Archive for October, 2011

LCF Notation

I’m doing some research on LCF notation to see how it relates mathematics to chemistry. LCF notation was originally developed by Joshua Lederberg as a way to represent cyclic graphs in chemistry. It was further developed by Coxeter and Frucht, who dubbed the notation LCF. Here is the original paper written by Lederberg that first uses the notation.

Lederberg Paper

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Cubic Graph on 60 Vertices with Girth 9

This week, my thesis adviser asked me to draw graph 60 from The Foster Census. This graph is on 60 vertices and has girth 9. I used the Hamiltonian notation to draw my graph, starting with a Hamiltonian cycle on 60 vertices, then drawing 30 additional edges to make the graph cubic. I discovered a new software that I can now use to save my graphs, called GeoGebra. The program was free to download and very simple to use. Now I am able to draw my graphs, save them as pictures, and also save them as files that can be changed later.

Stopping Voter Apathy

Date Written:

April 2008

Short:

In January of 2005, millions of Iraqi citizens gathered at polls to vote in the first free election in fifty years. Over time, democracies have been shaped and molded into thriving republics where the people’s voice is the controlling force behind the workings of the government.  But as we study voter turnout in America, a disturbing trend is evident. America is suffocating in the pool of apathy and must make a change.  If we want fair representation, if we care about our privileges, if we want our republic to continue to survive, voting-age citizens must exercise their right to vote.

Full Text:

Stopping Voter Apathy

Social Media Blackout

At Information Commons, we are asked to complete reflections periodically throughout the semester. The second reflection this year asked us to read an article on a social media blackout and then experience a time of unplugging ourselves.

Prompt:

Read this article about how Harrisburg University challenged their students to unplug from social media. First, reflect on how you think a social media withdrawal would affect your daily routine. Then, actually complete a self-imposed “unplugging” from one or more social media networks that you typically use. Fully disengage from your iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, or other social tools. How long were you able to stay unplugged? What was easiest and hardest about disengaging? What did you learn in the process? What alternatives to completely unplugging might be a good suggestion for your peers as they learn to balance social engagement in online and real-world environments.

Reflection:

When I was a teenager, my youth group at church would do a media fast every year. We would dedicate anywhere from one to three weeks of time where we unplugged from all media types, including internet, television, gaming systems, and phones. Our decision was that instead of dedicating time to do these recreational things that often consume our waking hours, we instead were going to dedicate time to reading our Bibles and praying. So ever since I was in seventh grade, I have gone through a social media “blackout” once every year. I can’t say that our media fasts were life altering in the sense that I never re-acquired my social media “addictions”. Usually, as soon as the fast was over, I would go back to my normal media use. But it has given me a new perspective on how I spend my time.

I wasn’t born in a time where instant entertainment was the norm. Yet by the time I had reached middle school–the prime of social awareness–the new millennium had ushered in it’s barrage of entertainment and social outlets. For the majority of my “social life”, as I shall call it, I have owned a cell phone, had access to high-speed internet at home, and been a member of at least one social media group. And just like every other human being who hasn’t grown up in complete solitude, I have soaked in the society around me. Social media and instant entertainment have become expectations of life for me. Not that I allow them to consume or define who I am, but I am constantly connected to the world outside of my four walls in some media-related way.

Realizing that makes me both cautious and grateful. Cautious because I don’t want entertainment to become an addiction that I put before the important things in my life. Grateful because it has allowed me to add to my learning, keep connections that would otherwise not be possible, and engage with the world at large. On a large scale, I feel that social media is beneficial for my life. On a small scale, I can see it’s negative affects and what I need to change about my habits.

For this reflection, I decided to unplug for just one day. The day I chose happened to be really busy, so it wasn’t that hard to do. Most of the day I was either in class, working, getting ready for church, in church, or with friends. I found that having a busy schedule translated into less time thinking about missing social media, but I still had my moments where I almost got onto Facebook or Twitter until I remember I was unplugging. I have to admit, after sitting in a car for 45 minutes and then realizing it was fifteen minutes after midnight (thus the end of my blackout), I promptly checked my Facebook.

The one thing I am always reminded of when I unplug is how much social media and entertainment permeate my life. I often get into the habit of checking my Facebook page as I stroll to class, spending time on Pinterest when I have an hour break, or reading posts from the blogs I follow when I’m waiting for something. There are few other things in my life that I dedicate so much free time to beside my social media craving. And now it makes me wonder, what if my every free moment was filled with a craving to pray or read the Bible? What if I used my times of wait to meet someone new I’m standing next to or catch up with an old friend. What if I used Facebook as a way to develop connections with people instead of just using it as my personal news channel for what’s going on in other people’s lives. Social media has made parts of my life so un-interactive. And what would happen if I changed that?

I think initiating a campus-wide social media blackout would be a great experience for everyone. No matter how hard it may be for some people to pull the plug, in the end I think everyone would learn something from it. But I have also begun to understand the importance of having personal media blackouts throughout my day, every day. I’ve never been someone who is attached to my phone, in fact, I often leave it places and have several missed calls and texts. But my computer almost never leaves my side when I’m at home or in my apartment. This week, I started to realize how distracting my computer is for me during homework or study times. So, I started using computer time as a reward for finishing homework. Once I complete a reading or problem set, I reward myself by checking Facebook or pinning for a few minutes. I think a similar plan like this would be beneficial for a lot of college students to adapt. Make yourself unplug during the times you need to be focused and see how much more productive you can be.

Thesis Draft 2: Examples and LCF Notation

After meeting with my adviser, he suggested some changes for my terminology section and added some new sections. I have now also included personal examples of cubic graphs that I have drawn and LCF notation.

Thesis Draft 2: Examples and LCF Notation

Thesis Draft 1: Terminology and Known Cubic Cages

I have begun to type up the beginning stages of my thesis, even though we have not completely defined it’s format. I know it will be focussed on the study of cubic graphs and their applications, so my adviser asked me to type up the terminology and known cubic cages sections to start with. I will be including drafts frequently as we add and change material.

Thesis Draft 1: Terminology and Known Cages

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