mug shot


I'm a visiting lecturer at AIMS; My home is in Cambridge

2006: Probability and Statistics

  1. Recommended background reading: S. E. Hodge, M. L. Seed Statistics and probability (QA273.H655X). There are copies in the library and in the common room.
  2. Measuring π by coin-tossing (includes Graph-plotting example)
  3. What a theory of 'Measuring π' should look like
  4. Sketching practice sheet 'S' (especially important exercises: S1, S2, S3, S9, S11, S12, S18, S20, S21.)
  5. Probability and inference practice sheet I ('A')
  6. Probability and inference optional ideas ('C') - includes random walks and waiting times
  7. Central limit theorem, convolution (python code) | Read more about Central limit theorem and large deviation theory (postscript) | (pdf)
  8. gnuplot Introduction
  9. Gapminder
  10. The birthday problem - see my book →
  11. Probability and inference sheet D (pdf)
  12. Fountain codes see also the book, Ch 50
  13. Survey - see the survey questions and responses
  14. Dasher | Malagasy test instructions
  15. Python programming task: using doctest

Communication skills

  1. Latex Example document (1 page, postscript) (pdf) [How High Can Animals Jump?] (tex source file)
  2. Latex Bibliography demonstration (postscript) (pdf) (tex source file) (An example bib file)
  3. To save you the trouble of typing in the BibTeX entries into your bib file, Wikipedia has links to Bibliography databases, including Amatex (for BOOKS) and CiteULike (for academic articles). | BibTeX database for computer science |

Further materials
  1. My Python links | My Python examples | Solution to the weighing problem (find the odd ball from N)
  2. AIMS teaching ideas (postscript) | (pdf) |
  3. Probability and inference practice sheet II

My book: Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms

south africa

AIMS Students wishing to view the book directly without using a web-browser can use either of the following methods:

    xpdf ~mackay/public_html/itprnn/book.pdf  
    gv ~mackay/public_html/itprnn/  

In 2005 I taught two courses at AIMS: Problem solving in Physics and Information Theory.

2005: Information Theory

  1. Preparation for the course
  2. Monday: we discussed channels, and what we mean by `reliable' communication; and we discussed the repetition code R3
  3. Python GUI programming assignment -- includes a useful GUI for playing with Alan's switches puzzle, and David's switches puzzle.
  4. Bayesian inference preparation
  5. How can decoding, which we described using the 'Venn diagram' picture, relate to the Parity-check matrix view of the code?; and some challenges associated with the light-bulb question.
  6. compression assignment 2005
  7. Bent Coin Lottery simulator
  8. Central Limit Theorem: Binomial(N,f) General distribution
  9. BUGS (Markov-chain Monte Carlo software for statistical inference)
  10. Quines

  • Some notes on sorting algorithms

  • 2005: Physical problem solving

    1. Circular motion, and a sunset problem
    2. Dimensions
    3. Computing project: Planet
    4. Problem Sheet 1 (postscript) | (pdf) |
    5. Estimation: How much energy was used to transport all of the AIMS students to AIMS?
      How much energy could be generated per day if we put a big wind turbine on the roof of AIMS?
    6. Motion of a metal ball falling on Alfred's head
    7. Motion of a ball bouncing on the floor
    8. (Monday) Conservation of momentum and angular momentum. Forces on falling paper cone.
    9. New assignment: work out equations for an elastic collision
    10. Estimation of useful work done by an AIMS student; of heat produced; and of power consumed in the form of food.
    11. Project: use the collide function to simulate a one-dimensional collection of particles colliding with each other.
    12. Sketching problems (postscript) | (pdf) |
    13. Probability problems (postscript) | (pdf) |
    14. Estimation (postscript) | (pdf) |
    15. AIMS teaching ideas (postscript) | (pdf) |
    16. Probability problems II (postscript) | (pdf) |

    Here are my teaching resources from 2004.

    Other resources for students:

    Course materials
    Message 1
    Probability and inference practice exercises (postscript) | (pdf)
    Waiting times computing assignment
    Order of magnitude solar energy / world energy comparison
    Measuring atoms with household objects
    Statistical physics: deriving the idea of temperature (postscript)
    compression assignment 2004
    compression SOLUTIONS
    Probability and inference practice exercises week 3 (postscript) | (pdf)
    Fountain codes
    Bayesian inference | Change Blindness
    Monte Carlo methods
    Optional Activities Dec 2004 - Jan 2005

    Project ideas
    (Advice about octave and gnuplot)
    octave/ centrallimit/
    string commands/example.m
    c/ compress/ solutions
    C tips About ups
    C tutorial
    gnuplot/ repetition/ gnu
    tex/ Makefile
    bibtex citedemo.tex | ps | pdf
    AIMStutorials/ latex/bibtex
    writing Red-ink me! (postscript) (pdf)
    metapost/ Tutorial
    magicpoint (demo) instructions (files)
    Further software resources are in the Book's website

    This is my homepage for 2004-5 (My 2003 homepage has more links and teaching materials)

    AIMS: internal/computing / Debian and apt

    Blooming Dale English-Medium Preschool

    Muizenberg information

    Map of Kalk Bay Peak (from | Map of Steenberg ridge | Walking routes | Boomslang Cave | map | Satellite image of mountains from Google

    House of Juice: 10 Military Road (up Main Road, turn right, Steenberg station turning). 701 3331.
    Habaneros (21) / 0 / 788 6967

    Links to other websites

    | Dasher | | beta MetaFAQ | | MetaFAQ | | Ask a question | | caminference |
    Archive of internet

    Favourite bookmarks

    Citeseer | JSTOR | Mimas
  • ispell
  • Directory enquiries | International
  • In Association with
  • Barnes and Noble
  • FACTS: Webster | OED | Heal thyself | Wikipedia | Hyperdict | Mathworld | Combinatorial |
    TALK: | Babelfish | freetranslation |
    NEWS: Google news | Guardian Unlimited | BBC News
    PROGRAM: perl | Nice perl manual online
    Sysadmin: linux
    How to configure firefox: Go to the pseudo-URL "about:config". Enter "middle" into the search filter at the top of the page. Change the setting called middlemouse.contentLoadURL to true (Toggle it) . (There is also middlemouse.paste which should also be true - that does normal Unix paste if you middle-click in a text field). THEN Quit firefox and restart it?!?!
    To fix window-focus: system - preferences - windows
    IMDb title search | Ebert reviews | movies onlines |
    Mornington Crescent
    Heavens Above - What's up in the sky? | Space station spotting
    Deja News:   in the archive

    +27 (0) 21 787 9335/6