Do you see the point of learning about vectors ( and vector spaces and subspaces and spans and dimensions and basis and transformation and diagonalization) and matrices?

Why did mathematicians have to think of all this vague nonsense, right? We have 2D and 3D spaces, yes, but why think of the 4^{th}, 5^{th}, 6^{th }dimension? There isn’t even any geometrical interpretation.

Sure, they have their “important practical applications”, but who cares, I’m not going to be a mathematician. Whatever I learn in my H3 class will be out of my brain as soon as I finish my exam on May 16^{th}.

But we learnt about PageRank yesterday. Have you ever wondered how Google works? How it manages to find the most relevant web pages and rank your search results in order? (You can Google PageRank to find out, if you bother.)

It has never occurred to me that Google’s search algorithm comes from a basic mathematical idea. Imagine Larry Page and Sergey Brin as college students in their math classes…if, like me, all they cared about was how to pass their exams with minimum effort, never thinking how they could use their knowledge learnt for the better, hmm…would we have Google today?

So, I guess…

Don’t underestimate the value of what you learn, even if you think you probably won’t use it. And the next time you want to label people as “insane” or “disgustingly smart”, keep in mind that one day you might have to thank them.

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Ooh, PageRank is from a basic maths idea? That’s surprising! 🙂 Is it any from particular probability theory?

I thought the idea is websites are ranked by “votes” (links) from the other websites, and allocating weightage to those votes so that people can’t manipulate it by spamming. Is this algorithm related to any maths theorem or something?

seriously… i dun think page and brin got their idea in math class…only mathfreak like lau will do those kinda thing… they most probably just said:” hey! have you find website searching very troublesome?” “yeah!” “perhaps we should open a company to give easy searching!”… ya, something like that…

ps: pageRank is related to matrix and dot product… details check urself

While the calculation of PageRank employs matrix, IMHO matrix per se is not what spurred them into inventing Google’s great algorithm. Matrix is, I think, a tool to achieve their idea but not the idea itself. For example, Einstein derived his theories of relativity using Lorentz transformation and lots of calculus; but it doesn’t mean that Einstein invented theory of relativity _because of_ Lorentz transformation and calculus; it just means that Einstein used Lorentz transformation to realize his ideas (which was in fact inspired by the contradiction between constancy of speed of light and Galileo’s classic relativity).

yeah. I don’t think a math class inspired them to invent Google, but they definitely needed the knowledge. If not they would just be doing wishful thinking after having their great idea of an effective search engine.

Haha Jasmine, so what was the answer wor? 😛

Still, wherever they came up with the inspiration, Google rocks!

Haha.

hmm? i thought you already know…the Google Matrix. and yeah it involves probability as well (the weightage)..eg: if a webpage has no links to it at all, in the calculation, if there is a total of n webpages, then the webpage will be accorded a score of 1/n, as it is equally likely to go to that page from every other page..something like that…(since you cannot use a matrix with a row of zeros in the calculation).

as you said, it’s just a tool. but the tool is so simple that i couldn’t believe it.

I see. Thanks! Did you read it some where? I would be glad if you show me the website that explains this in detail.

Anyway apart from this matrix thingy, I suppose that google must also have some secret super-duper complicated formulae that makes them better than other search engines, if not everyone can use the same formula and become as good as they are. 🙂

i read it from my lecture notes la, haha.

see http://www.ams.org/featurecolumn/archive/pagerank.html for some math

and http://www.seobook.com/relevancy/ for some comparisons.

i guess we like google better because it’s less commercialized.

Wah those maths make me dizzy… :p Thanks for your links!

Wow..you all has interesting syllabus…or at least interesting (extra) references for your subject…

have* 😛