Re: martyrdom

From: Bill Humphries (
Date: Wed Mar 21 2001 - 11:53:14 PST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph S. Barrera III" <>
To: "Bill Humphries" <>

>Bill Humphries a écrit:
> -- whump "Jesus died for your sins. Galois died for your groups."

>Is there such a thing as "original group"?

Possibly. When I was in 6th grade, my school district started participating
in a program called "Accelerated Math," sponsored by the NSF. I was one of
the volunteers. From 6th to 12th grades, we went through a program to bring
us to speed on college level maths as fast as possible. For example, we were
doing calculus and probability by our sophomore year, well ahead of the
honors math students.

In 6th grade we were introduced to a concept called "Clock Arithmetic," i.e:
11 + 2 = 1, 12 + 12 = 12, etc. We started with a 12 hour clock, but soon
were playing around with 4, 6, etc. hour clocks. This was intriguing stuff,
but I didn't understand what the use was, except for computing solar time on
Earth, Jupiter, etc.

When I was a sophomore in college, I took a class in algebra theory. I was
trying to grok finite albelian groups, so I went to ask a physics grad
student friend for help (I had heard that group theory was key to computing
things in quantum theory.) He pointed at the clock in his lab. All of that
6th grade math came back, and I was knocked to the floor like Saul on the
way to Damascus.

I nailed the first exam.

So, the twelve hour clock, as far as I'm concerned, is the "original group."

-- whump "Multiplication Rock saved my sorry ass in elementary school."

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