summer collatz highlights, reddit/ stackexchange

hi all. around here, the philosophy is something like, when in doubt, write a new collatz post. recently ran across a few notable collatz items on reddit and stackexchange and this post is to share those along with other misc new research idea(s).

  • cohort/ once collaborator randomra came up with his own codegolf collatz generalization challenge and racked up an impressive 13v.[a1]
  • a really significant/ beautiful visualization showed up on math reddit by level1807 using a new command Anglepath in mathematica. it basically creates paths offset by a sequence of angles. the visualization also reveals the recurring fractal aspects of collatz, making it look like a feather, plant, or blood vessels! the post got 214v and 39 comments! level1807 put his code on github. the graph is so striking, cannot avoid incl it here! (this version is by halirutan in next item.)[b1] Continue reading

reddit mod mutiny shows chink in “armor” of user generated content?

Time_youcover01hi all, there was a recent reddit moderator mutiny where they shut down significant sections of the site, in protest over firing of a popular community relation manager.[a] reddit is currently valued at something like $~¼B dollars! its a complicated situation partly related to CEO Pao being just involved in a high-profie, lost lawsuit with Kleiner Perkins over gender discrimination.[b]

this is an area of big implications for the internet, namely collaborative systems, user generated content, and “collective intelligence”. sometimes the so-called wisdom of crowds can quickly turn into cyber mobs/ vigilantes.

user generated content fuels massive billiondollar corporations like Facebook, and even ultimately Google (which was invented basically to index it!); it also has big connections and crosspollinations to open science such as in “open/ public publishing” etc which is another key topic around here.

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Backurs, Indyk connect strong exponential time hypothesis to edit distance; other CS time/ space hierarchy/ continuum news

hi all. recently Backurs/ Indyk just got a paper accepted into STOC 2015 connecting the Strong Exponential Time Hypothesis (“SETH”) with tight bounds on computing edit distance. the latter has many applications across CS and also plays a big role in bioinformatics and computational biology wrt DNA sequences where it relates to natural alterations, ie more specifically “biologically occurring genetic processes”—eg even occuring in our own bodies… and surely cant get more “applied” than that!

there is some buzz/ excitement on this result as this is regarded as something of a breakthrough. it reminds me of the concept of “the microcosm reflects the macrocosm and vice versa” aka/ in short, “as above, so below”. a polynomial time algorithm speed (“the small”) seems to have major implications for speed of NP complete problems wrt exponential time (“the large”) and vice versa.[a]

:star: :arrow: and moreover/ further, near-dramatic connection/ exhibition/ manifestation/ confirmation of an apparent deep/ recurring principle/ theme/ “design pattern” in CS, interconnection/ interdependency of upper and lower bounds. at times upper and lower bounds seems like the yin and yang of TCS… :idea: :o <3

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intel + altera shift, moores law, mobile, cpu^n, future, hardware design

462016_orighi all intel recently merged with Altera who are top makers of reconfigurable FPGAs. it has taken years for FPGAs to be integrated into big systems but we are starting to see better understanding of where they apply strengths. the idea is that custom algorithms can be implemented in the FPGAs at less cost/ power consumption and possibly higher efficiency. google/ microsoft seem to be pursuing initiatives in the area. microsoft has figured out how to couple Bing processing with them (faster! cheaper!).[d13] for a time Bitcoin mining was done on FGPAs but that has given way to custom ASICs. my prediction is that FPGA coding will continue to increase in use/ attn esp in “big data” type scenarios.

this gives me an excuse to unleash a batch of links that have been piling up in my bookmarks for years on CPU related topics but was waiting for a neat moment of timing. this is an exciting area but it has stabilized somewhat over the last few years due to moores law plateauing. this is not a widespread understanding, and big multibilliondollar companies that are built on it like Intel dont really want to exactly “announce” it. this flatlining is having major effects on the industry however. recently saw some analysis that the use of GPUs in deep learning may be up partly due to the plateauing of moores law. is there a scientific paper as important as Moores paper in announcing this plateauing? havent found one yet but please let me know if you do. also, moores paper this year celebrates its 50 year anniversary… really cant beat a paper with the word “cram” in the title![b15] it constitutes one of the most impressive engineering predictions/ observations/ phenomena in all of scientific history.

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more robotics fun at sparkfun/ boulder robot battle and autonomous vehicle competition

hi all! busy day, yesterday (jun 21st) went to the 2015 sparkfun boulder AVC (autonomous vehicle competition), 1st time there, had great time. more summer robotics. they had human-controlled robotic combat of lightweight robots in an enclosed plexiglass cage with a large spinning circular blade in the corner (a sort of “death trap field hazard” that could be used in the fighting strategy), and sparks and robots were literally flying, to big audience reactions and cheers. also a large autonomous race course spread out over their huge parking lot. lots of fun for the kids with various electronic exhibits (luved the hover pong! moving the paddle using a hand over a motion sensor!), video games, robot kits etc. didnt catch too much of the autonomous action, unfortunately got to it late and a single robot seemed stuck… maybe more action earlier? the entire event was taped/ livestreamed…

sparkfun is an amazing company, its built up to a massive warehouse facility (new huge site only a few yrs old) and ~140 employees in something like less than a decade, mainly selling robotic and electronic parts and kits. they have large training rooms. so lucky, managed to go on a brief floor tour!

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