Posts

December 08, 2014

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6:20 PM | CS 50 Fair (Live)
The madness that is the CS50 Fair at Harvard is going on now.  Hundreds of students demo-ing their final projects.  If you can't be there, you can watch the live stream.  I did a brief stop-by this morning and saw some fun and useful stuff -- one student showed me a simple setup for students to ask questions online in class and have other students up-vote them so the prof can see popular questions.  (There are tools that do this, sure, but it would be nice to have a simple […]
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11:31 AM | I’m Back. Monday Links
The last few months have been incredibly busy (hopefully, results should start appearing in print over the next few months). I’ll start writing again now. A few links on recent(ish) anti-science victories in Europe: Philae went all the way to … Continue reading →

December 07, 2014

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11:51 PM | Updating blog posts
I’ve been going through my old blog posts and fixing a few problems. I found a few missing images, code samples that had lost their indentation, etc. Most of the errors have been my fault, but some were due to bugs in plug-ins. If you see any problems with a post, please let me know. […]
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6:36 PM | Pour la Science de Décembre   Modifié récemment
D'habitude je déguste mon numéro de "Pour la Science" petit à petit pendant le mois. Mais là j'ai dévoré le numéro de décembre en quelques heures de voyage en train : il est plein d'articles passionnants sur des sujets très variés.
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1:28 PM | Sunday Morning Insight: An exact mapping between the Variational Renormalization Group and Deep Learning
Here is Renomalization as defined in Wikipedia:In more technical terms, let us assume that we have a theory described by a certain function of the state variables and a certain set of coupling constants . This function may be a partition function, an action, a Hamiltonian, etc. It must contain the whole description of the physics of the system.Now we consider a certain blocking transformation of the state variables , the number of must be lower than the number of . Now let us try to rewrite […]

December 06, 2014

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6:03 AM | Quantum Algorithms Via Linear Algebra
Announcing publication of our textbook with MIT Press By permission of Nataly Meerson, artist : source Richard Feynman had a knack for new ways of seeing. His Feynman diagrams not only enabled visualizing subatomic processes, they also rigorously encapsulated an alternative formalism that cross-validated the equations and procedures of quantum field theory. His 1948 path-integral […]
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5:24 AM | Experiments with conference processes
NIPS is a premier conference in machine learning (arguably the best, or co-best with ICML). NIPS has also been a source of interesting and ongoing experiments with the process of reviewing.For example, in 2010 Rich Zemel, who was a PC chair of NIPS at the time, experimented with a new system he and Laurent Charlin were developing that would determine the "fit" between a potential reviewer and a submitted paper. This system, called the Toronto Paper Matching System, is now being used regularly […]

December 05, 2014

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8:08 PM | Divide-and-conquer in a #Makefile : recursivity and #parallelism.
This post is my notebook about implementing a divide-and-conquer strategy in GNU make.Say you have a list of 'N' VCFs files. You want to create a list of:common SNPs in vcf1 and vcf2 common SNPs in vcf3 and the previous list common SNPs in vcf4 and the previous list (...) common SNPs in vcfN and the previous list Yes, I know I can do this using:grep -v '^#' f.vcf|cut -f 1,2,4,5 | sort | uniq
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7:01 PM | Why NASA's Orion Mission is So Important
Ever since the final space shuttle mission, STS-135, landed more than three years ago, NASA has lacked a vehicle to send its own astronauts back into space. Current timelines put astronauts back in American-made rockets no sooner than 2021. The Orion mission that launched this morning [more specifically, Exploration Flight Test -1 (EFT-1)], is a huge milestone in NASA’s path back to the business of launching humans into space. It can’t be overstated: This mission is a BIG deal.ORION […]
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6:45 PM | Colin Cantwell's Pre-Production Work on Star Wars
Most Star War fans know the name Ralph McQuarrie, the concept artist who laid the foundation for the look of the original trilogy. And some people even know the names of the more celebrated ILM modelmakers, like Lorne Peterson and Don Bies, whose teams at the ILM miniatures shop fabricated the actual shooting models for the films. But not many people know the name Colin Cantwell, even though they might be familiar with his work. Cantwell was a modelmaker at ILM, who was actually the first to […]
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6:00 PM | In Brief: An Introduction to Hand Saws
Make magazine contributor Steve Hoefer has been writing a series of wonderful introductory guides to basic hand tools for BoingBoing. He's covered wire strippers as well as drill bits, and his latest guide is an overview of different types of hand saws. Steve's guides are great because he doesn't just list the differences between tools in a category, he explains the features that make each tool unique for a specific job--as well as tips for how to use them. Adam has talked about different hand […]
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5:00 PM | Matt Winston of Stan Winston Studios - Episode 5 - 12/5/14
On this episode of CreatureGeek, Frank and I welcome Matt Winston of the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. We talk a lot about the school, growing up around such iconic makeup and designs. Matt also shares Len's real name for the first time on any podcast.
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4:30 PM | Detecting defects in solar cells using compressive sensing
You probably remember this Accidental Single Pixel Camera that was unwittingly imaging the Sun ?  Well, the same concept that can be used to test PV cells.   The actual poster is here. From the press release:Detecting defects in solar cellsScientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have developed a new method for detecting defects in solar cells using a technique called 'compressed sensing'.Patterns of light are projected onto PV cells to measure their […]
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4:08 PM | First Launch of NASA's Orion Next-Generation Capsule
No summary available for this post.
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2:00 PM | Print the Mystery Object: Walk Like an Egyptian
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8:00 AM | How To Replace a Cracked Smartphone Screen!
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6:00 AM | Playing with Duality: An Overview of Recent Primal-Dual Approaches for Solving Large-Scale Optimization Problems
Nikos Komodakis just sent the following:Dear Igor,Jean-Christophe Pesquet and I have recently finished a tutorial paper entitled "Playing with Duality: An Overview of Recent Primal-Dual Approaches for Solving Large-Scale Optimization Problems",  which is going to appear as a feature article in an upcoming issue of the highly selective IEEE Signal Processing magazine.The main goals of the above paper are:- To provide a thorough introduction that intuitively explains the basic […]
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6:00 AM | Streaming Anomaly Detection Using Online Matrix Sketching
Streaming Anomaly Detection Using Online Matrix Sketching by Hao Huang , Shiva KasiviswanathanData is continuously being generated from sources such as machines, network traffic, application logs, etc. Timely and accurate detection of anomalies in massive data streams have important applications in preventing machine failures, intrusion detection, and dynamic load balancing. In this paper, we introduce a new anomaly detection algorithm, which can detect anomalies in a streaming fashion by […]

December 04, 2014

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10:57 PM | Episode 280 - The Podcast Awakens - 12/4/2014
This week, Will, Norm, and Jeremy explore the aftermath of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, discuss the Jurassic World and Star Wars VII trailers, converting The Wire to a widescreen aspect ratio, the Sony Pictures hack, and NASA's now-delayed Orion test launch. Enjoy!
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8:40 PM | Female Anna's Hummingbird at 240fps
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8:26 PM | Adam's Tour Diaries #10: London Calling
Nov. 30, 2014: After the awesome of Toronto, we headed to London, Ontario. And guess what? I not only didn’t leave the bus, I didn’t take a single damn picture. I forgot even to take a picture with the London AUDIENCE.That’s right, I went into hibernation mode. I spent the entire day just writing and researching a new Kubrick prop I’m going to replicate. Nope, it’s not that one. It’s not that one either; it’s one I haven’t spoken a whit about […]
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8:00 PM | The Make-Up and Production Design of Planet of the Apes
It’s not easy to make a world full of apes. In recent years, it hasn’t been cheap either. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes series reboot cost close to a hundred million, and this year's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes cost a reported $170 million. So it’s remarkable to realize that the original Planet of the Apes, released in 1968, cost only $5.8 million, which even in those days wasn’t that expensive. With the franchise successfully reinventing itself in modern day, […]
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7:40 PM | XML+XSLT = #Makefile -based #workflows for #bioinformatics
I've recently read some conversations on Twitter about Makefile-based bioinformatics workflows. I've suggested on biostars.org (Standard simple format to describe a bioinformatics analysis pipeline) that a XML file could be used to describe a model of data and XSLT could transform this model to a Makefile-based workflow. I've already explored this idea in a previous post (Generating a pipeline of
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7:03 PM | It’s impossible to conduct research without software
No one knows how much software is used in research. Look around any lab and you’ll see software — both standard and bespoke — being used by all disciplines and seniorities of researchers. Software is clearly fundamental to research, but we can’t prove this without evidence. And this lack of evidence is the reason why […]
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7:00 PM | Creating Haptic Holograms with Sound Waves
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6:00 PM | In Brief: Dell's Two New 4K Monitors Look Decent
We've been telling people that they should hold off on buying a 4K desktop monitor for a while. The first of these high-resolution monitors that went on sale over a year ago weren't great--they were inferior TN panels that ran at 30Hz at native resolution. But OEMs like Dell, Asus, and even Monoprice are iterating fast. Dell even has a 5K panel that's similar to the one in Apple's new iMac. This week, Dell announced two new 4K panels that are the first ones I'd consider getting. They're both […]
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4:09 PM | Three and a half million page views: a million here, a million there and soon enough we're talking real readership...
 December 2, 2014, 3.5 million page viewsJune 7, 2014 3 million page viewsNovember 07, 2013, 2.5 million page viewsMonday, May 27, 2013 2 million page views October 25, 2012, 1.5 million page viewsHere is the increase showing about a million page views every 13 months. That's 77000 page views per month or about 2,500 page views per day. Here are different affiliated communitiesGoogle+ Community (1287 members), the CompressiveSensing subreddit (609 members), the LinkedIn […]
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4:00 PM | The Best Android Smartphone for Your Network (November 2014)
The top OEMs have now laid their cards on the table. All the major phones of late 2014 are available for purchase, and you've got some decisions to make. We won't see anymore big announcements until CES in January, but more likely February at Mobile World Congress. This is one of those rare times you can buy a phone and not immediately feel like you missed out when something better comes along two weeks later. But which one to get?The Nexus 6 is big news this month, but a number of other phones […]
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8:00 AM | Taking Jamie Hyneman's Tintype Portrait!
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6:00 AM | Book: Sketching as a Tool for Numerical Linear Algebra
I just found this somewhat long review article that easily could be considered a book: Sketching as a Tool for Numerical Linear Algebra by David P. WoodruffThis survey highlights the recent advances in algorithms for numerical linear algebra that have come from the technique of linear sketching, whereby given a matrix, one first compresses it to a much smaller matrix by multiplying it by a (usually) random matrix with certain properties. Much of the expensive computation can then be performed […]
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