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Petri Laarne

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Hi! I'm a maths student at Helsinki University. For the past year or so I've been writing a popular (not as in visitors) maths blog,, in Finnish. In addition to human languages (FIN/ENG/SWE/FRE) I respond to quite a few computer ones (esp. C#).

Interested in seeing if toots > tweets!

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Although I long ago dropped out of research , I really love asking working mathematicians to explain whatever it is they are interested in. I have enough general knowledge that they can usually simplify things enough for me to get the gist of their work. Plus, they're usually really enthusiastic about explaining what they do, because most strangers they meet cannot or will not follow!

Great fun to see them light up and have them tell me the metaphors they've developed for their art.

Fermi estimate: How many snowflakes in a snowman? Show more

Veikkaus uudisti sääntöjä jälleen, joten taas mennään... Kannattaako Lotto plussata?

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There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who thought this was a binary joke, those who felt clever for expecting a ternary joke, those who have considered the possibility of a quaternary joke, those who...

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Whoops, there are 3072 starting 'abcd' - I forgot to change the length of my substr :blush:
There are 15 starting 'abcdef', and none starting 'abcdefg'!
If you don't think too hard, that means we're due one!

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Thanks to @petrilaarne, BigQuery tells me that there are 49329 commits on GitHub with hashes beginning 'abc', and none starting 'abcd'. Assuming hashes are distributed uniformly, this implies there are around 49239 × 16³ ≈ 202 million commits in the dataset. In fact there are 203 million. It's nice when maths works!

(It also might have had something to with the extraordinary weather this morning. And that the day length won’t be sub-six hours for long. There should even be snow to the north!)

A lot of relieved smiles outside the exam hall, as if a winter break had finally begun.

This autumn has been a blast. Now for some good relaxation before the fun continues!

I quite like our department Christma(th)s tree. How many fractals?

So this flower wrapping has its text copy-pasted from Wikipedia with no attribution, a clear license violation.