[FoRK] a prehistory of automated profiling

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Wed Sep 11 09:30:18 PDT 2013

On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 5:37 AM, Dave Long <dave.long at bluewin.ch> wrote:

> [0] conclusions which may have been easily been predicted as overfitting
> by John von Neumann, who famously commented in 1953 that:
>> with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him
>> wiggle his trunk
> (apparently a few hardy souls have since demonstrated[1] that he was not
> exaggerating)
> [1] Mayer, Khairy, Howard, "Drawing an elephant with four complex
> parameters", Am. J. Phys. vol 78, No. 6, June 2010, pp. 648-649
> http://java-srv1.mpi-cbg.de/**publications/getDocument.html?**id=**
> ff8080812daff75c012dc1b7bc1000**0c<http://java-srv1.mpi-cbg.de/publications/getDocument.html?id=ff8080812daff75c012dc1b7bc10000c>
> Moderately well-known Easter egg:  Calculus textbooks by George Thomas
(and including those with co-authors, I think) have index entries for
elephants and/or whales.

Not terribly exciting, but somehow relevant -- do mathematicians have a
fascination with elephants?

After 30+ years of email, I have used up my supply of clever ,sig material.

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