We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

An interesting book collection

(This is a re-post from 2011)

Towards the end of 2011 I stumbled upon Harward's systems research lab and was curious to know about Indian grad students there. There was only a single student. Son of Mr. Narayan Murty (Infosys). Rohan Murty. I felt curious about the collection of books he had read since 2005. And here it is. 

I had always had this problem about finding a good source of books to read from a reliable source. This list made me extremely happy.

Men of Mathematics - E.T. Bell (5/5)

1984 - George Orwell (5/5)

The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan - Robert Kanigel (5/5)

Masters of Doom : How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture - David Kushner (5/5)

Fermat's Last Theorem - Simon Singh (5/5)

e: The Story of a Number - Eli Maor (5/5)

A Mathematician's Apology - G. H. Hardy (4/5)

Chaos: Making a New Science - James Gleick (3/5)

'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!' (Adventures of a Curious Character) - Richard P. Feynman, Ralph Leighton, Edward Hutchings and Albert R. Hibbs (5/5)

What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character - Richard P. Feynman, Ralph Leighton (4/5)

Prisoner's Dilemma: John Von Neumann, Game Theory and the Puzzle of the Bomb - William Poundstone (3/5)

Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From The Beaten Track: The Letters Of Richard P. Feynman - Timothy Ferris (5/5)

Genius : The Life and Science of Richard Feynman - James Gleick (3/5)

Trigonometric Delights - Eli Maor (3/5)

The Hilbert Challenge - Jeremy Gray (3/5)

No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman - Richard P. Feynman (3/5)

Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics - George Johnson (4/5)

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman - Richard P. Feynman and Jeffrey Robbins (2/5)

Feynman Lectures on Computation (2/5)

Six Easy Pieces, Six Not-So-Easy Pieces - Richard P. Feynman (4/5)

Six Easy Pieces - Richard P. Feynman (5/5)

Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid - Douglas Hofstadter (4/5)

Feynman's Lost Lecture: The Motion of Planets Around the Sun - David L. Goodstein, Judith R. Goodstein and Richard Phillips Feynman (2/5)

Strange Brains and Genius : The Secret Lives of Eccentric Scientists and Madmen - Clifford A. Pickover - 2002 (2/5)

The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematics - Marcus du Sautoy (4/5)

To Infinity and Beyond: A Cultural History of the Infinite - Eli Maor (4/5)

Interactions : A Journey Through the Mind of a Particle Physicist - Sheldon Glashow and Ben Bova (3/5)

Tuva or Bust! Richard Feynman's Last Journey - Ralph Leighton - 2003 (2/5)

Selfish Routing and the Price of Anarchy - Tim Roughgarden (5/5)

Universities and Their Leadership - Bowen and Shapiro (Editors) - 2004 (5/5)

The Evolution of Cooperation - Robert Axelrod - 2005 (3/5)

The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins (4/5)

Einstein: The Life and Times - Ronald Clark (3/5)

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos - Steven Strogatz (4/5)

The Creation of the Future: The Role of the American University - Frank Rhodes - 2005 (5/5)

Emergence: From Chaos to Order - John H. Holland - 2005 (2/5)

Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond (3/5)

God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History - Stephen Hawking (2/5)

Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason - Charles Freeman - 2006 (5/5)

Sea of Faith: Islam and Christianity in the Medieval Mediterranean World - Stephen O'Shea - 2006 (4/5)

A Short History of Byzantium - John Julius Norwich - 2006 (4/5)

Byzantium: The Early Centuries - John Julius Norwich (5/5)

Byzantium: The Apogee - John Julius Norwhich (4/5)

Byzantium: The Decline and Fall - John Julius Norwhich (4/5)

For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery - Rodney Stark (3/5)

The Physics of Superheroes - James Kakalios (4/5)

One True God: Historical Consequences of Monotheism - Rodney Stark (3/5)

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed - Jared Diamond (1/5)

Behavioural Game Theory: Experiments in strategic interactions - Colin Camerer (3/5)

A Beautiful Mind - Slyvia Nassar (4/5)

Complete Yes Prime Minister - Jonathan Lynn and Anthony Jay (5/5)

Choice and Consequence - Thomas C. Schelling (3/5)

Readings in Political Economy - Kaushik Basu (3/5)

The Book of the Courtier - Baldesar Castiglione (3/5)

Rationality and Freedom - Amartya Sen (2/5)

Fate Is the Hunter - Ernest K. Gann (4/5)

Great Feuds in Mathematics - Hellman (4/5)

Constantine and the Conversion of Europe - Jones (3/5)

Becoming Charlemagne - Jeff Sypeck (4/5)

Moral Minds - Marc Hauser (4/5)

A Man Without a Country - Kurt Vonnegut (5/5)

Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine - Lenski (3/5)

The Story of Philosophy - Will Durant (5/5)

An Introduction to Political Philosophy - Wolff (5/5)

The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins (3/5)

Letter to a Christian Nation - Sam Harris (3/5)

Lord Chesterfield's Letters - Lord Chesterfield (3/5)

American Prometheus - The Triumph and Tragedy of Robert J. Oppenheimer - Bird and Sherwin (4/5)

The Grapes of Wrath - Steinbeck (5/5)

The Moral Consequences of Economic Freedom - Friedman (5/5)

A History of Civilizations - Braudel (3/5)

Among the Believers - Naipaul (4/5)

God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist - Victor Stenger (3/5)

Bookless in Baghdad - Shashi Tharoor (2/5)

The Argumentative Indian - Amartya Sen (2/5)

Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger (5/5)

Chairman of the Board: A Practical Guide - Brian Lechem (1/5)

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseni (3/5)

Big Bang - Simon Singh (5/5)

The Undercover Economist - Tim Hartford (4/5)

Right Hand Left Hand - Chris McManus (4/5)

The Battle for God - Karen Armstrong (4/5)

Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel - Rebecca Goldstein (4/5)

Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics - Gino Segre (4/5)

God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism- Jonathan Kirsch (4/5)

The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher - Julian Baginni (2/5)

The Therapy of Desire - Martha Nussbaum (3/5)

Boeing versus Airbus - John Newhouse (4/5)

Physics of the Impossible - Michio Kaku (2/5)

The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company - David Price (2/5)

Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul - Kenneth Miller (4/5)

Lectures on The History of Moral Philosophy - John Rawls (3/5)

The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist - Richard P. Feynman (2/5)

Vikram Sarabhai - Amrita Shah (3/5)

Arthur Rimbaud: Complete Works - Arthur Rimbaud (4/5)

Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World - Timothy Brook (4/5)

Feynman’s Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life - Leonard Mlodinow (3/5)

Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions - Martha Nussbaum (3/5)

Elizabeth Costello - J. M. Coetzee (5/5)

Mohandas - Rajmohan Gandhi (3/5)

Thus Spoke Zarathushtra - Friedrich Nietzsche (3/5)

Alberuni’s India - Al-Biruni (4/5)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain (5/5)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain (5/5)

The Quantum Ten - Sheila Jones (4/5)

PoincarĂ©’s Prize: The Hundred -Year Quest to Solve One of Math’s Greatest Puzzles - George G. Szpiro (4/5)

The Honors Class: Hilbert’s Problems and Their Solvers - Ben Yandell (3/5)

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments - George Johnson (3/5)

Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut (4/5)

The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg - Robert P. Crease (2/5)

Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code - Matt Ridley (1/5)

Empires of the Indus - Alice Albinia (4/5)

Essays of E. B. White - E. B. White (4/5)

Cosmic Imagery: Key Images in the History of Science - John D. Barrow (4/5)

The Great American University - Jonathan Cole (5/5)

Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality - Manjit Kumar (4/5)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Adafruit learning system

An amazing web-site with lots of electronics projects powered by learning platforms based on Arduino, and Rasberri pi.


Excerpt from web-site.

The Adafruit Learning System

In 2012, after years of coding tutorials by hand, Limor put together a small team to build a custom tutorial management system from the ground up. The Adafruit Learning System allows us to make a wide range of awesome tutorials fast and efficiently. We hope these tutorials will help you learn something new, and inspire you to make something great!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Should you do a PhD in Computer Science?

I came across these two great posts on why one should / should not do a PhD in Computer Science ....
An excerpt below.

Every year I am approached by students asking about grad school in Computer Science. I generally sit down with them for an hour or so and go over all of the details of why you should go, what the trade-offs are, where you should apply, what it takes to get in, and so forth. I figured it would be a good idea to write some of this advice up in a blog post so I can capture it in a more permanent form. 


And an excellent visual of what happens after a successful PhD...