Forgers beware: math cracks fakes


Astronomers will gaze with greater clarity at the stars, thanks to CUHK professor Raymond Chan Hon-fu – and art forgers should be careful.


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An algorithm developed by Professor Chan is the fastest way of solving Toeplitz systems, a form complex linear equations. By breaking down image and signal processing into mathematical terms, he has been able to design computer algorithms that can dramatically increase the image quality of telescopes or the verification of van Gogh paintings. Continue reading

Building a New Life in Rural Sri Lanka

The Planter’s Bungalow, the first of three homes that are planned for Wild Buffalo Hill, a working tea and cinnamon estate in Sri Lanka. – Credit: Shehan Obeysekara

The Planter’s Bungalow, the first of three homes that are planned for Wild Buffalo Hill, a working tea and cinnamon estate in Sri Lanka. – Credit: Shehan Obeysekara


WELIGAMA, Sri Lanka (The New York Times) — It was a vacation for his 40th birthday that sold Paddy Dalton and his partner, Rob Ioannou, on Sri Lanka. Their stay at the Aman resort in the southern town of Galle was intoxicating enough that the couple returned three weeks later in search of a permanent home.

They found it on the first day, acquiring a working tea and cinnamon estate a half-hour drive into the hills behind the surf town of Weligama on the island nation’s south coast. Five years later, they have completed their first home on the estate, which comes in at 50 acres and employs about 30 people. Continue reading

Exploring the Surf in Sri Lanka

 Surfing at Arugam Bay, on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Credit: Alex Frew McMillan

Surfing at Arugam Bay, on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Credit: Alex Frew McMillan


ARUGAM BAY, Sri Lanka (The New York Times) — I blame Bethany Hamilton. Repeat viewings of “Soul Surfer,” the 2011 movie about the young surfer in Hawaii who lost an arm to a tiger shark only to return to competition, have left my two young children fearless in the ocean and enthralled with the sport.

So, with air miles to spare and vacation time to burn, my wife, two offspring and I made for Sri Lanka.

Continue reading