Sunday, April 10, 2011

Programmers Anonymous notes, 101

On the obliqueness of scientific inquiry:
"Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve" Max Planck

veggieman's no sdfjklsdiocjioji comics: 
besht shtory evar
this is the cool 
ohm ygo d
Griffin's c=c+1:
Math Limericks Revisited
     - Klein bottle
     - Seven Bridges of K√∂nigsberg

Join me April 9th at UCLA for Obscura Day! I'll be hosting an event with Brad Fidler and Leonard Kleinrock in the room where the first Internet message was sent in 1969!

Come be one of the very first to rediscover the room where the Internet was born. Almost forgotten in history and used for years as an unremarkable classroom at UCLA, it will reopen as a museum this July. Get there first and stand in the very spot that the first modem sent the first message ever, and see photos and documents from those first days of the Internet that have been lost to obscurity for decades.

The course should be of interest to anyone seeking to develop robust robot software, and anyone who is interested in real-world applications of statistical theory. Students participating in this course will acquire the skill of developing robust software for robots operating in real-world environments, and understanding the mathematical underpinnings of their software. Even though this course focuses on mobile robotics, the techniques covered in this course apply to a much brooder range of embedded computer systems, equipped with sensor and actuators.
Jacob is irked by the poor website design, in particular the dynamic menu that must be chased like one is playing whack-a-mole. This is only a problem if the font size is increased from the default size, which old people like me tend to do. I would suggest he contact the professor directly, and politely, but his FAQ notes that:
I sent you information by Email - Didn't you read my mail? This has become a problem. At present, I receive between 150 and 400 personal Email messages per day. Even if I quit my job and stop sleeping, I wouldn't be able to answer all of them. I am willing to spend up to two hours a day on Email. This means that I am not even able to read the majority of my Email. I realize yours might be one of those that I am unable to read, and I hope you accept my sincere apologies. On the flip side, if I only did Email all day and nothing else, would you really want to talk to me?
He was probably using some Stanford boilerplate course page material. A more recent Thrun course page, CS221 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, appears to have the same deficiency.

Thrun is the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL). He led the development of the robotic vehicle Stanley which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, and which is exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.  Stanley is relatively low budget autonomous vehicle created by Stanford University's Stanford Racing Team in cooperation with the Volkswagen Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL). The DARPA  win came with 2 million dollar prize, the largest prize money in robotic history.

The PBS' NOVA show on the DARPA Grand Challenge is spine-tinglingly geeky and entertaining. The meek (drive-by-wire VW Passat vs. tricked out Hummer) shall inherit the earth.