Experimental Mathematics Website
<== This is a picture from the interactive geometry
package Cinderella showing the behavior of 10,000 starting
values in the rectangle [0,1]x[h-1,h+1], where h is the height of the
horizontal line, after six iterations of the algorithm which reflects
a point x in the sphere then reflects the outcome in the line and then
averages the result y with x. It is an accessible prototype for a
remarkable image reconstruction algorithm known variously as
Douglas-Ratchford, Lion-Mercier, Fienup's method, and
"divide-and-concur." Some related graphics can be generated and
displayed at these URLs:
(wait 30-60 seconds to see the display).
Quote of the day (refresh browser to select another):
The analogy is a rough one, but I am sure that it is not altogether misleading. If we were to push it to its extreme we should be led to a rather paradoxical conclusion; that we can, in the last analysis, do nothing but point; that proofs are what Littlewood and I call gas, rhetorical flourishes designed to affect psychology, pictures on the board in the lecture, devices to stimulate the imagination of pupils. This is plainly not the whole truth, but there is a good deal in it. The image gives us a genuine approximation to the processes of mathematical pedagogy on the one hand and of mathematical discovery on the other; it is only the very unsophisticated outsider who imagines that mathematicians make discoveries by turning the handle of some miraculous machine. Finally the image gives us at any rate a crude picture of Hilbert's metamathematical proof, the sort of proof which is a ground for its conclusion and whose object is to convince. -- G. H. Hardy, quoted from the Preface to David Broussoud, "Proofs and Confirmation: The Story of the Alternating Sign Matrix Conjecture," MAA, 1999. Broussoud cites Hardy's Rouse Ball Lecture of 1928.
The complete list of quotes is available
This website is a repository of information on experimental and computer-assisted mathematics. It is operated by David H. Bailey, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (retired), and University of California, Davis
Please send any comments or questions for this site to:
Disclaimer and copyright. Material on this site is provided for research purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the author's institutions or any other organization. Except where explicitly stated otherwise, all material is copyrighted by David H. Bailey (c) 2023.
Math Scholar blog. The "Math Scholar" blog contains essays, philosophical musings, interesting quotes and exercises, all in the realm of mathematics, computing and modern science. New items are posted on average every two weeks:
Math Drudge blog (older). This blog was co-authored by Bailey and the late Jonathan Borwein, prior to Borwein's death in August 2016.
Jonathan Borwein Memorial site. In the wake of Jonathan Borwein's untimely death in August 2016, this site contains a blog of remembrances of Jon by family, friends and colleagues, together with a compendium of Jon's publications, talks and reviews of his work by others.
Mathematical Investor blog. The Mathematical Investor blog is devoted to financial mathematics and abuses of mathematics in the field:
Additional information, in alphabetical order:
- Books. Bailey and Jonathan Borwein (now deceased) have authored numerous books on mathematical and scientific computation. For details on the authors' books on experimental mathematics, see:
- Commercial sites. For a list of websites of numerous commercial firms that offer mathematical software and (free) online tools, see the Commercial site page:
- Institutional sites. For a list of websites of mathematical societies and journals in the general area of experimental and computational mathematics, see the Institutional site page:
- Non-commercial software and tools. For a list of websites of non-commercial organizations that offer mathematical software and (free) online tools, see the Non-commercial site page:
- Other sites of interest. For a list of numerous other websites with interesting and useful information relevant to mathematics in general and computational mathematics in particular, see the Other site page:
- Software. For some freely downloadable software for experimental math research, see the Software page: