Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE) and Cryptography hurts so good.
Thermodynamics, Wave Particle Theory, and Electronics hurts SO SO good.
Never do a post through Tumblr’s mobile app. It will chop off and lose half of the post, hence why I’m rewriting this from last night.
Spent winter break around SF Bay visiting friends, sightseeing, and enjoying many fine beers. Finally went to Sausalito for Sushi at Sushi Ran, apparently one of Steve Jobs’ favorite restaurants and once frequented by Robert Downey, Jr. A fantastic sushi lunch for under $20. Check it out!
We’re really excited for the APS conference in Savannah, GA next month, where we hear about the latest research and advances in Physics. When checking-in to the event, you get a program guide that’s as thick as a phonebook. That’s how many talks there are! But just like last year’s conference in Baltimore, while I won’t know a lot about what the researchers are talking about, I will however get to admire the exquisite mathematics on their PowerPoint slides.
Remind me to move back to the West Coast after school because I can live completely happy and content, sans snow and freezing weather. It’s either there or Germany. But if it were Germany, I suppose it would be similar to East Coast or Pacific Northwest weather. ::sigh::
I’m excited for the new COSMOS series with Dr. Tyson, starting this Sunday. It’s good for your mind. Watch it!
From Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking (Discovery Channel 2010)
Hello, my name is Stephen Hawking—Physicist, Cosmologist, and something of a dreamer. Although I cannot move, and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind, I am free.
He is free.
The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be. Our contemplations of the Cosmos stir us. We know we are approaching the grandest of mysteries.
— Carl Sagan
Education, a cultural problem.
Taking Calc III and Physics II concurrently really makes me think of the world in vectors now. Force diagrams, lift and drag vectors on an airplane, Electric and Magnetic fields, Maxwell’s Equations, etc. Yep, vectors.
Went to MIT in early October for their all-weekend hackathon, HackMIT. We had a great time, and stayed with awesome freshmen CS majors. These guys study their asses off, as could be seen on their whiteboards full of trig and differential equations. We rolled a Meteor-based app called Pulse that took articles from a country selected on a map, then ran through a Natural Language Processing API called Alchemy to perform sentiment analysis from those articles. Keywords and expressions were then color-coded using traffic light colors where red is negative, yellow is neutral, and green is positive. Check it out here. Doesn’t look great, and we didn’t win anything. But not too bad for our first web app. But we did get a nice shoutout from Meteor here. Hmm, wonder who’s head’s in that pic!? It was an awesome time, and it really motivates me to work harder and do better. It was a cold and rainy weekend, but it was great to finally see Boston.
The semester’s been flying by and will be over in early December. Linear Algebra and Calc III have been very manageable so far. Physics, as always, has continued to be challenging.
Saw an interview a while back with inventor Dean Kamen on the state of education in the US (and perhaps elsewhere) and why it’s broken (or for a lack of a better term, doesn’t work). As a brilliant engineer, he knows how to solve problems and determine root causes. The problem, according to Kamen, is primarily a cultural one, whereby society’s only role models for kids are athletes and entertainers and live the dream of becoming one. But what are the odds that they’ll all be successful athletes and entertainers? Kamen says there’s another way, by being a scientist or engineer. A recent visit by a material science professor at a large public university found the importance of college sports to be absurd, and in his words, stated that more people were needed in this country to be able to “solve a simple ODE.”
I think that’s good for now.
In our Data Structures class, we’re using
std=c++11for our programming assignments. Sadly, the Mac’s gcc compiler (on 10.8 Mountain Lion) is stuck at 4.2, so we need to update the compiler to 4.8. Actually, these instructions will preserve the 4.2 compiler that shipped, and simply install another, newer compiler.
- Download and install xCode from the Mac App Store.
Download and install the .pkg Installer appropriate for your OS (Mountain Lion is 10.8. Go to “Apple menu > About This Mac” if unsure):
Open a Terminal window and enter:
sudo port -v selfupdate
Hit enter, enter your password, and wait for the update to finish.
Once finished, enter:
sudo port install gcc48
Hit enter, and enter your password if needed. It may take an hour or longer for the download and compile to complete.
Once finished and the terminal has returned back to the shell, attempt to compile a C++11 source file using this convention:
g++-mp-4.8 -Wall -std=c++11 Program.cc -o Program
g++-mp-4.8is too annoying to type, make an alias and place in your shell config file!
The Spaceship of the Imagination flies again. This is our century, the Physics century!