Posts

November 24, 2014

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3:01 AM | Ratchets, Constructions, Games, and Borg in the Reading Queue
Here are a few new (or new to me) papers that are evolution-related from my reading queue. There is a loose theme to these papers (indicated in the title of this post). I will give you my impressions and insights as the post proceeds.Varieties of uni- and multicellular relationships amongst different species of green algae. COURTESY: Figure 1 in [1].1. Libby, E. and Ratcliff, W.C.   Ratcheting the Evolution of Multicellularity. Science, 346, 426-427 (2014).This short paper in a recent […]
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1:52 AM | mini-AIR November issue: Morphospace (and D’Arcy Thompson)
The November issue of mini-AIR (our monthly e-mail newsletter just went out. (mini-AIR is a wee little supplement to the magazine). Topics include: D’Arcy Thompson in Empirical Morphospace The Phytophagous Scarab Chafers Morphospace Limerick Competition Pie’s Null Morphospace and more It also has info about upcoming events. Mel [pictured here] says, “It’s swell.” mini-AIR is the simplest way to keep […]
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1:52 AM | Lexile ludification
A while back, I wrote about our first experience with lexile ranges.  The short story is that lexile ranges are indicators of reading levels that are determined by sentence length and word frequency.  While they may be a useful tool to picking out books for children, they don’t at all address the complexity of themes […]
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1:06 AM | Citizen Science and The Search for Sputnik IV: Part 1
The holiday season is once again upon us, and, as usual this time of year, my thoughts are running to stories of science oddities in preparation for the holiday serial.  This week I’ll present a three part warmup serial grounded in mainstream science with just a hint of the fringe… if you know where to [...]

November 23, 2014

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3:09 PM | Chalk, Cheese, Wood: Berger
Berger expresses an opinion as the the extent of metaphorical deterioration of Wood into chalk and cheese, in this small paper: “Chalk and Cheese: Response to Wood,” L.R. Berger, Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 43, no. 1, 2002, p. 126.

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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2:02 PM | Grimes’s “20 nifty tricks to argue like a charlatan”
David Robert Grimes, in his blog Three Men and a Tiger, gives these 20 nifty tricks to argue like a charlatan” When discussions arise, those with a vested interest are adept at sidetracking the debate with enough petty logical fallacies to fool an audience into thinking their claims have some merit…. Perhaps we should look at their techniques and […]
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6:00 AM | Saturday Morning Videos: Machine Learning Summer School, Iceland 2014
Here are all 41 hours of courses given in Iceland this Summer at the Machine Learning Summer School. Enjoy the rest fo your week-end. I know...you're welcome.Introduction to Machine Learning -- Neil Lawrence (Part 1) MLSS Iceland 2014 1:13:30    What is Machine Learning: A Probabilistic Perspective -- Neil Lawrence (Part 2) MLSS Iceland 2014 1:30:31    Deep Learning -- Yoshua Bengio (Part 1) MLSS Iceland 2014 1:28:22    Deep Learning -- Yoshua Bengio (Part […]

November 21, 2014

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8:01 PM | A Happy Faux-Academic.
So, three great pieces of news this week, relating to my pretend academic pursuits. First, I got stellar reviews back for another paper, including one reviewer who recommended that the paper be published “as is” with no revision. I have never had so fine a review. Reviewer three, as usual, was jacked up on imitation […]
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7:06 PM | Friday fun: The Rubik’s Cube
As a freshman in college, I remember going to a toy and puzzles shop in Old Town Pasadena.  I became engrossed in a 3D puzzle display.  You know the horseshoes connected with chains that have a metal ring?  That’s the kind of puzzles in the display.  I spent an hour and a half looking for […]
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7:02 PM | 'Impossible' Scooter Folds Into Backpack
A new portable electric bike uses radical design to minimize size and weight. Continue reading →
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3:16 PM | Does Uber Make Cities More Energy Efficient?
It seems you can’t read an article about new mobility or the sharing economy without stumbling across Uber; the mobility service that sprung up in 2009 to only five years later become valued at more... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:12 PM | CKN: Convolutional Kernel Networks - implementation -
You probably recall this entry on Deep Learning and Convolutional Kernel Networks, well there is an attendant implementation available now. From the project page: AboutWhat is CKN?CKN (Convolutional Kernel Networks) is a software package corresponding to the NIPS paper ``Convolutional Kernel Networks''. LicenseVersion 1.0 and later are open-source under licence GPLv3. Related publications J. Mairal, P. Koniusz, Z. Harchaoui and C. Schmid. Convolutional Kernel Networks. Advances in Neural […]
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2:29 PM | Boob Glue® (New Patent)
Californian inventor Dawn Jackson™  has just received (November 18, 2014,) a US patent for her ‘Breast shaping adhesive and methods for shaping breasts ‘ concept. The glue, which is made from “denatured alcohol and water and where the polymer is selected from the group consisting of: a methacrylate copolymer; a polyquaternium cationic polymer, a poly(acrylic […]
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9:03 AM | Provable Bounds for Learning Some Deep Representations
Following up on this entry, here are some headways connecting the deep architectures of some neural networks with random matrix theory and some of the findings in compressive sensing. From the paper:In fact our result that a single layer of our generative model is a sparse denoising autoencoder can be seen as an analog of the fact that random matrices are good for compressed sensing/sparse reconstruction (see Donoho (Donoho,2006) for general matrices and Berinde et al. (Berinde et al., 2008) […]
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6:11 AM | From developerWorks – What’s up, Watson? Using Watson QAAPI with Bluemix and NodeExpress
  Create a Bluemix™ application that uses Watson’s Question and Answer API (QAAPI). IBM’s Watson is capable of understanding the nuances of the English language. Bluemix now includes eight services from Watson, including Concept Expansion, Language Identification, Machine Translation, and Question and Answer. For more information on Watson’s QAAPI and the many services that have […]

November 20, 2014

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10:45 PM | Further on the physics of froth
Hard and soft on the heels of the announcement about beer foam’s anti-spillage property comes other news about beer foam research: “Physics of Beer Tapping,” Javier Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Almudena Casado-Chacón, and Daniel Fuster, Physical Review Letters, 113, 214501, 20 November 2014. The authors report: “The popular bar prank known in colloquial English as beer tapping consists in […]
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8:27 PM | Future Commuting: The Office Comes to You?
Design company envisions a future of self-driving cars, trucks and even offices.
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7:01 PM | Officially: “Couldn’t be reached”
“Couldn’t be reached” is a new web site that “will highlight instances of officials not commenting to journalists on the record.” The Center for Public Integrity, which runs the site, explains: It will focus on the institutions and people in power — both private and public — who refuse to comment on the record on stories in […]
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4:20 PM | Next Fitness Trackers Will Be Printed on Clothes
Unlike other trackers, these can simply be tossed in the wash after a sweaty workout.
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3:30 PM | Nonlinear Information-Theoretic Compressive Measurement Design
Compressive sensing, nonlinearity, classification, terrific !Nonlinear Information-Theoretic Compressive Measurement Design by Liming Wang, Abolfazl Razi, Miguel Rodrigues, Robert Calderbank, Lawrence Carin We investigate design of general nonlinear functions for mapping high-dimensional data into a lower-dimensional (compressive) space. The nonlinear measurements are assumed contaminated by additive Gaussian noise. Depending on the application, we are either interested in recovering the […]
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6:00 AM | Riemannian Pursuit for Big Matrix Recovery
Greedy algorithm for nuclear norm minimization on the manifold (hopefully we'll get to see an implementation of it at some point in time)Riemannian Pursuit for Big Matrix Recovery by Mingkui Tan, Ivor W. Tsang, Li Wang, Jialin Pan, Bart Vandereycken Low rank matrix recovery is a fundamental task in many real-world applications. The performance of existing methods, however, deteriorates significantly when applied to ill-conditioned or large-scale matrices. In this paper, we therefore […]

November 19, 2014

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6:59 PM | Amazing Nano Sculptures Only Visible by Electron Microscope
Impressively detailed sculptures of the human form can only be viewed by electron microscope.
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5:29 PM | Sparse Reinforcement Learning via Convex Optimization
How do you learn policies when you have too many features ?Sparse Reinforcement Learning via Convex Optimization Zhiwei Qin, Weichang Li We propose two new algorithms for the sparse reinforcement learning problem based on different formulations. The first algorithm is an off-line method based on the alternating direction method of multipliers for solving a constrained formulation that explicitly controls the projected Bellman residual. The second algorithm is an online stochastic approximation […]
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4:52 PM | Island Parks Envisioned for Melbourne and NYC
Two city projects -- one in Melbourne, Australia and the other in New York City -- will bring nature to the urbanite.
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3:07 PM | Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline Makes Candidates Most Appealing to Seniors and Republicans
With Keystone XL back in the news after the pipeline bill failed to pass the Senate, I pulled up the latest UT Energy Poll data to a look at what we know about public opinion on the topic*. While we... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:07 PM | PR headline: “Car crash survival rates increase with being younger, male and driving a big vehicle”
No summary available for this post.
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3:03 PM | The effect of beer foam on resisting beer spills
Beer foam, as a subject of experimental inquiry, will be on tap at a physics meeting next week: Abstract: H16.00009: “Damping of liquid sloshing by foams: from everyday observations to liquid transport“ 67th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Sunday–Tuesday, November 23–25, 2014; San Francisco, California, Session H16: Free-Surface Flows V: General, […]
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2:44 PM | Towards perfecting men’s necktie lengths
Following our recent improbable article on the non-linearities of Windsor Knot tying may we also recommend a paper which might be of particular interest to adult Korean males who wear neckties. Eun-Kyung Park and Jee-Won Hong presented a paper in the Journal of the Korean Society of Clothing and Textiles, Vol 27, No. 11, 2003, pp. […]
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