Posts

November 26, 2014

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3:00 PM | Quadcopter Racing with First Person Video!
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1:33 PM | [Visualisation] Les parlementaires romands plus disciplinés que les alémaniques ?
Analyser le positionnement politique d’élus nationaux sur autre chose que leurs promesses de campagne est une nécessité démocratique. Comment les votes de ceux-ci lors des sessions parlementaires traduisent-ils leurs orientations personnelles et partisanes, entre pragmatisme et idéologie ? Ce que l’on observe, c’est que les parlementaires romands ne votent pas plus à gauche que leurs collègues alémaniques, mais moins […]
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12:16 PM | Emacs resources
This is the second in my series of posts pointing out resources on my site. This week’s topic is Emacs. Emacs kill (cut) commands Emacs point (cursor) movement Getting started with Emacs on Windows Notes on Unicode in Emacs See also the Twitter account UnixToolTip and blog posts tagged Emacs. Last week: Miscellaneous math notes […]
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10:00 AM | Should You Buy An Industrial Computer?
Your big business project is only as strong as its weakest link and that’s why you shouldn’t skimp on things like the computer that might be running it. Depending on the nature of your business, if it’s not for home or office use, you might just need an industrial computer. Industrial Computer or Standard PC? […]
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6:00 AM | Stable Autoencoding: A Flexible Framework for Regularized Low-Rank Matrix Estimation
In the Matrix Factorization Jungle Page, there is a section for subspace clsutering that reads like:Subspace Clustering: A = AX  with unknown X, solve for sparse/other conditions on X  In recent times, when looking for subspace clustering algorithms, the conditions on X were focused on X having a zero main diagonal and sparse entries otherwise but in the following paper, the authors seek a low rank version of X instead and call that matrix/operator a linear […]

November 25, 2014

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11:02 PM | Lens of Computation on the Sciences
This weekend, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton hosted a workshop on the “Lens of Computation in the Sciences,” which was organized by Avi Wigderson, and was meant to showcase theoretical computer science’s imperialistic ambitions to transform every other field.  I was proud to speak at the workshop, representing CS theory’s designs on physics.  But videos […]
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9:36 PM | Making a Miniature Sword from a Nail
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9:00 PM | In Brief: Examining the Woodward Effect
Have you heard of the Woodward Effect? It's a decades-old theory for a method of generating thrust without expending mass--basically limitless propulsion without the need to refuel. It's no wonder that this concept has been used to fuel theoretical engine designs for spacecraft. Steady acceleration without the need for propellants sounds too good to be true, so BoingBoing visited the office and laboratory of Dr. James Woodward to learn about his theory and see an application of it in an […]
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8:45 PM | Remembering the Wonders in Famous Monsters Magazine
In the world of science fiction, fantasy and horror fandom, one man's enthusiasm for genre film was arguably stronger than anyone else's. With the founding of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, Forrest J. Ackerman created a must-read genre guide that inspired generations of fans. The magazine, and the enormous collection of memorabilia Ackerman accumulated throughout the years, proved to be a true testament to his love of fantastic film and literature.In his memoir On Writing, Stephen King […]
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7:07 PM | Adam's Tour Diaries #2: What a Jerk!
By the time I woke up in Philly on the bus, I was already an asshole.Dammit, I overslept.I didn’t think it was possible: I wake up at 6 a.m. every morning in San Francisco; that’s 9 a.m. on the East Coast. But I guess I was tired. That and the blackout curtains on my bus are REALLY good. By the time I looked at my phone to see the time, it was 10:40!Crap! I’d made plans with Paul of Paul and Storm to head to a museum and have lunch. Plans for 10 a.m. He’d been hanging […]
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6:30 PM | The Best Projector Screen Today
This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy.Read the full article below atTheWirecutter.comThe Best Projector Screen for most people is the $200 Silver Ticket 100”, which I found after spending 90 hours building (or painting) screens, watching movies and TV, taking measurements, and comparing them side-by-side. The Silver Ticket is easy to assemble, available in a variety of sizes, and has a surface that is relatively neutral. There are […]
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3:04 PM | NIPS 2014 proceedings are out, what paper did you fancy ?
The NIPS 2014 proceedings are out, what paper did you fancy ?  Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)The papers below appear in Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 edited by Z. Ghahramani and M. Welling and C. Cortes and N.D. Lawrence and K.Q. Weinberger.They are proceedings from the conference Neural Information Processing Systems 2014. Kernel Mean Estimation via Spectral Filtering Krikamol Muandet, Bharath Sriperumbudur, Bernhard […]
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2:30 PM | Spatial modelling with OGD and OSM data
While Open Government Data are currently a big deal in the German-speaking countries, the OpenStreetMap project celebrates its 10th anniversary . How these different data sources can be dealt with in spatial modelling approaches and how they can even be used in combination were the two major topics of a presentation, I’ve given last friday […]
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2:00 PM | Thanksgiving! - 11/25/2014
Adam, Norm, and Will discuss Thanksgiving, their favorite traditions for the holiday, and Adam's imminent departure on tour. Also, help Still Untitled out by filling out an anonymous survey: www.podsurvey.com/untitled Thanks!
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1:00 PM | First two impressions of statistics
When I was a postoc I asked a statistician a few questions and he gave me an overview of his subject. (My area was PDEs; I knew nothing about statistics.) I remember two things that he said. A big part of being a statistician is knowing what to do when your assumptions aren’t met, because […]
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6:00 AM | Spectral Clustering of Graphs with the Bethe Hessian - implementation -
To be filed in the Matrix Factorization Jungle page in the clustering section and its attendant phase transitions.Spectral Clustering of Graphs with the Bethe Hessian by Alaa Saade, Florent Krzakala, Lenka ZdeborováSpectral clustering is a standard approach to label nodes on a graph by studying the (largest or lowest) eigenvalues of a symmetric real matrix such as e.g. the adjacency or the Laplacian. Recently, it has been argued that using instead a more complicated, non-symmetric and […]

November 24, 2014

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11:00 PM | Adam's Tour Diaries #1: On the Road Again
After a lovely and relaxing three-hour Amtrak trip (the train is my FAVORITE method of travel) and a 90-minute car ride, I arrived in Williamsport, PA., for the start of our fall MythBusters: Behind the Myths tour.BEST way to travel. I promise I’m having more fun than my face suggests.We’d performed the show throughout Australia and New Zealand this summer, and the show still felt fresh in my mind. I arrived backstage to find us hamstrung in one of our set pieces by a technical […]
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10:32 PM | Nuclear Norm Minimization via Active Subspace Selection
  Nuclear Norm Minimization via Active Subspace Selection by Cho-Jui Hsieh, Peder A. OlsenWe describe a novel approach to optimizing matrix problems involving nuclear norm regularization and apply it to the matrix completion problem. We combine methods from non-smooth and smooth optimization. At each step we use the proximal gradient to select an active subspace. We then find a smooth, convex relaxation of the smaller subspace problems and solve these using second order methods. We apply […]
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6:50 PM | More Good News, Eddie Kohler Edition
Continuing the good news at Harvard, word has been given that Eddie Kohler has officially been offered tenure.  So we hope/expect/are excited about keeping Eddie here for decades to come.  Eddie's contributions to computer science are well known -- he recently won the SIGOPS Mark Weiser award --  but perhaps less well known and appreciated are his contributions here at Harvard.  I can't imagine how we were surviving before he got here; he enriches the place constantly […]
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3:30 PM | Tested: The Show — Slow Motion Water Balloon vs. Face Slap
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7:51 AM | Google Play App Roundup: Kingdom Rush Origins, Sleep Better, and The Banner Saga
If you're going to be supporting app development on Android (and you should), you might as well pay for the best content you can. That's what the Google Play App Roundup is all about. This is where you can come every week to find out what's new and cool on Android. Just follow the links to the Play Store.This week the king of tower defense returns, you get to sleep better (maybe), and probably the prettiest game ever on Android.Sleep BetterRuntastic is known for, as its name implies, […]
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7:27 AM | Show and Tell: 3A Dead Cosmonaut Figure
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6:00 AM | Randomized Interpolative Decomposition of Separated Representations
Random projections with tensors.Randomized Interpolative Decomposition of Separated Representations by David J. Biagioni, Daniel Beylkin, Gregory BeylkinWe introduce tensor Interpolative Decomposition (tensor ID) for the reduction of the separation rank of Canonical Tensor Decompositions (CTDs). Tensor ID selects, for a user-defined accuracy \epsilon, a near optimal subset of terms of a CTD to represent the remaining terms via a linear combination of the selected terms. Tensor ID can be used as […]

November 23, 2014

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11:34 PM | Kuperberg’s parable
Recently, longtime friend-of-the-blog Greg Kuperberg wrote a Facebook post that, with Greg’s kind permission, I’m sharing here. A parable about pseudo-skepticism in response to climate science, and science in general. Doctor: You ought to stop smoking, among other reasons because smoking causes lung cancer. Patient: Are you sure? I like to smoke. It also creates jobs. […]
Editor's Pick
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6:10 PM | How medieval astronomers made trig tables
How would you create a table of trig functions without calculators or calculus? It’s not too hard to create a table of sines at multiples of 3°. You can use the sum-angle formula for sines sin(α+β) = sin α cos β + sin β cos α. to bootstrap your way from known values to other […]
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4:54 PM | Accuracy of Generated Fractals
Note: I refer to the Mandelbrot set in general as the M-set for short. When I was writing the post on Rough Mandelbrot Sets I tried out some variations on the rough set. One variation was to measure the generated … Continue reading →

November 22, 2014

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9:06 PM | Link o' the day: How I start—Haskell
Chris Allen has a very good walk-through for starting Haskell programmers (and for projects using cabal): How I Start: Haskell. (Hey, wha'da'ya' want? It's NaNoWriMo and I'm way behind. And busy.)
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4:41 PM | Sunday Morning Insight: It's Complicated...On Games, NP-hardness, Grothendieck, Learning and Friends.
At the last Machine Learning meetup in Paris, someone (I believe it was Vincent Guigue ) made the comment that "not" was a relatively powerful feature for detecting sentiment analysis in a written paragraph. Some of us wondered if the same was really true in French (it does not look like it is). Clearly it opens another line of thought, if you have a model that works well in English, because it has been able to put the right importance on the "not" feature, will that model be as efficient […]
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3:12 PM | Ergodic
Roughly speaking, an ergodic system is one that mixes well. You get the same result whether you average its values over time or over space. This morning I ran across the etymology of the word: In the late 1800s, the physicist Ludwig Boltzmann needed a word to express the idea that if you took an […]
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6:33 AM | Officejet
Home office upgrade: our laser colour printer, Canon i-SENSYS LBP5050n was bought in summer 2009, more than 5 years ago. It had its fair share of driver problems, and connection problems in the home LAN. Recently the connection has mostly worked … Continue reading →
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