one romantic incident in my life.


Well said...Prof. Einstein

(About mathematics) :: Why does this magnificent applied science, which saves work
and makes life easier, bring us so little happiness? The simple
answer runs: Because we have not yet learned to make sensible
use of it.
Albert Einstein


Honey, I lost that file ........sorry

Coming soon ... a short lesson on how to prevent accidental deletion or overwriting of your precious files. Now you can be sure you wont cause a disaster by doing an unintended rm, mv or cp. The lesson will be put up on the web soon, at my "downloadables" page.

You will never have to put up a long, sad face and say "Honey, I lost that file ....sorry".

Enjoy Linux,



A tutorial about graph colouring

I have added a new tutorial ::


Take a look, and send me your comments (and the box of chocolates).


Graph theory and LaTeX

Found two blogs, on topics very close to my heart :: graph theory, LaTeX. People like me will enjoy these two sites ::


The above blog has moved to wordpress (from blogspot) ::::::


Many thanks to my invisible guru Prof. Christopher Mawata for directing me to this site. I have to learn a lot from you Sir,



Hyderabad Professor honoured again.

Prof C R Rao, eminent statistician and mathematician, is currently emeritus Professor at Hyderabad Ubiversity.
In addition to many awards and honours he has earned, he was recently honoured with he Royal Statistical Society’s Guy Gold medal.

Prof. C.R. Rao, is the first Asian to receive the Royal Statistical Society’s (TRSS) Guy Gold medal, the highest honour in statistics in the United Kingdom. TRRS ::


Prof. Rao is the prime mover for CR Rao Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (aka AIMSCS), located at the University of Hyderabad.


Congrats to you Sir. We are blessed to have you with us.


Why you should not be a maths Professor

Why you should not be a maths Professor ::




Typesetting Tamil text in Latex -- an experiment

I have uploaded just now, a preview version of a report on typesetting bilingual documents (Tamil and English). Take a look at :
and send me your comments and suggestions.

Thank you.



Graph colouring (coloring)

Graph colouring is an interesting and computationally hard problem in graph theory. It has applications in a wide variety of areas. Although the problem is very simple to state, the underlying principles are often very hard to understand. Solving the graph colouring problem is a challenging exercise.
The only general solution to finding an optimal graph
coloring is exhaustive search. This strategy can become prohibitively expensive, as the graph size increases.
It is alo very difficult to get good material which one can read, and approach graph colouring problems.

I found a good starting point for the exploration of graph colouring. This overview of graph colouring, created by two Professors of the Danish institute IMADA (belonging to the University of Southern Denmark )

, gives an exhaustiv overview of graph colouring.

You can find the overview at ::



Dirty games, nasty players

How Nintendo gaming makes you lame :


Take your own precautions.

Read also ::

kindle swindle : http://www.defectivebydesign.org/amazon-kindle-swindle

ipad is bad : http://www.defectivebydesign.org/ipad



One more source for graph theory

A very well done paper on graph thoery, mostly on the applications of graph theory ::


Take a look.


Beware of flipflopkart

What do they sell ?

They sell mousetraps. That is why they use a mouse in all their adverts.

For more horror stories, take a look at ::





Graph theory

I found two good (too good) sites for learning graph theory. These sites include hyperlinked texts for various graph theory concepts. They also give very neatly made animations for graph theory. Take a look ::


I have received a good book on graph theory. I have given a short review in my "bookshelf" page:


Take a look.



India's fastest super computer uses Open source software

Indian Space Research Organisation has built a supercomputer, which is to be
India’s fastest in terms of theoretical peak performance of 220 TeraFLOPS
(220 Trillion Floating Point Operations per second).

“SAGA-220” is fully designed and built by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre using
commercially available hardware, open source software components and in
house developments.

The system is environmentally green and consumes a power of only 150 KW.
This system can also be easily scaled to many PetaFLOPS (1000 TeraFLOPS)



An autograph or a kiss ?

Raymond Smullyan teaches a clever and honest method of earning a kiss. See ::


He teaches a less elegant way to plant a kiss. See ::

In case you are wondering who this pervert Raymond Smullyan is, look at my blog entry "The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever " (given below).


Maths is no fun.... who says ?

Read these .....
http://blog.tanyakhovanova.com/?cat=9 (this one was written by a mathematician)

http://www.math.ualberta.ca/~runde/jokes.html (this one was written by a maths Prof)

....and now ask yourself the same question again.


The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever

The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever -- by Raymond Smullyan

I have just received a book on logic puzzles, by Raymond Smullyan. Smullyan would be best described as the craziest and most gifted person in this world. He is a mathematician, a concert pianist, logician, writer, magician, conjurer, raconteur, all packed in one. Here is a masterpiece which I found on the Internet :

In 1992, George Boolos called the following "the hardest logic puzzle ever". I figured that people here would especially like it. It's certainly a Raymond Smullyan inspired puzzle and goes as follows.

"Three gods A, B, and C are called, in some order, True, False, and Random. True always speaks truly, False always speaks falsely, but whether Random speaks truly or falsely is a completely random matter. Your task is to determine the identities of A, B, and C by asking three yes-no questions; each question must be put to exactly one god. The gods understand English, but will answer all questions in their own language, in which the words for yes and no are 'da' and 'ja', in some order. You do not know which word means which."

Just for the sake of clarity, George Boolos gives the following four clarifications: (1) It could be that one god gets asked more than one question (and thus, some god is not asked any question at all). (2) What the second question is, and to which god it is put, may depend on the answer to the first question (likewise, for the third question). (3) Whether Random speaks truly or not should be thought of as depending on the flip of a coin hidden in his brain: if the coin comes down heads, he speaks truly; if tails, falsely. (4) Random will answer 'da' or 'ja' when asked any yes-no question.

Good luck!


PS: The person who solves the above puzzle will be declared as the "second Smullyan", in this blog. You can email me your ssolutions.

PPS : To know more about Raymond Smullyan, visit ::

PPPS: A solution is here.

PPPPS: This problem is described here


Proof of the drunken bird theorem

Proof of the drunken bird theorem is here :::



Math overflow ??

"A drunk man will find his way home, but a drunk bird may get lost forever." -- this statement is based on a serious math principle involving random walks.

want to know how ?

Welcome to MathOverflow

A place for mathematicians to ask and answer questions.



Discover theoretical computer science

The journey is endless. There is no limit to discovery and learning.

The proof is here :: http://cstheory.stackexchange.com/


Amazing source of computer science knowledge...

This where you should go, to learn more about computer science :::



PS This source was discovered at the twitter site of Pramode CE ::


Pramode is a FOSS wiazard, based in Calicut.


OOPS ! Mistake.

Ubuntu has apparently discontinued its habit of sending a free DVD. I dont find any mention in the Ubuntu site.

How sad !


One more Ubuntu !

The next version of Ubuntu Linux is here. Code named ::"Natty Narwhal", Ubuntu 11.04 is available for download NOW !

Visit http://www.ubuntu.com for details.

The Narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale that lives year-round in the Arctic.

Ubuntu releases a new version every six months in October (series 10) and April (series 04). The first two digits indicate the year (11 stands for 2011). Each version is named after a not so common animal. The animal name is preceded by an adjective, creating an interesting alliteration.

Ubuntu is a very popular distribution of GNU/LInux, based on the Debian distribution. It is available for free (gratis) download, and is also available as a free (gratis) DVD.



Does GOD read blogs ?

A blog entry I wrote five years ago ( July 2006), true even today.


Does GOD read blogs ?

I hope he does. In fact, I am sure, HE does. After all, HE is the
master of all universe, and the one who makes us write blogs.

And, if HE is reading this blog now, I would like to ask him to
help my friends, my colleauges and my students. I created this
blog site, with the noble aim of helping my students and
colleagues. I thought I could share all that I learnt after years
and years of frustrating effort. I was born and grew up in an age
when the Internet was still not born. I begged people to lend me
books and show me the way. I have gone many places on this earth,
just to get that little extra which I had not learnt. And now, in
my last few years on this earth, I am trying to seed this
knowledge in the minds of people younger than me. Alas, nobody
seems to be interested. Nobody seems to read any of my blogs, or
my papers or my CDs. I am a hardcore technocrat computer
scientist. I can use only these tools. Oh GOD please hear my
prayer -- please wake up my sleeping country men. Lead them
forward from darkness to light. Help them understand that they
are losing a very good opportunity.

GOD I will be thankful to you, if you can help me change at least
one person on this earth, before you haul me up to your place.

Rest when we meet at your place, my Lord.




expeyes is a hradware and software framework for creating an electronics and physics laboratory where you can acquire data and display the same in real time. Analog voltages, in +/- 5 volts range, are measured with 12 bit resolution (around 1.25 millivolts) and time intervals with one microsecond. This project is based on Free and Open Source software, mostly written in Python programming language. The hardware design is also open.

The expeyes website is :: http://expeyes.in/

This is an ideal tool for engineering colleges.

You can contact zyxware (based in Trivandrum, Kerala) at 9446069446 or sales@zyxware.com for help in this matter.


Useful bookmarklets

A huge collection of useful bookmarklets, to make web surfing a pleasure ::


And one more huge collection ::



The writing on the wall (web)

Found an interesting site showing statistics of browser popularity ::


The statistics is very clear ---- Internet explorer cannot match the popularity of Firefox. And one more observation I made--- IE's populaarity is steadily falling. Conclusion :: the cancer is on its way out. Thank GOD !


Firefox 4 is out ....

The next gen open source browser , Firefox, is out. You can download it from here .....


Try it out.



Spectacular astronomy pictures from NASA

Take a look ::

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Have fun !


An amazing teacher

I came across the website of Prof. GARY T. LEAVENS (leavens@eecs.ucf.edu) of the Universsity of
Central Florida, USA. He has an amazing variety of achievements. His web site is an inspiration and gold mine for all of us teachers. Let us try and emulate his way of inspiring people.

Prof. Leavens website is at ::




Problem solving books in mathematics

A good compilation of maths books is at :

This compilation was made by the same student from IIT Kharagpur, who was so very upset by the quality of his teachers (see my blog post "Lament of a student". Instead of brushing him aside as a "grumbler", I am happy that I decided to listen (that is what teachers should be doing).

I am sure this list should be useful for many of my colleague teachers.



Lament of a student

I received this mail recently from a student of maths. If this is what a student feels, we teachers have a lot to think about.


QUOTE //**
Dear Sir,

I am third year undergraduate student at Dept of Mathematics, IIT KGP. And the first thing I would like to say is that the Department Sucks!
I apologize for the language but this is the best I can do considering the enormous amount of frustration I have right now.

I love maths (mainly pure maths) and I am pretty good at it, well at least good enough to understand and appreciate the beauty and depth of this subject. I was up all night going through the awesome library of math books that I have created at my room, solving some olympiad problems and now I'll sleep till the evening missing all my lectures. Is it the right thing to do? Well if the "professors" who teach us maths have no love for the subject or teaching then I think that it is. And I even have real doubts about the competence of some profs as well. Ask them a problem and they'll fumble and they'll ask for some time till the next class and even then it seems like they just mugged up a solution.

It's pathetic! I want to complain, I want to shout at the administration, at the profs, abuse them! But I can't, because I fear they'll ruin my only chance of escape - going for a PhD in maths at a better place, a place where the people teach because they love teaching and because they are good at it.

I am sorry for bothering you with this mail, but after reading your article I felt that you are one of those people who can understand my frustration and I felt like venting.


The article which provoked the above mail is here ::



Squid proxy server

Beginner's Guide Available for Squid Proxy Server 3.1

The widely used web proxy server Squid is used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other people running web sites to make web access more efficient, for example by locally storing ("caching") web content that is frequently used. Read more, at ::



Abel Prize 2011

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2011 to John Milnor, Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Stony Brook University, New York “for pioneering discoveries in topology, geometry and algebra”. Professor Milnor has received all the major awards in Mathematics: He was awarded the Fields Medal in 1962, the Wolf Prize in 1989 and is the only person to have won all the three Steele Prizes of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) in 1982, 2004 and early this year for seminal contribution to research, for mathematical exposition and for lifetime achievement respectively. He also received the U.S. National Medal of Science in 1967.

Prof Milnor's biography is at

Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829) was a brilliant Norwegian mathematician who accomplished an amazing amount of brilliant work in his short lifetime. Abel died of tuberculosis at the age of 26 after being forced to live in miserable conditions because of his inability to obtain a university post. The offer of a professorship in Berlin was not forthcoming for four years, by which time it was too late. The letter arrived two days after Abel's death, informing him that he had been offered professorship at the University of Berlin.


In GOD's own country

Visited Vimal Jyothi engineering College, Chemperi, near kannur, Kerala. This college, located in a remote and isolated village, in the midst of a thick forest of rubber trees, gives a paradise like feeling. I hope to be able to visit this place more often.

Talking Linux in GOD's own country

Just back from a trip to Kerala aka "GOD's own country". Had a pleasant experience of talking about Linux at Vimal Jyothi Engineering College (VJEC), Chemperi, near Kannur, Kerala. I also had the pleasure of eplaining the benefits of FOSS, to the teaching staff and Administrators of VJEC.


Linux wallpapers

I have created and uploaded a bunch of pictures for use as the wallpaper ib your Linux boxes. Take a look, and download these pictures, from ::


Have fun !



Mailing list guidelines

A well-written (and maintained) set of guidelines for those who use and manage mailing lists ::


Take a look.


FOSS related jobs

Looking for a job ? Are you a FOSS enthusiast ?
Start here ::

All the best !


PS This site is also good for people who need FOSS gurus. Try posting your job offer here.


Redhat Basics -- Video tutorials

Balasubramian Natarajan has put up some video tutorials about Redhat Linux basics, on You tube;:


RH033-1: Part 1 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P53tGgg9TBw
RH033-1: Part 2 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1s0Hr3zT6Y
RH033-1: Part 3 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c8omF8ev6Y

RH033-2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY2lGPgIeuY
RH033-3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaiBhxVNKZA
RH033-4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V02Axx0jD0
RH033-5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG_GlhrBz8s
RH033-6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV4HxiYcjEM
RH033-7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veLlkOv-rEs
RH033-8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxGm4lhvs08


RH033-1 Part1of3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIqxvz-Svv0
RH033-1 Part2of3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tW59HJbqCs
RH033-1 Part3of3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvcHSZQLa7U

RH033-2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6YXfUG2Evw
RH033-3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPl3GDLRcUE
RH033-4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFJy_ZqStoI
RH033-5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql4nK01JQKk

RH033-6 PartA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNaCv3iS8vg
RH033-6 PartB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuwEx1XYPZo

RH033-7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=766P8nNrVq8
RH033-8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfzp2n0b5Lg

This is Bala's youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/BalaTutor

Take a look.


PS If you have problems watching Youtube videos, you can get a CDROM with all the videos, from me. drpartha AT gmail DOT com

Ubuntu event .... on the web

The Ubuntu Developer Week event will take place from February 28th to
March 4th, 2011, and will cover several aspects of Ubuntu development,
from crash-courses in getting started with working on Ubuntu to more
advanced topics.

Join #ubuntu-classroom on irc.freenode.net from 28th Feb to 4th Mar
and check out https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDeveloperWeek for more

Ubuntu developers and enthusiasts wanting to contribute will get
together online for five days of sessions hosted by some of Ubuntu's
greatest developers.

Here are some of the topics the developers will go over in the sessions:

· Getting Started with Ubuntu Development;
· How to use Ubuntu Distributed Development;
· How to get changes into Ubuntu;
· How to make changes in stable releases of Ubuntu;
· How to collaborate with Debian;
· Getting new apps into Ubuntu;
· Unity hacking (fixing Unity bugs, writing compiz plugins, learning libunity);
· Ubuntu One App Programme;
· Hooking in Ubuntu translations;
· How to write IRC bots;
· How to use Zeitgeist;
· How to use TestDrive;
· Ubuntu 11.04 stuff: Unity 2D, OMAP4 and ARM, Q&A with Ubuntu
Engineering Director, etc;
· Helping out the LoCo Directory;
· Django hacking;
· How to get better bug reports;
· Boto EC2 Cloud API;
· How to use Launchpad’s Daily Builds;
· and much more!

To participate, all you have to do is join the #ubuntu-classroom
channel on irc.freenode.net. Sessions start Monday, February 28th,
2011 at 16:00 UTC. The odd hour was chosen to accommodate for as many
people from around the world as possible.

The main channel will be in English, to ensure that the highest number
of people can join, but there will be translations in several
languages for those who aren't comfortable enough with their English
to ask questions. Translations include: German, French, Italian,
Catalan, Finnish, Danish and Spanish.

In only 5 years, Ubuntu has become the most popular Linux-based
operating system in the world with millions of users. Did you ever
wondered how the Ubuntu development works? Do you want to know how to
get involved yourself? You can get more information about Ubuntu
Developer Week here.


My Life with GNU/Linux : http://goinggnu.wordpress.com
Free/Open Source Jobs : http://fossjobs.in


My Life with GNU/Linux : http://goinggnu.wordpress.com
Free/Open Source Jobs : http://fossjobs.in


Interesting internship at IIT Bombay

Summer Internship

Poster -> http://www.scilab.in/files/workshop_materials/Poster-HiRes.pdf
Or http://www.scilab.in/files/workshop_materials/Poster-LowRes.pdf
Website -> http://www.scilab.in/Textbook_Companion_Internship

Summer internship for the Textbook companion project

The FOSSEE textbook companion project is part of the FOSSEE project at
IIT Bombay. This project is handled by the following professors at IIT

Prabhu Ramachandran (Aerospace Engg Dept), Kannan Moudgalya (Chemical
Engg Dept), Madhu Belur (Electrical Engg Dept), Mani Bhushan (Chemical
Engg Dept), PSV Nataraj (Systems and Control).

Textbook companion summer internship project can be taken up by
students in various colleges who want to undertake a summer internship
at IIT Bombay. The project will involve a teacher of the student (from
the same college) who has taught the subject for at least one or two
years. The teacher will guide the student through the project and will
be responsible for the student's submissions.

The procedure is as follows:

You should know or learn Scilab. Resources are provided here.

For use of any package (other than scilab) you should contact us
separately at contact@scilab.in.
You should propose three books in order of your preference using the
proposal form available at this link (you have to register in order
to access the proposal form).

You must ensure that the book you are proposing has not been completed
under this project or is currently being undertaken under this project
by someone else, (click Completed Books and Books in Progress to see
the respective lists). We will try to tentatively allot one of the
three proposed book. To see examples of the books that have already
been worked upon, visit Completed Books

Please note that the last date for sending codes of one typical
chapter is now extended to 18th March, 2011

It is suggested that you propose the book as early as possible and do
not wait for the last date as your favourite book may get assigned to
someone else.

After we receive your proposal (from the form in item 2 above), we
will respond within a day about which book is tentatively allotted to
you. After tentative allotment, you will submit to us all the codes
for one typical chapter within five days of the allotted book. Fill
the proposal form keeping this 5-days-constraint in mind. The
procedure and format for submitting the codes will be informed by

If you will submit correct and good quality codes then your allotment
will be final with that book. You will be intimated about the approval
or disapproval for your proposal via email within 2 days. If you are
selected then your name along with the textbook proposed will appear
in Books in Progress.

After the final allotment you will start coding of the examples of
entire book in your college itself. You are required to send your
progress/codes to us every week at textbook@scilab.in. Also send the
same to your college teacher. (Note: Lack of regularity on your part
may force us to cancel your internship and the project will assigned
to another intern.)

Simultaneously, you should fill the IITB registration form (Link will
be made available soon on the website) and post it to us.

The time-frame for completion of the book coding will be decided
between you, your college teacher and us.

You will come to IIT Bombay for one week to carry out the changes
suggested by the reviewer. The exact dates for coming to IIT Bombay
will depend upon

Your Vacation
Availability of accommodation at IIT Bombay
Completion of the book
Review of the book

Candidates who finish the report as per specified procedures at the
end of their one week stay here in IIT Bombay will get a certificate:

"Certified that the work completed is equivalent to six weeks of
training under the supervision of the faculty of IIT Bombay".

You will be given an honorarium of Rs. 10,000 for completing this work
and Rs. 5,000 to your college teacher.

For details please click here

You will have to pay all other expenses. For example, some are travel
to and from IIT, boarding and lodging, and internship registration
fees: This will be intimated.

For more details about the Textbook Companion Project, please click here.

For any further query or clarification, please contact us at the
following email address: