Skip to main content

The week that wasn't (written about)

To be exact, it's been almost 10 days since I last wrote. It's not that I don't have anything to say anymore, I've been talking about menial, day-to-day, conventionally boring stuff all along, it's just that I lost interest in telling people how (conventionally) boring my days were. I can say that I needed a break from writing. I can say that I was busy with work. I can say that I was not interested in writing anymore but I guess none of them are the true reason. I guess I just stopped caring. I don't really have much of a reason as to why I stopped writing and why I am starting again.

It's been a productive week I guess, compared to the same week last year that is. I got tired of having to solve the same problem over and over again so I decided to latex my solutions. I was also getting frustrated/irritated because I wasn't finding practice problems at my level. And because most textbooks don't have a solution sets. One long term goal that I've decided upon this week is to take up a common textbook for which solutions aren't already available online, work them out and put them up online. People like me need reassurance that what they're doing is correct and in fact gives the right answer so I thought it'd be good. Also, I tend to forget a lot so latexing everything will help me down the line, I'm sure. Here is a small hint at what's cooking in this regard. Actually, that's all there is, I just wanted to start a sentence with 'Here is a small hint of ...'.

I'm working on a couple of other small projects, as I have been over the last couple of months. I'll write about them when they reach an acceptable level of completion. I still haven't been able to find time or help to work on the tougher (i.e one that take longer) ideas. Sigh...

Popular posts from this blog

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…