### Augmented reality devices in today's workplace

Industry defined problems is a regular event at Shaastra, the annual technological event at IIT Madras. Industries sponsor the event and students compete to give interesting solutions to said problems. This year, EATON sponsored the event, defining 3 problems statements for those interested to tackle. I was interested in trying my hand at one of the problem statements, on how augmented reality devices or specifically the Google Glass can help multi-national, multi-product, technology oriented industries to increase productivity.

In the following presentation, I talk about the ways in which certain industries can flourish with the use of augmented reality devices.

To elaborate on the four important topics mentioned in the presentation, the first of which is classroom education, a large portion of students in schools are put off by science and math because they cannot visualize the subjects and therefore, have a poor understanding on the subjects. Topics such as three dimensional vectors and vector algebra, projections, multi-dimensional plots and trigonometry are hard to visualize. Visual cues can only help to a certain extent. If and when augmented reality devices gain the ability to decipher user's actions, such as hand movements, it can be used to interact with said problems in three dimensions, giving a real perspective. This could help in better understanding.

Following the same train of thought, I feel that executive meetings at companies can benefit from the use of augmented reality devices as it becomes easier for colleagues to convey their data in an interactive fashion, hopefully leading to a better understanding. Again, this is assuming that augmented reality devices have the ability to decipher user's motion, which the Google Glass doesn't have currently.

Moving on, the advertising industry can be revolutionized using augmented reality devices. Every blank space becomes a bill board on the device and given how google now serves personalized ads depending on a user's search and shopping history, it is inevitable that if google glass takes off, one can expect interactive ads to appear on buildings and walls. Everything becomes a billboard, including humans.

And finally, I feel that the customer service industry can benefit from augmented reality devices. Software problems can be solved using online customer support but hardware problems need offline support. If and when augmented reality devices become omnipresent, the user and stream the hardware problem he is currently having to the customer service representative, who can then display exactly what needs to be done. The user and the customer rep have one eye on the problem at hand and the other eye at what the other person is doing. Sound interesting?

So, that's what I could come up with in 4 hours. And I didn't make the cut. Well, atleast it was an interesting thought exercise.

### Animation using GNUPlot

Animation using GNUPlotI've been trying to create an animation depicting a quasar spectrum moving across the 5 SDSS pass bands with respect to redshift. It is important to visualise what emission lines are moving in and out of bands to be able to understand the color-redshift plots and the changes in it.
I've tried doing this using the animate function in matplotlib, python but i wasn't able to make it work - meaning i worked on it for a couple of days and then i gave up, not having found solutions for my problems on the internet.
And then i came across this site, where the gunn-peterson trough and the lyman alpha forest have been depicted - in a beautiful manner. And this got me interested in using js and d3 to do the animations and make it dynamic - using sliders etc.
In the meanwhile, i thought i'd look up and see if there was a way to create animations in gnuplot and whoopdedoo, what do i find but nirvana!

In the image, you see 5 static curves and one dynam…

### on MOOCs.

For those of you who don't know, MOOC stands for Massively Open Online Course.

The internet is an awesome thing. It's making education free for all. Well, mostly free. But it's surprising at the width and depth of courses being offered online. And it looks like they are also having an impact on students, especially those from universities that are not top ranked. Students in all parts of the world can now get a first class education experience, thanks to courses offered by Stanford, MIT, Caltech, etc.

I'm talking about MOOCs because one of my new year resolutions is to take online courses, atleast 2 per semester (6 months). And I've chosen the following two courses on edX - Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server and Data Science Essentials for now. I looked at courses on Coursera but I couldn't find any which was worthy and free. There are a lot more MOOC providers out there but let's start here. And I feel like the two courses are relevant to where I …

### On programmers.

I just watched this brilliant keynote today. It's a commentary on Programmers and the software development industry/ecosystem as a whole.

I am not going to give you a tl;dr version of the talk because it is a talk that I believe everyone should watch, that everyone should learn from. Instead, I am going to give my own parallel-ish views on programmers and programming.
As pointed out in the talk, there are mythical creatures in the software development industry who are revered as gods. Guido Van Rossum, the creator of Python, was given the title Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL). People flock around the creators of popular languages or libraries. They are god-like to most programmers and are treated like gods. By which, I mean to say, we assume they don't have flaws. That they are infallible. That they are perfect.
And alongside this belief in the infallibility of these Gods, we believe that they were born programmers. That programming is something that people are born wit…