May 312011

A few weeks ago, I was walking past the Lorry Lokey labs and the Mudd Chemistry Building on Stanford campus, when I noticed how interesting the bamboo that lined the exteriors of the buildings looked in the evening light. If you just let your eyes drift, the bamboo is so thick that it creates this relaxing background. And if you look closer, and near the ground, where it’s dark, the bit of light that filters in gives the bamboo shoots some incredible highlights.

Oct 012010

The Stanford-Oregon game day is almost upon us! Let’s go Stanford! A few articles to get the blood flowing and occupy some time while you wait anxiously for 5PM: A great piece on Harbaugh’s history and influence Sports Illustrated pretty much says, “We have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow.” I think Ted Miller may be a Stanford fan ESPN also has no idea what will happen tomorrow. Any sports columnist that uses the word “erudition” has to have a good take on the game, right? Marecic is awesome Harbaugh quotes Emerson

May 132009

I am now in the midst of hiring the next class of Stanford CS106 section leaders for the fall quarter. Section leaders (SLs) here at Stanford are typically undergraduates (and occasionally graduate students) who teach a small section of a larger lecture class. These classes often also have a head TA who will help coordinate the high-level academic aspects of the class. CS106 is Stanford’s introductory computer science sequence, and includes CS106A, CS106B, CS106X, and CS106L. The enrollment is so high that we now maintain an active pool of around 60-80 SLs who will teach every quarter. The entire teaching program even gets its own course designation: CS198. You can read more about the semi-complex structure of the teaching program [more . . .]

Apr 302009

This is one of Lawrence Lessig’s classic speeches. I’m sure most people who read this already hold the viewpoint that copyright law needs a major overhaul, so this video will just be a friendly and clear reminder of why that is true. For those of you who believe that copyright law needs no change, hopefully this video will explain why so many people believe firmly that the current system is broken. The highly ironic part of this is that Warner Music has issued a DMCA take-down notice on the presentation. Really?

Nov 162008

The following is a hilarious segment of one of former Secretary of Defense William Perry’s lectures in my Stanford MS&E 293 class on national security: “The Washington Post responded to the announcement by running an article observing that I was soft-spoken and humble, and questioning whether those were the right personality traits for the job of Secretary of Defense. They were simply reflecting the well-known fact that those in Washington that traveled the high road of humility are never bothered by heavy traffic. As a result of the Post article, my confirmation hearing was a surreal experience. Senator Byrd, instead of asking me questions about my views on defense issues, took off on the Washington Post article. He observed that [more . . .]

May 142008

Articles like this one in Trees and Things rile my blood. Not only is this activity blatantly predatory, but shows both a lack of concern for many of the nation’s pressing issues and a fundamental lack of understanding of (or desire to understand) how endowments work. Yes, the thing known as the Endowment in most top private universities across the United States is increasing, and yes, there is a deficit, but coveting the money of educational institutions to help offset the national debt is an atrocious proposition. Many congresspeople complain that the major Universities with the $10+ billion endowments should allocate more money to financial aid, and use the money to expand programs and admit more students. However, things are [more . . .]

May 082008

Harnessing the millions of easily distractable minds worldwide, groundbreaking science is being done. Rosetta@Home, the software that is modeled after Stanford’s Folding@Home and designed for distributed calculation and prediction for 3D protein shapes on millions of computers worldwide, now has a new feature. As the Economist article describes, the new Rosetta@Home software contains a game in which users (players) can manipulate the 3D protein structure according to basic laws of chemistry and physics in order to minimize energy. This was created due to the fact that 3D protein alignments and folding are still hugely computationally intensive, and often, the best 3D structures are found by molecular biologists working by hand rather than a computer using a heuristic algorithm. Moreover, humans [more . . .]