Bill Gosper

Last Sunday, I, having met Bill Gosper and invted him over to dinner, had been working like crazy over the last 2 days to get the house clean, so that he would have a good time. It turned out that both he and I had a great time.

The evening started out by Bill giving me graciously a bunch of interesting presents, such as some Alan Adler-signed Aerobies, and a copy of Mandelbrot’s famous The Fractal Geometry of Nature, signed by Dr. Gosper:

For Neil on his 11+1/(1+1/(1+1/(1+1/(1+1/(1+1/(1+1/(3+1/(1+1/(7+1/3)))))))))rd birthday!

For non-mathematicians, this means that I am approximately 16972/1461 years old.

Then, since Bill and I are both computer geeks, he showed me some demonstrations of Macsyma, and I showed him some random programs, such as the ascii art editor Jave, and also how to get Golly to run certain MCell files

It was about time for dinner when Dr. Gosper presented me with the notorious Sam Loyd Buttonhole puzzle, and since I had forgotten how to solve it, we all tried to solve it, failing, until Bill showed us how to remove the thing from the buttonhole.

After dinner, we went out to play with the Aerobies, being careful to not get them stuck in any trees, which were at least half a football field away, because Aerobies put Frisbees (which I can barely throw) to shame by going amazingly far. Because it was getting dark and Bill had brought Aerobie boomerangs, we decided to go back to the house, instead of playing Australian roulette, which can give you a nasty blow on the head.

Before Bill was about to leave, he let me barrow his Cube packing puzzle,which is notoriously difficult. As of this writing, I have only completed the Medium challenge on it (packing 18 1x4x4 pieces into the 7x7x7 cube), and hope to complete the Hard challenge (packing all pieces in) within a week.

    • Grandma
    • June 17th, 2009

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  1. Nice blog neil I can’t belive you met bill gosper thats awsome

  2. I remember Bill Gosper when he used to pack around a jar of Elephant snot.

    • J.B.
    • February 15th, 2013

    Bill would be seen throwing that aerobie in the parking lot of the Stanford Shopping center after having all that Indian food(multiple times a day). By mentioning Indian food multiple times a day and horse racing he should know I am as we used to talk a lot there.

    • Barbies brother
    • February 28th, 2013

    if Gosper is so smart, why can`t he figure out a way to stop misuse of technology for war?

  1. May 26th, 2009

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