- Wed 8 Apr 2020The Bottom Third
Success is a difficult thing to measure and foster. Good advisors help all of their students succeed.
- Tue 31 Mar 2020Managing my Annotated Bibliography with Emacs' Org Mode
Org mode is a fantastic tool for managing references. Here's a description of how I use it, and some additional packages, to manage my annotated bibliography.
- Sun 22 Mar 2020A Guide to My Organizational Workflow: How to Streamline Your Life
Detailed notes are needed to accomplish individual projects or tasks but not the big picture. Task lists and calendars focus on the big picture at the expense of detail. An effective organizational system requires both. This post gives a high-level overview of my Getting Things Done inspired organizational workflow.
- Fri 13 Mar 2020The Valley of AI Trust
Particularly for safety-critical applications or the automation of tasks that can directly impact quality of life, we must be careful to avoid the valley of AI trust—the dip in overall safety caused by premature adoption of automation.
- Mon 6 Jan 2020Talk figures are different from paper figures
One communication pitfall I often see is that many researchers will take figures from their papers and paste them into their slides. Here, I provide some tips for tailoring your figures to talks.
- Mon 30 Dec 2019Machine Learning & Robotics: My (biased) 2019 State of the Field
My thoughts on the past year of progress in Robotics and Machine Learning.
- Thu 31 Oct 2019Anyone sufficiently experienced is indistinguishable from a magician
Surrounded by brilliant people, I see my friends and colleagues produce surprising insights seemingly from thin air. Only through dedication to a craft can one gain the depth of understanding necessary to demonstrate this level of mastery.
- Thu 8 Aug 2019The "Myths List" is a communication antipattern
I rarely find these /Myth List/ articles compelling, yet many such articles could benefit from a more clearly presented statement of the author's viewpoint.
- Wed 7 Aug 2019On the efficiency of Artificial Neural Networks versus the Brain
Recent ire from the media has focused on the high-power consumption of artificial neural nets (ANNs), yet popular discussion frequently conflates training and testing. Here, I aim to clarify the ways in which conversations involving the relative efficiency of ANNs and the human brain often miss the mark.
- Fri 24 May 2019No Free Lunch and Neural Network Architecture
Machine learning must always balance flexibility and prior assumptions about the data. In neural networks, the network architecture codifies these prior assumptions, yet the precise relationship between them is opaque. Deep learning solutions are therefore difficult to build without a lot of trial and error, and neural nets are far from an out-of-the-box solution for most applications.
- Tue 5 Mar 2019Technical communication is particularly hard for newcomers
One of the key components to good technical communication is the right amount of context, and only experience yields such knowledge. Technical communication is understandably hard for newcomers.
- Fri 25 Jan 2019Proxy metrics are everywhere in Machine Learning
Many machine learning systems are optimized using metrics that don't perfectly match the stated goals of the system. These so-called "proxy metrics" are incredibly useful, but must be used with caution.
- Sat 12 Jan 2019Don't Let Your Hobbies Die
I've discovered over time is that many of my skills and passions have developed only through little side-projects that never see the light of day. The combination of the satisfaction I get from freely exploring a new idea and the occasional long-term reward make me feel as if I am constantly growing.
- Wed 9 Jan 2019Massive Datasets and Generalization in ML
Big, publically available datasets are great. Yet many practitioners who seek to use models pretrained on this data need to ask themselves how informative the data is likely to be for their purposes. Dataset bias and task specificity are important factors to keep in mind.
- Sun 16 Dec 2018DeepMind's AlphaZero and The Real World
Using DeepMind's AlphaZero AI to solve real problems will require a change in the way computers represent and think about the world. In this post, we discuss how abstract models of the world can be used for better AI decision making and discuss recent work of ours that proposes such a model for the task of navigation.
- Sat 1 Dec 2018The Importance of Simulation in the Age of Deep Learning
An overview of the significance of simulation tools in the field of robotics and the promise and limitations of photorealistic simulators.
- Mon 19 Nov 2018On Blaming Cosmic Rays
In my last lab, cosmic radiation was one of the many inescapable factors that limited how precisely we could measure the output of our laser; only by understanding what limits performance can one hope to have a reasonable estimate of what is possible.
- Wed 5 Sep 2018Practical Guidelines for Getting Started with Machine Learning
The potential advantages of AI are many, and using machine learning to accelerate your business may outweigh potential pitfalls. If you are looking to use machine learning tools, here are a few guidelines you should keep in mind.
- Sun 2 Sep 2018For AI, translation is about more than language
Translation is about expressing the same underlying information in different ways, and modern machine learning is making incredibly rapid progress in this space.
- Sun 29 Jul 2018Bias in AI Happens When We Optimize the Wrong Thing
Bias is a pervasive problem in AI. Only by discouraging machine learning systems from exploiting a certain bias can we expect such a system to avoid doing so.
- Sun 24 Jun 2018Literate Programming with Org-mode
I frequently use Org mode to combine code snippets and analysis in a single document, a programming paradigm known as Literate Programming. Here are a few example showing how powerful this setup can be.
- Mon 15 Jan 2018Motivated People Don't Need a Job Title
Having too many specific tasks is limiting and can stymie the creative impulses that give rise to fantastic employees.
- Wed 27 Dec 2017My Favorite Deep Learning Papers of 2017
Here are five deep learning papers I felt rose above the rest in 2017.
- Sat 23 Sep 2017Enhancing Websites with Clear Visual Design
Clarity is key. Here are some tips for improving your website or blog.
- Tue 7 Mar 2017Y.A.U.S (Yet Another Uber Scandal)
The tech culture is broken, and Uber is just the tip of an iceberg.
- Thu 2 Mar 2017A Complete Guide to Email in Emacs using Mu and Mu4e
Most email clients are a pain. Emacs & mu4e are less of a pain.
- Wed 21 Dec 2016Be Caring & Reach Out
This time of year can be tough, so reach out to a friend to check in.
- Mon 19 Dec 2016Vim Within Emacs: An Anecdotal Guide
After using Emacs for 2 years, I decided to give "evil-mode" (Vim keybindings) a tentative try and I'm not looking back.
- Sun 4 Sep 2016My Workflow with Org-Agenda
I use Emacs' "org-mode" to organize my life. Here's a snippet of how I get it all working.
- Thu 31 Mar 2016Have You Tried Using a 'Nearest Neighbor Search'?
More complicated ≠ better. In many circumstances, using the most sophisticated approaches to Machine Learning (like deep learning) may not be worthwhile.
- Wed 16 Mar 2016The Physics of Maxwell's Equations
Maxwell's Equations govern the study of electromagnetism, one of the fundamental forces of nature. Here, I attempt to motivate these beautiful equations and present some of their more interesting consequences.
- Fri 5 Feb 2016How We Teach Programming, and Where We're Going Wrong
Programming matters. As more of the country recognizes the importance of the skill, an increasing number of methods for teaching programming concepts have popped up. However, the emphasis should lean towards how to apply programming across disciplines.
- Sun 17 Jan 2016Disabling Ubuntu's Broken Wi-Fi Driver
Ubuntu's 802.11n Wi-Fi driver is notoriously broken; here's how to turn it off.
- Mon 24 Aug 2015Getting Started with Use-Package
Jump-start emacs with use-package and never manually install another package again
- Mon 10 Aug 2015Technologies Behind Caches To Caches
Here's how I built this blog, which relies on Django/Apache on Amazon EC2
- Wed 5 Aug 2015C/C++ Completion in Emacs
Handle large-project C++ completion with Irony & GNU GLOBAL
- Tue 24 Mar 2015Koding with Django
Koding’s free cloud-based linux dev environment has had me playing for a while. Here’s how to use it with Django.
- Sat 21 Mar 2015Hello, World!
Obligatory first post; welcome to our blog.