Dispatches

A Loss in Geek Life: The Death of the Midnight Premiere

I draped my Hunger Games blanket across my shoulders and proudly strode to the movie theaters, anxious to get in line. Except, there was no line.

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Computer Models in History: Soviet Political Realism

Stepping into a slightly different pool than usual, let’s look at something from history: VRYAN (Russian acronym for Surprise Nuclear Missile Attack)

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Scientific Utopias: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the h-index

tl;drThe h-index isn’t boiling a person down into a single number, we are. Also, people in power are the worst and will act as such even if they’re scientists

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Displacing the Classifieds

What is the most impactful invention of all time? Before some hipster’s smug intervention on behalf of the printing press, most millennials would nominate the internet. It’s difficult to argue that Google, Paypal, Amazon, Uber, Facebook, and Reddit haven’t profoundly altered our daily routines. While one-click ordering the one-hour delivery ...

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A Man Walks into a Bar: A Computational Scientist’s Nightmare

There’s the old joke: “A man walks into a bar. He says ‘ow’ “.

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The college scorecard

Health and education should be free. Or this is what most Europeans and a large group of Americans think. In an indirect attempt to decrease the currently rapidly increasing cost of college tuition, the US Department of Education has published a college scorecard in which the tuition cost, the salary after graduation, and the graduation rate are made available, among other information.

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Welcome to New York, it's been waiting for you

Everybody here wanted something moreSearching for a sound we hadn’t heard before And it saidWelcome to New York, It’s been waiting for you

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Follow me on the Reading Rainbow

Over the summer I’ve been able to successfully chisel away at my goal of reading 20 books by 16 different authors in 2015, with my two weeks of travel to and around Spain providing me ample time to dive into my iPad and digest. For this tour, I went back ...

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Collections

From a programmer’s perspective, taking care of memory and time are the most important issues. Computers have limited memory and accessing it has a computational cost. The first step I always do before I start programming is to think about the problem and the data structure. To define the data structure well, it is necessary to know what will be the way to access the data. For example, how to iterate over the elements, access an element or insert elements. Also, it is important to know the relationship between the elements: are they unique, do they aggregates, or is there an order?

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Grad School: Burnout begets burnout?

It is common knowledge that graduate teaching requirements are more often a bane than a benefit. It is easy to see why graduate students dread it. First of all, the responsibility of being a TA is usually tacked onto an already packed schedule as if it were as easy as ...

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Setting up a new development environment

Setting up your development environment on a new computer can be a pain. This guide will show you how you can take your existing environment and put them into an installer script.

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The inevitably(?) of fraud academia

The boat only has the power that it does because we all believe that it shouldn’t be rocked. And that has to, and can, change immediately.

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Upriver

Spain is a geographically heterogeneous country with large contrasts between regions. It has mountains that rise up to 3400 meters above the sea level in the Pyrenees and Granada, such as the Mulhacén that is the highest mountain in continental Spain. Teide, which is located in the Canary Island, is the highest mountain in all the country. Spain also has beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean sea, forests in the north and deserts in Andalucia and in some regions in the center.

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Alumnus elected Early Career Fellow of Ecological Society of America

Professor Daniel Stouffer, currently a Senior Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury (NZ), was one of nine new Early Career Fellows elected by the Ecological Society of America (ESA). ESA designates as Early Career Fellows of the Society certain early career members (typically chosen ...

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Nine to Five to Nine to Nine

Towards the end of an undergraduate engineering program, the graduating class forms two distinct groups. A handful of students choose to continue their formal education in grad school, while the majority turn to industry in order to cash in on their degrees. I fell into the latter category, but today ...

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A knight and a thief walk into a bar and meet three gods……

Most people have heard the logic puzzle about the knight and the thief. The knight always tells the truth and the thief always lies. If you happen to run into the two of them on the road one day, how can you figure out who is whom by asking just ...

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Jane Wang accepts Research Scientist position at Google DeepMind

Amaral lab alumnus Jane Wang has recently accepted a Research Scientist position at Google DeepMind, where she will work on integrating neuroscience concepts into artificial intelligence. Google DeepMind is a company focused on researching reinforcement learning, hippocampal learning, and deep neural networks. Dr. Wang’s experience in computational research from her ...

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Andrew Jennings wins 3rd prize in the Poster competition at Northwestern Computational Research Day

At the second annual Northwestern Computational Research day the Amaral Lab was well represented, with undergraduate students Andrew Jennings and Aaron Stern presenting their research. Both did an excellent job, not only in crafting their posters but also presenting their work to all of the symposium attendees. Despite the stiff ...

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Computational research, no longer a red-headed stepchild!

This week I had the, almost obscene, pleasure of participating in Northwestern’s Computational Research Day as a chairperson and poster judge.I typically cringe at the thought of attending conferences and symposia, since I am mainly a homebody (I love my desk, computer, research, and daily schedule), but at the symposium ...

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CUDA

CUDA, Compute Unified Device Architecture, is a parallel computing platform designed by NVIDIA. NVIDIA manufactures graphics cards that accelerate the layout of graphics to a display. In 1999, NVIDIA presented its GeForce 256 as “the world’s first ‘GPU’, or Graphics Processing Unit”. A GPU is an specialized processor designed to speed up 3D rendering. 3D rendering algorithms involve simple calculations, such the amount of light that each pixel receives for each frame, executed over and over, extremely quickly. Therefore, the GPU has been specialized to calculate simple math operations (i.e. matrix product) using lots of threads (parallel process unit). Nowadays, developers can use this powerful architecture to operate on our own data using CUDA. NVIDIA provides the tools that developers need to take advantage of this technology.

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