Reader's Corner for May 2013

May 31, 2013

We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why.

Really long, really worth reading.

May 29, 2013

Anyway, here’s the thing, folks. The large number of coursework-only MS degrees that we are collectively granting is eroding whatever prestige and credentialing value was previously associated with an MS. To put it bluntly, people have caught on. For example, see this short essay by Aline Lerner (or...

"The declining value of the MS in Computer Science"

May 27, 2013

Christos Papadimitriou is a professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at University of California, Berkeley. Before joining UC Berkeley in 1996, he taught at Harvard, MIT, Athens Polytechnic, Stanford, and University of California, San Diego. He serves on the Campus Ad...

Worth a read.

One visible sign of China's recent economic growth is the rise in prominence of inventors and entrepreneurs

These are cool.

May 24, 2013

Unexpected discoveries in the quest to cure an extraordinary skeletal condition show how medically relevant rare diseases can be.

Worth reading.

May 21, 2013

An unknown mathematician, Yitang Zhang, has revolutionized his field and helped move forward a 2,000-year-old conjecture about prime numbers. His counterintuitive findings show that special pairs of primes, called twin primes, can never be more than 70 million places away from one another.

This is interesting.

May 15, 2013

This is an asm.js fork of Maxime Chevalier-Boisvert's original page (see original blog post). The original code interprets the Turing machine; this code compiles it to asm.js. (I also added the Faster/Slower/Pause buttons and the ring around the machine's head visible at slow speeds.)

Turing machines!

This is quite fun

May 14, 2013

A number of years ago I became aware of the large number of physics enthusiasts out there who have no venue to learn modern physics and cosmology. Fat advanced textbooks are not suitable to people who have no teacher to ask questions of, and the popular literature does not go deeply enough to satis...

This is really cool.

May 13, 2013

Here’s my account of leaving the PhD program at Berkeley to work at Cloudera. My experience might not be representative or generalize beyond my own situation, but I’m writing this because a number of people have asked me about the differences between grad school and industry. Choosing to leave Berke...

This is pretty good advice.

May 10, 2013

This is worth reading.

On August 31, 2012, Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki posted four papers on the Internet. The titles were inscrutable. The volume was daunting: 512 pages in total. The claim was audacious: ...

The first paper, entitled “Inter-universal Teichmuller Theory I: Construction of Hodge Theaters,” starts out by stating that the goal is “to establish an arithmetic version of Teichmuller theory for number fields equipped with an elliptic curve…by applying the theory of semi-graphs of anabelioids, Frobenioids, the etale theta function, and log-shells.”

May 4, 2013

Analyzing predictors of Google abandoning products; predicting future shutdowns

A thorough analysis, but not for those who are mathematically challenged.