Sunday, August 26, 2007

The New Machine

I love the sound of a new car.

Especially one infused with new technology, and performance as its purpose.

There are some great new machines out there that leverage conventional combustion engines, new metal hydride / lithium ion batteries, electric motors and a whack of software to make smart decisions in order to optimize fuel consumption and overall performance.

A number of equations getting solved, real-time...probably first / second order polynomials, basic differentiation....who knows, maybe a hardware fast fourier transform for spectral / frequency analysis to feed into it.

This package of goods can drive fuel consumption 50% lower than conventional models.

Amazing what some math can do :)

A friend asked me a question....a riddle this weekend: if a mother is 21 years older than her son, and in 6 years, she will be 5 times her son's age....where's the father?

Sadly, most people can't assemble the basic algebra for the 2 required equations, let alone solve....or better yet, solve in their head. While a little rusty, the answer was quickly at hand & I actually thought of our car...

The approach, only slightly more complex, operating at the pace of some x86 microprocessor was driving fuel consumption down by 50% in new hybrid vehicles.

Where else can a smart touch of mathematics be applied? The opportunities are endless, and it is great to see that scale economics is allowing a chip / sensor in places never before possible. With a little horsepower & the same principles as the math needed to solve the riddle above, we are only limited by our imaginations.

Btw - the answer to the riddle above, is not immediately obvious :)