Category Archives: Uncategorized

Google Tricks

Pretty cool Infographic on Google tricks.  Didn’t know about the ~ operator for Google.  For the full size head over to HackCollege .

Though, I still like to ask Google natural language questions… if they have that many engineers they should be working on it.

Some Google-Fu

Summer Fun

Just got notice a week or two ago that I’ll be spending the summer in Italy!

As part of the IJCAI doctoral consortium I have received funding from the NSF to go work with Dr. Francesca Rossi at the University of Padova.  Right now we are just in the first stages of working out logistics and everything else that comes with these summer moves.  I wonder how much different this is going to be now that I am a little older?  Though  I would like to think that I am a little wiser regarding these short term duty/research appointments…. maybe.

In other news I have just started using RStudio.  Its a pretty cool integrated environment for doing statistical analysis in R.  Before I was attempting to use some combination of Python/Numpy/MatPlotPy but it was very cumbersome and didn’t feel right.  So, though I have to learn my way around R the environment is a lot nicer.  I suspose I could use MatLab but I don’t really want to be tied to paying that much for statistical analysis.

Other than that its the usual cycle of writing, reading, and research (the graduate school 3 R’s?).  I’ve gotten a couple papers in so far this year so I am totally pumped about that… except for the part where I get to spend this whole Friday getting camera ready copies together 😉


BAB Saturday!!!

Home Again

Just spent a very entertaining week in Germany.  I got to attend COMSOC 2010 which was a great experience!  I came away with some new ideas for work and some (possibly) new co-authors.  I don’t have any really good pictures from the trip but I’ll get something up here eventually.

I just got done migrating the lab’s website over to our new home at .  Its looking good but it was a struggle to get Twiki to do what I wanted at some points.  The WYSIWYG thats built into the current Twiki keeps not parsing its own markup correctly.  It makes some of the pages very hard to update.

I want to keep a more current record on this blog of what I am working on so here goes.  After the website update I am preparing a submission for AAMAS.  Its going to be based around our probabilistic tournament results which I need to clean up and add a more compelling story.  I am also working with Tom (an undergrad) on generating natural language interfaces for MDPs.  This is a lot of writing on my part as Tom is doing most of the coding right now.  We came up with some good algorithms but we need a pretty good amount of software to test them.  For some reason he got the coding and I got the writing…. yeah!  I am also in the planning stages of a nice empirical paper for some stuff I saw at COMSOC.

Its a good time; just lots of work!

Back in the Saddle

It was a fun summer.  Got married, went to about 5 other weddings.  Got to see great friends, travel the country, go to Costa Rica, move apartments…. maybe a few other things I am forgetting?  Its been a heck of a summer, much like the last summer I took off in 2006.  Traveled all over and got to have a few life changing experiences as well.

I have updated the site’s look and added my CV. I am going to attempt to use this as a professional site for some upcoming projects.  I am going to attempt to have some independent projects that I write up here.  We’ll see how the semester goes with time allocations.

Dr. Goldsmith and I got our grant so I am a fully funded student for the fall.  It feels really good to not have to worry about money for a little while.  I also get to go to Germany and meet some of my co-authors!  Really looking forward to an exciting semester of new research and new projects here at the new house with the new wife.  Its all new…

New Look ‘n Feel

Just got done switching around the website for the 38th time.  I think the feel now is a little more professional.  I am attempting to consolidate this site into a catch-all as a resume site, teaching site, and blog.  Hopefully this plan doesn’t blow up in my face for some reason (angry students spam posting or something).

I added a publications section and got it all updated and current with all the official and un-official publications and major presentations that I have done.  I might need to break it down between “NASA” and “Academic” since the whole jeckell/hyde career path has led to a disjointed listing.

Other than that, just cleaning up and getting ready for the semester.  I hope to do my qual this semester and achieve “ABD” status here in the next couple weeks.  Waiting to hear back on Liz’s grad school status for the fall and get some wedding planning out of the way as well.  Its not busy here… nope, not. at. all.

Mathematical Narcissism

Just found this out a few days ago so I guess I’ll post it because it gives me some sort of CS/Math related chops.  An Erdős number for a math person is the same as the Bacon number for an actor.  I found out today that I have an Erdős number of 3.  Which seems pretty cool?

Nicholas Mattei -> Judy Goldsmith -> Ken Kunen -> Paul Erdős

This is something Math nerds brag about.  I suppose if I am going to get a PhD. I better start bragging about it too.

That and, maybe, do some work.

Visit-Move Tilt-a-Whirl

Its been a busy 2 months here on the west coast.  Just had Will in town from DC and Turkey was here from Seattle last weekend.  Been spending a lot of time in The City and even more time driving around the Bay Area… or the hellacious suburb that passes for an urban area around here.

Everything is pretty much in place for the move back here in a couple weeks.  We got an apt. rented in Lexington, shipping container booked, car shipment booked, travel plans set etc.  Now I just need to get Liz to actually start packing up our meager world possessions and we can get on with this shit.

It feels like every other day I am excited about going home; the interweaving days I want to stay here.  There are a lot of good things that I am going to miss about the bay area… the weather, the food, the good parts of work.  Then there are things I am ready to get back too … the weather, the space, the good parts of being a student.

Its becoming more and more obvious to me that life is all about trade-offs.  “What can you stand now” sorts of things.  Most situations are not clear cut and wholesale better than others, they are matters of degrees.  The important thing, I guess, is to find the ones you can deal with and go for it.  For a while I thought coming to Cali was going to be wholesale better than being a student in KY, turns out I was wrong.  I think one of these days I will find some situation that makes me happier than any other one I could possibly imagine.  When I find it, I hope I have the ability to stick with it as long as possible.

Hopefully its not for a while though because the ride is fun as hell right now, no matter how much I complain.

ARM Dev.

So later this week I get to start doing some ARM development.  Using Atmel parts (AT91SAM7A3 for those interested).  There is a GNU tool chain so I can actually install stuff when I get the parts and don’t have to wait around for 3 weeks while I get a PO for the development environment.

I can only hope that moving to ARM provides me some relief from trying to do general computing, command, and control on an 8-bit Microchip PIC.  Attempting to explain why we can’t multiply floating point matricies together while doing communications has really gotten on my nerves.   It seems like parts are chosen at random here and then never changed out to meet new engineering needs.  Se la vi….

At least this is a part that I chose to address the application at hand (ya know, the way things should be).