Category Archives: Information Theory

Ages of Three Daughters

My uncle’s in town and just reminded me of a puzzle that he’d asked me over ten years ago. A census worker goes to a house and the person who answers the door tells the census worker that she has three daughters. “I need to know … Continue reading

Posted in Information Theory, Puzzle | 1 Comment

Le Poisson

It was the spring of 2003; Toby Berger and I were both in the common room of Phillips Hall, and there was half an hour before his information theory class was set to start. Toby was advising my honors thesis, a project that was exploring … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Information Theory, Probability | Leave a comment

Passing Notes in Class

I just got back from a four-day camping trip for the Fourth. While roasting marshmallows and hiking along trails, I managed to fall into a few puzzles. Justin posed a puzzle that we’d formulated a while ago: a multi-person variation … Continue reading

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Walking Downhill

The problem asks you to show that . If , then the solution is quite easy. Set the gradient equal to zero and solve the system of equations for . Since the function is convex, this is the minimum point, and … Continue reading

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Shannon Meets Shannon

He’s met almost everyone else: Wiener, Bode, Bellman, Carnot, Tesla, Marconi, and of course, Shortz. Bad jokes aside, in an attempt to understand the inverse water filling solution from rate-distortion theory better, I put together some rough notes attempting to connect it and the sampling … Continue reading

Posted in Information Theory, Signal Processing | 1 Comment