Thursday, October 27, 2005

Jorge Cham's talk: The power of procrastination

Jorge Cham is the author of the grad student "phdcomics" topics. He recently gave a talk at our university, and needless to say, the audience were enthralled. He recently received his Ph.D. from stanford, but is known for the cartoons he writes during his past time as a researcher. I would recommend all graduate students that have not heard of him to click and have fun at the link:

Monday, October 10, 2005

Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made

Andy Herltzfeld, a mac enthusiast joined Apple as a systems programmer in the year 1979. The book he wrote was released in 2004 (title shown above) and it talks about the history of the team that invented the mac. I am looking forward to reading this book sometime in the future . A absolute piece of technological history!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Massive Earthquake in Pakistan and India

I woke up today at around 10:00 AM (early morning for engineers :)) and got into my routine of reading BBC, a desire within me to me abreast of happenings around the world early. While fear of the bird flu is gripping the world, I awoke miles away from an earthquake that probably had killed around a thousand people. How many more natural disasters are going to come our way? Man has been attempting to understand science for a very long time now and it has come a long way. I, for one believe strongly that if research in science does not help the ordinary man, then perhaps, we are not doing great justice to ourselves. I understand that there is a value to understanding things but science and technology should help the ordinary man fulfill the basic needs. While our ability to predict hurricanes helped people save their lives, this ability is available only to the rich countries in the world. Millions of people in the poor countries die without the money to employ science to save their lives.

I do not know the answer to the question, but perhaps it is time people thought about the true value of research in addition to the financial implications of success :(. My urge to pen down this thought while my mind is in a cloud requires that I edit this article when my thoughts will be clearer and precise in their opinion sometime in the future.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Men of Mathematics: Eric T Bell

I read this book a few months back and wanted to recommend other people to read this book too. It was suggested by a good friend of mine and does not have any technical details. Instead, the book delves into the life of mathematicians in a chronogical order starting from the great Archimedes until the mathematicians of the nineteenth century, famously called the golden era of mathematics.

The author explains he believes that Archimedes, Gauss and Newton were the greatest mathematicians ever. He talks about the extent to which Archimedes hated practical mathematics but still had to apply math to devise those giant pulleys and spherical mirrors to defend his homeland against the romans.

This non-technical allows us to visualize a leaf from some of the mathematicians and would believe it as a must read for everyone!