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<A HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/notes-for-chapter-zero-modified-

by-hand-with-considerable-grumbling-from-the-tex-code-but-we-wont-be-doing-this-

again-soon/">plugging without even chugging</A>,

<A HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/in-medias-rays/">how to write

cross-products</A>,

and <A HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/testing-testing/">symbolic

logic via ordered pairs</A>.

as i now choose to think of 'em...

not that there's anything wrong with

"rambles". i'll probably go right on

*calling* 'em that. just please don't

think my actual *lectures* have ever

been so rambly. necessarily.

about sets and algebra natch.

big picture. how big.

my life story. too big.

publishing and algebra.

and me. just right.

here goes. publishing first.

annus mirabilis:

1968

(actually 68-69; one thinks

in academic years since before

the beginning.)

cops and kids fighting in the streets

and martin and bobby and all that, sure.

but for my purposes:

my beloved 6th-grade.

both my main teachers i loved.

pretty doggone undyingly as it turns out

though of mister ratts i think but seldom.

mary ann di baggio taught us math

and taught us well. *i* got a model

of "math teaching done right".

also, though this had little to do

with miss di baggio directly...

her role was to provide access to equipment

and a receptive environment for us to

share our results in (no small thing

and indeed a very big thing and if

there were a heck of lot more of this

instead of a heck of lot less we wouldn't

now be in a position of having to make

the events of 68 look like a party...

but i digress)... zines.

i did my first self-publishing

in di baggio's class (with

<A

HREF="http://staff.missouriwestern.edu:80/users/mcgarrel/travel/zinespot.htm">andr

ew mcgarrell</A>,

<A HREF="http://peterstrickholm.com/bio.php">peter strickholm</A>, and

tom hoffa (who appears

not to have a webpage):

twenty copies or so (at a guess)

of each of about four issues of GlOAT

(the <A HREF="http://lowercasel.blogspot.com/">lowercase L</A>

is not a misprint). purple "spirit

master" one-side-to-a pagers. (dittos!)

i soon went on to do

(in "printings" of one;

i circulated these kid-by-kid

myself at school after drawing

'em at home) the _ten_page_news_.

i <A HREF="http://zinewiki.com/Ten_Page_News">revived the title</A> years later,

beginning just before the zine boom

(before hypertext... so called e-zines

[and blogs and such]... captured those

easily lured by the easier softer way

of the dark side [including me alas]).

anyhow you get the idea: self-publishing

goes way back for me. i soon began doing

a zine *about* zines: <A

HREF="http://zinewiki.com/Indy_Unleashed">_indy_unleashed_</A>.

in <A HREF="http://npagenews.blogspot.com/2009/08/on-having-no-life-

1998.html">this

TPN piece</A> from 1998, i claimed

that "the ten page news is most

of my social life"... showing that

my interest in self-publishing

also goes way <I>deep</I>.

hypertext was a natural for me;

indeed mike cagle had given me

a copy of ted nelson's

(seminal, self-published)

<A HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_Lib">_dream_machines_</A>

almost twenty years before the web

broke big (with graphical browsers).

i've recently rambled on this part

of my publishing autobiography already

(in my <A HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/about/">"about" page</A>; not

necessarily a good place for it).

so. turning to algebra.

i majored in algebra in the sense

that i wrote <A HREF="http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/895117480-

24522281/content~db=all~content=a780122011">my doctoral dissertation</A> on it.

so i trained

as a professor. and was one briefly.

and felt (and still feel) that it was

work i was "born to do". but i soon

lost my professional rank and title.

after a year of death throes in the form

of never-even-an-interview applications

all over the country i quit trying and

worked freelance from then—1996—

till the day before yesterday. spring quarter.

as a teacher and tutor. and... ta-dah!

<I>published</I> _vlorbik_on_math_ed_

until the efforts to write up <I>algebra</I>

in blog format finally <A HREF="http://vlorbik.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/i-quit-a-

clarification/">snapped

my patience</A> (and i quit

blogging for five hot minutes).

part of the point of the turn-of-century

_ten_page_news_ was to have some extra-academic

use for the typesetting system...

$latex \TeX$...

i'd learned for writing up my thesis

and gone on to write exams and quizzes in.

as well as a set of lecture notes.

source files now lost. also for that

matter part of the point of _VME_ itself

was *also* to work with TeX.

it was harder than i thought it would be.

anyhow now i'm at it again.

wordpress i've only learned to do

little things on. and those badly.

but i've got a copy of the real now

on Legion (and it isn't even bootlegged!).

leslie lamport claims that things

have stabilized recently qnd i'm

inclined to trust him even though

he evidently <A HREF="http://www.lamport.org/">works for microsloth</A>.

so far so good. i'm producing

pretty pages with unfamiliar ease.

can't yet put 'em online for all to see just now.

which is sort of strange. looks like google

had a page you could do it with easily.

for about a day. but this is conjecture.

by the time i got there they quit

taking on new users. some experimental deal.

all for this morning. what's to eat?

<A HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/use-the-source-

luke/">technique</A> for

listing all the permutations of a (small)

set. essentially this: count the elements.

suppose there are n of 'em.

there are n! (en-<A HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/never-get-

outta-the-boat/">factorial</A>) permutations.

will be the first letter *of*

the *same* number of permutations

as will the second letter

or *any* letter. so we can say

that each letter begins (1/n)th

(one-enth) of the list.

note that (1/n)*n! = (n-1)!

and write out this many copies

of each letter in columns.

end of step one.

i "assigned"... my first inclination

is to remark that

{E,G,B,D,F} = {B,D,E,F,G}

(sets do *not* depend on order)

and so one could begin as follows.

B____ D____ E____ F____ G____

B____ D____ E____ F____ G____

B____ D____ E____ F____ G____

.

.

.

B____ D____ E____ F____ G____

permutations to discover

and 1/5 *of* 'em start with B:

so there are 24 B's. etcetera.)

*second* letter of each permo.

consider the B column only

(for now). there are four

"remaining" letters. each

will appear as the *next*

letter just as many times

as each of the others:

this is 1/4 of the total...

of 24 B's... and so *six*.

"count by sixes" down the

first column: 6 D's, then

6 E's, and so on down.

BD___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BD___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BD___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BD___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BD___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BE___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BE___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BE___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BE___ D____ E____ F____ G____

BE___ D____ E____ F____ G____

.

.

.

BG___ D____ E____ F____ G____

all the ideas are in place i think.

if it's clear why we're creating

120 entries in 24 rows and why

we counted by 6's in this step,

everything else should fall into

place pretty easily i hope.

count by sixes throughout *each*

column, omitting whatever letter

has "already been used" of course.

BD___ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BD___ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BD___ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BD___ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BD___ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BE___ DE___ ED___ FD___ GD___

BE___ DE___ ED___ FD___ GD___

BE___ DE___ ED___ FD___ GD___

BE___ DE___ ED___ FD___ GD___

BF___ ...

.

.

.

BG___ DG___ EG___ FG___ GF___

of six unfinished permutations

as of now. each such set has

two letters present and hence

three letters left to "choose

from". one-third of six is two

so considering "BD" (for example)

we'll add *two* E's, *two* F's,

and *two* G's.

sets-of-six: count off

"missing" letters by twos.

BDE__ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BDF__ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BDF__ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BDF__ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BDF__ DB___ EB___ FB___ GB___

BED__ ...

.

.

same procedure. one now has

a collection of 60 pairs of

three-letter strings.

complete the strings by

attaching their two "missing" letters:

once in one order and once in the other.

one becomes BDEFG

and the other BDEGF.

BDEGF

BDFEG

BDFGE

BDGEF

BDGFE

BEDFG

.

.

.

can assure themselves that

the last bit can be thought

of as counting "by ones"

and "by zeros"; i like to

think of this as counting

*choices* to be made.

rather detailed descriptions

of a fairly simple process:

forming lists of all the

permutations of a given

(small) finite set.

<A HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/use-the-source-luke/">four</A>

or <A HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/17/632/">five</A>, say.

would be impractical for in-class work

though i can easily imagine assigning a

"neatness counts" *poster* project along

the lines "create a display showing...

exactly once each, prominently and distinctly...

all 720 permutations of the set

{A,B,C,D,E,F}". you fail if it's wrong

of course so check it over several times...

<I>by several different methods</I> if

possible (usually one settles for two

actually... but this is math ed so

the more the better [let's pretend]).

of *generating* our lists. thus far

we've examined what i hope is much

the commonest: <B>trees</B>.

("at, hat, and splat") to permute.

let's see if i can draw it

with this typer here.

<OBEYLINES>

/ ^

/

/-------@

/ \

/ \ *

/ /@

/ /

/-- ^

\ \

\ \*

\ /@

\ /

\_______*

\

\^

</OBEYLINES>

this moving-around-of-letters

activity of the past couple of

rambles is, or could and (i hope

someday to convince *some*body)

should be, as foundational

in the study of mathematics as

elementary arithmetic (+, -, *, 1/n) or

compass-and-straightedge constructions.

the whole of the law whenever

*i* set up as math dictator.

every-keystroke-perfect *code*

is, first of all our *subject matter*

when we're studying algebra

every bit as much as it is for its

johnny-come-lately derivative

"computer programming" (whatever

the proper euphemism is these days).

detail *without* a computer turns out

to be quite difficult. one of the great

frustrations of my life is that *with*

a computer you can pretty much get

*any*body to perform rituals of

*arbitrary* complexity as long

as no actual *reasoning* is involved

just by convincing them that there's

a paying job in it for them somewhere

if only way down the line behind all

those other poor desparate bastards

that already graduated and have nothing

better to do now but spy on *them*.

to pay for. to understand.

and altogether *impossible*

to maintain for long.

is "simple things first".

(another fine game is

"don't let machines

tell you how to live".

this one's *much* harder.)

what's more, having done it...

and had the right *conversations*...

you'll be darn *sure* you can.

and when anybody else...

human or robot overlord

or one of the many blends

emerging all around us daily...

has it *wrong*, you'll *know*.

here is power.

*that*'s what the simplicity is for.

there's plenty of good math you can do

*without* this almost-machine-code

letter-by-letter detail-oriented

okay-i-admit-even-somewhat-obsessive

*algebra* stuff.

anyway, logicians are worse. but no. really.

this is the stuff that'll make you *good*.

story-of-the-blog-so-far stuff.

last winter when i was blogging

about my math148 precalculus class

(as i think of it; three classes really),

i devoted quite a bit of attention to

finding and implementing the "right"

<I>notation</I> for, what was one of

the big themes of the course,

<B>transformations</B> of the <I>xy</I>-plane.

one has an opportunity to *use*

the "points as ordered pairs"

point-of-view so sloppily

developed throughout math101.

in everybody *else's* imagination

seems to be the <I>xy</I>-plane

itself... the admittedly epoch-making

observation that by laying down

co-ordinates over a euclidean plane

you get a cartesian plane and all

of a sudden equations have *pictures*.

ooo. aaah.

and the basis for the scientific revolution

whether *i* like it or not and all that.

but.

until they believe they can. and

as to "functions as sets of ordered pairs",

the examples given typically...

graphs of polynomials and whatnot...

have manymany scary confusing aspects

already known by the audience to be

well beyond their comprehension.

(not *rocket science*[!]): simple

things first. confused about why

some "transformation" (that doesn't

even have a proper <I>name</I>, let

alone appropriate <I>symbol</I>)

causes "it" (the graph of...

something... but "it" isn't usually

any one thing in these discussions)

to *change* in some particular way?

well, how about a bunch of highfalutin

*technical terms* that you know very

well *you* don't know (and have no

very good reason to be sure about

the teacher)? that'll sure be useful.

(depending on your goals.)

*where*, precisely?

how did *yours* look?

i now propose to ramble some more

about the "simplest interesting case"

of permuting the elements of a set:

the case of *three* elements.

XYZ XZY YXZ YZX ZXY ZYX

that the strings... lists of symbols...

*do* have the same form

in some sense is probably obvious to

any reader. heck, six groups of three.

but more than this.

$latex A \leftrightarrow X$

$latex B \leftrightarrow Y$

$latex C \leftrightarrow Z$

"induces" (what i'm here calling)

an <I>isomorphism of lists</I>:

replacing each left-hand object

<I>wherever</I> it appears in

our first string with the

corresponding right-hand object

produces the second string.

is (and deserves to be) standard language

for the kind of one-to-one (and "onto")

<B>function</B> we've displayed here.

two (finite) sets "are isomorphic"

as soon as they have the same number

of elements.

<I>isomorphisms</I> between any

pair of isomorphic sets.

indeed... theorem 1!... there'll

be <I>n</I>! (en-factorial) <I>of</I> 'em

between any pair of <I>n</I>-element

sets. (you see this, right?...

remember that factorials count

permutations...)

$latex A \rightarrow X$

$latex B \rightarrow Y$

$latex C \rightarrow Z$

$latex A \rightarrow X$

$latex B \rightarrow Z$

$latex C \rightarrow Y$

$latex A \rightarrow Y$

$latex B \rightarrow X$

$latex C \rightarrow Z$

$latex A \leftrightarrow Y$

$latex B \leftrightarrow Z$

$latex C \leftrightarrow X$

$latex A \leftrightarrow Z$

$latex B \leftrightarrow X$

$latex C \leftrightarrow Y$

$latex A \leftrightarrow Z$

$latex B \leftrightarrow Y$

$latex C \leftrightarrow X$

.

HREF="http://vlorblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/notes-for-chapter-zero-modified-by-

hand-with-considerable-grumbling-from-the-tex-code-but-we-wont-be-doing-this-

again-soon/">introductory

ramble</A> from a couple weeks back.

when one can be worked out from the

solution of the other simply by

replacing "letters".

from {A, B, C} to {X, Y, Z}.

isomorphisms from {a, b, c} to {x, y, z}.

six isomorphisms from {P,D,Q} to {E,I,O}.

let $latex P\rightarrow E, D \rightarrow I, Q \rightarrow O$

be denoted by "elbowgrease".

write out the result of applying

elbowgrease to the string PDPDQ.

iso's from {1,2,3,4} to itself.

what happens if you "apply"

an isomorphism <I>to the result</I>

of the application-of-an-iso'ism?

"cycle" notation and how to calculate

with isomorphisms-of-sets considered

as members of the so-called

<B>symmetric group</B> on three elements.

we've "gone meta" twice in "lifting"

correspondences of sets first

to what we called isomorphisms

of <I>strings</I>, and then to

isomporphisms of <I>exercises</I>.

concept to even "higher-level"

groups of data... perhaps introducing

some metaphor along the way to

replace strict symbol-for-symbol

sustitution.

transformations of the plane.

display an "isomorphism" between

the bone-headed wrong ways the

relevant sections of your chosen

texts leave out crucial concepts and

fudge important details.

of affairs came about. for the

love of god and the gratitude

of generations still to come

do something to change it.

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