Author Archives: Brent

About Brent

Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Hendrix College. Functional programmer, mathematician, teacher, pianist, follower of Jesus.

Idea for a physics-based rolling ball puzzle game

For quite a while I’ve had this idea for a cool game, and had vague intentions to learn some game/physics framework well enough to make it, but I’ve finally admitted that this is never going to happen. Instead I’ll just … Continue reading

Posted in projects | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What’s the right way to QuickCheck floating-point routines?

I got a lot of great comments on my previous post about finding roots of polynomials in Haskell. One particularly promising idea I got from commenter Jake was to give up on the idea of having no external dependencies (which, … Continue reading

Posted in haskell, math | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments


Thanks for the responses to my previous post about finding roots of polynomials; I now have some new avenues to explore. But today I want to write about something completely different. I recently stumbled across this fun paper by Miguel … Continue reading

Posted in haskell, humor, math | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Finding roots of polynomials in Haskell?

tl;dr: There are several Haskell packages one can use to find an individual root of a function on a certain interval. But I’ve had less luck finding a suitable package for finding all the roots of a given polynomial. This … Continue reading

Posted in haskell, math | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Hendrix teams at ACM ICPC

Today I took five students from Hendrix to Fort Smith to compete in the Mid-Central USA Regional of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC). Both teams solved five out of ten problems, and finished second and fourth out of … Continue reading

Posted in meta, teaching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s the Difference? video and slides

At ICFP in St. Louis I presented my paper with Kenny Foner, What’s the Difference? A Functional Pearl on Subtracting Bijections. Many people seemed to enjoy the talk and we got lots of great feedback afterwards. We will probably write up … Continue reading

Posted in combinatorics, haskell, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Counting inversions with monoidal sparks

Time for me to reveal the example I had in mind that led to the generalization in my previous post. Thanks for all the interesting comments: it seems like there are some interesting connections to be explored (e.g. to the … Continue reading

Posted in math | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments