67 posts tagged with ComputerScience.
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The network is the music

Here's how to create and train your very own neural networks to compose classical music! Technical background, cool illustrations and music samples included.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Aug 9, 2015 - 14 comments


Since it folds in three dimensions, we could store all of the world’s current data—everyone’s photos, every Facebook status update, all of Wikipedia, everything—using less than an ounce of DNA. And, with its propensity to replicate given the right conditions, millions of copies of DNA can be made in the lab in just a few hours. Such favorable traits make DNA an ideal candidate for storing lots of informations, for a long time, in a small space.
But how stable is DNA? The Reed-Solomon method, long used to error-check data transmission and duplication, is now being explored as an adjunct to the long-term archiving of information encoded in DNA. A post by Alex Riley at the PBS Science blog NOVA/NEXT.
posted by Rumple on Jul 30, 2015 - 35 comments

Time with class! Let's Count!

I want to demonstrate how amazing combinatorial explosion is! Please don't stop me.  An animation about numbers that get large. It has a happy ending and possibly even a moral. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 12, 2015 - 21 comments

What is Code? said jesting ftrain

Paul Ford (yes, yes, MeFi's Own) has created a juggernaut of an article / lived experience / beautiful time-sink about coding. At this point I'll shut up so you can pack a lunch and go immerse yourself now.
posted by maudlin on Jun 11, 2015 - 95 comments

Cybernetics Behind the Curtain

"Computers, once vilified and now championed, were constant in one thing: They amplified the virtues and deficits of the system that implemented them." The Tangled History of Soviet Computer Science. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Apr 9, 2015 - 15 comments

insufficient context, scale, frequency or scope

"Instead, most current systems, almost without fail, do the opposite. Moderators responsible for content and complaints, regardless of gender, are making decisions based not just on the information they are reviewing, but on the way in which the information flows – linear, acontextual and isolated from other incidents. They are reliant, despite their best efforts, on technical systems that provide insufficient context, scale, frequency or scope. In addition, they lack specific training in trauma (their own or users) and in understanding gender-based violence. " -- "Silicon Valley sexism: why it matters that the internet is made by men, for men", by Soraya Chemaly, The New Statesman
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 9, 2015 - 25 comments

The Queen Of Code

The Queen Of Code. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Jan 30, 2015 - 31 comments

"Would you like to play a game?"

Mario AI - "Mario's inner emotive states cause behavior-determining drives. For example, Mario will collect coins if he is hungry. Whereas, when he is curious, he will explore his environment and autonomously gather knowledge about items he does not know about yet."
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jan 19, 2015 - 15 comments

Another game folds to computers.

Two player limit hold 'em solved, say University of Alberta researchers. You can try it yourself here. Poker (at least this variant) now joins such solved games (solved games previously) as tic-tac-toe, connect four, and checkers. [more inside]
posted by jeffamaphone on Jan 10, 2015 - 50 comments

Hmm!! no compilation/linker error!!! Why is it so??

C puzzles - Dear visitor, Thanks for your interest in C programming. In this page, you will find a list of interesting C programming questions/puzzles. Not a huge list, but an interesting one.
posted by Wolfdog on Nov 15, 2014 - 28 comments

Diversity within us comes out better when there's diversity in our team.

The most recent episode of the Ruby Rogues podcast — #179 Accountability and Diversity with Meagan Waller — is a treasure trove of insights and info about unconscious biases, diversity, employment, culture, tech, and more. The podcast page features a timestamped topic outline of the discussion, as well as many links to the Ruby community websites, projects, studies, conferences, and controversies they discuss… [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Nov 3, 2014 - 5 comments

girls and technology!

WYNC's Manoush Zomorodi investigates the gender gap in tech and computer science, and finds a number of people working towards bridging that gap, from childhood to university: completely restructuring a required computer science course to make it more welcoming to female university students, celebrating women in computing history (and recognizing that computer science wasn't so male-dominated, and making children's books and toys (even dollhouses!) for kids to explore programming concepts on their own. She also noticed that the majority of female computer science students in the US had grown up overseas - possibly because computer science isn't a common subject in American high schools. This is slated to change: a new AP Computer Science subject is in the works, with efforts to get 10,000 highly-trained computer science teachers in 10,000 high schools across the US. If you want to join Mindy Kaling in supporting young girls entering computer science, tech, and coding, there's a lot [more inside]
posted by divabat on Aug 16, 2014 - 70 comments

It's just a jump to the ... well, in any legal direction really

The Peg Solitaire Army is a problem spun off from a classic recreation, and yet another example of the golden ratio turning up where you least expect it. If you want to look at the game more deeply, George Bell's solitaire pages are the ne plus ultra: There's more about the solitaire army (and variants), ... [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Aug 15, 2014 - 6 comments

The Visual Microphone: Passive Recovery of Sound from Video

Researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Microsoft Research, and Adobe Research have presented a technique for reconstructing an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. For example, the method can be used to extract intelligible speech from video of a bag of potato chips filmed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Aug 4, 2014 - 78 comments

I Can Tell By The Pixels

Visualizing Algorithms shows you how computer algorithms can be represented visually, leading to better understanding of how the algorithms work:

"Have you ever implemented an algorithm based on formal description? It can be hard! Being able to see what your code is doing can boost productivity. Visualization does not supplant the need for tests, but tests are useful primarily for detecting failure and not explaining it. Visualization can also discover unexpected behavior in your implementation, even when the output looks correct."
posted by quiet earth on Jun 26, 2014 - 29 comments

How Do You Code?

How Do You Code? [via mefi projects]
posted by oceanjesse on Feb 11, 2014 - 81 comments

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

Douglas Hofstadter, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Gödel, Escher, Bach, thinks we've lost sight of what artificial intelligence really means. His stubborn quest to replicate the human mind.
posted by cthuljew on Oct 27, 2013 - 134 comments

Let’s not complicate things unnecessarily.

5 Math experts split the check. From Math with Bad Drawings.
posted by zabuni on Aug 25, 2013 - 25 comments

Waiting for Godel

Perl Cannot Be Parsed: A Formal Proof In the man page for PPI, Adam Kennedy conjectures that perl is unparseable, and suggests how to prove it. Below I carry out a rigorous version of the proof, which should put the matter beyond doubt. [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar on May 26, 2013 - 73 comments

What's The Question About Your Field That You Dread Being Asked?

"Maybe it's a sore point: your field should have an answer (people think you do) but there isn't one yet. Perhaps it's simple to pose but hard to answer. Or it's a question that belies a deep misunderstanding: the best answer is to question the question."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 14, 2013 - 259 comments

CS in VN

Kids In Vietnam Are Crazy Good At Programming - '11th graders in Vietnam are so good at programming that they could easily pass an interview at Google' (via)
posted by kliuless on Mar 27, 2013 - 63 comments

Mesmerizing visualizations of genetic algorithms

Genetic algorithms are useful for solving all kinds of problems and their implementations can be quite mesmerizing to watch. Re-producing Mona Lisa, a human face or bull cave painting. Playing Super Mario, Tetris and more Tetris. Simulating a soccer team, fishes, ant colony or Santa's flight path. A documentary about using genetic algorithms in design, e.g. deciding the optimal antenna placement on a Humvee, creating search and destroy behavior for UAVs and designing more efficient wind turbine blades. Should probably learn how to stand and jump and stand again before driving.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 24, 2013 - 6 comments

Good Ideas, Through the Looking Glass

Good Ideas, Through the Looking Glass [PDF] by Pascal creator Niklaus Wirth, is an interesting look at some ideas - both successful and not-so-successful - from the past decades of computing.
posted by JeffL on Oct 3, 2012 - 39 comments

Magic the Gathering is Turing complete

The collectible card game Magic: The Gathering is Turing complete. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Sep 11, 2012 - 58 comments

A reason to be excited about the next fifty years.

Computer Simulates Full Organism for First Time "Maybe they'll computerize an entire human brain one day—or even just a couple of cells. For now, Stanford scientists have created the first-ever software simulation of a full single-cell organism, the New York Times reports."
posted by bookman117 on Jul 20, 2012 - 33 comments

The PH.D. Grind: A Ph.D. Student Memoir

The Ph.D. Grind: A Ph.D. Student Memoir is Philip J. Guo's candid book about his six years of working towards a Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University. Lots of Hard-earned wisdom and useful advice (especially in the epilogue) for those thinking about getting a Ph.D. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jun 30, 2012 - 59 comments

Turing's 100th Birthday

Happy 100th birthday, Alan Turing! 2012 is the Alan Turing Year, with celebratory academic events around the world all year. BBC News has a set of (brief) appreciations, including one in which two of Turing's colleagues share memories. Google has an interactive Doodle of a Turing Machine today (that article has some explanation and links to a useful video if the doodle's confusing). [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Jun 22, 2012 - 27 comments

More Universities Should Shut Down Their Computer Science Programs

More Universities Should Shut Down Their Computer Science Programs
posted by thisisdrew on Apr 27, 2012 - 142 comments

Time-filling links

Aldo Cortesi blogs about the interface between computer science and visualisation. He has found some interesting applications for space-filling curves: making colour maps of images and of executable binary files. A bit more work and one can visualise entropy in binary files. The cryptographic material sticks out like a sore thumb. [more inside]
posted by Talkie Toaster on Apr 24, 2012 - 19 comments

Guardian feature on the future of computing education in UK

The Guardian has a feature today on computer science education in the UK It includes short interviews with teenagers who use coding (for fun or work), an article on encouraging girls to get involved in computer science, an editorial encouraging an overhaul of the UK's system of teaching computing, and some discussion of Young Rewired State, a group that offers "festivals of code" to help kids learn to "program the world around them", and also encouraging use of open data.
posted by chapps on Mar 31, 2012 - 19 comments

Classic Nintendo Games are (NP-)Hard

Some (slightly generalized) classic Nintendo games are NP-Hard. [pdf] [more inside]
posted by albrecht on Mar 13, 2012 - 59 comments

Am I wasting my time organizing e-mail?

Am I wasting my time organizing e-mail? A study of e-mail refinding. (single link academic paper in .pdf.)
posted by escabeche on Jan 16, 2012 - 49 comments

A leaking woodpecker

Security researchers at North Carolina State University led by Xuxian Jiang (who had previously discovered 12 malicious Android applications sold through Google's Android Market) have uncovered holes in how the permissions-based security model is enforced on numerous Android devices. Called "leaks", these vulnerabilities allow new and existing malicious applications to eavesdrop on calls, track the user's location, install applications, send SMS messages, delete data from the device, and more. (via)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 5, 2011 - 30 comments

Breaking the Coppersmith-Winograd barrier

For twenty years, the fastest known algorithm to multiply two n-by-n matrices, due to Coppersmith and Winograd, took a leisurely O(n^2.376) steps. Last year, though, buried deep in his PhD thesis, Andy Stothers discussed an improvement to O(n^2.374) steps. And today, Virginia Vassilevska Williams of Berkeley and Stanford, released a breakthrough paper [pdf] that improves the matrix-multiplication time to a lightning-fast O(n^2.373) steps. [via] [more inside]
posted by albrecht on Nov 29, 2011 - 50 comments

Eleven Equations True Computer Science Geeks Should (at Least Pretend to) Know

Eleven Equations True Computer Science Geeks Should (at Least Pretend to) Know [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Nov 29, 2011 - 141 comments

Stanford online courses

Stanford has announced new online courses for January 2012. Like the three courses currently running (1,2,3), these courses are free, open to the general public, and have no required textbook (previously). [more inside]
posted by -jf- on Nov 22, 2011 - 28 comments


Stanford's 'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence' course will be offered free to anyone online this fall. The course will be taught by Sebastian Thrun (Stanford) and Peter Norvig (Google, Director of Research), who expect to deal with the historically large course size using tools like Google Moderator. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Aug 6, 2011 - 38 comments

I learned to program...

I learned to program... [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 23, 2011 - 119 comments


Stanford's Visualization Group has produced a data cleanup web app called Wrangler that works like straight up magic.
posted by chunking express on Feb 4, 2011 - 32 comments

Data Tools of the Fuuuuture ... fuuture ... future ... uture... ture ... re ...

Dataists give their hopes and dreams for data, data tools and data science in 2011. Already, Google has provided Google Refine (previously) to help clean your datasets. While great visualizations can be created with online tools or by combining R (great posts previously), with ggplot2, GGobi, and even Google Motion Charts With R (already built into Google Spreadsheets). Need data? Needlebase, helps non-programmers scrape, harvest, merge, and data from the web. Or if you’re introspective, Your Flowing Data and Daytum provide tools to measure and chart details of your own life.
posted by stratastar on Jan 11, 2011 - 19 comments

Never tell me the odds.

Measure-theoretic probability: Why it should be learnt and how to get started. The clickable chart of distribution relationships. Just two of the interesting and informative probability resources I've learned about, along with countless other tidbits of information, from statistician John D. Cook's blog and his probability fact-of-the-day Twitter feed ProbFact. John also has daily tip and fact Twitter feeds for Windows keyboard shortcuts, regular expressions, TeX and LaTeX, algebra and number theory, topology and geometry, real and complex analysis, and beginning tomorrow, computer science and statistics.
posted by grouse on Dec 5, 2010 - 17 comments

MacPaint and QuickDraw Source Code

MacPaint and QuickDraw Source Code - The Computer History Museum and Apple, Inc. release the source code to one of the first major drawing tools and graphical libraries for personal computers, one that managed to fit inside a paltry 128 KB of memory. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 20, 2010 - 64 comments

Adjusting the Bar to Hire Outsiders

Chinese Outsourcer Seeks U.S. Workers With IQ of 125 and Up. "A Chinese IT outsourcing company that has started hiring new U.S. computer science graduates to work in Shanghai requires prospective job candidates to demonstrate an IQ of 125 or above on a test it administers to sort out job applicants. In doing so, Bleum Inc. is following a hiring practice it applies to college recruits in China. But a new Chinese college graduate must score an IQ of 140 on the company's test. An IQ test is the first screen for any U.S. or Chinese applicant."
posted by eccnineten on Jul 9, 2010 - 79 comments

It's like Greasemonkey, but for your GUI

Have you ever wanted to change the functionality of the GUI of a program that you didn't have the source code for? Prefab is a tool that was made to allow you to do exactly that. [more inside]
posted by ArgentCorvid on Apr 2, 2010 - 40 comments

Regular Expressions Can Be Simple and Fast

Russel Cox, one of the people behind Google's new programming language Go, has written a three part series on regular expressions. It's a nice mix of computer science theory, programming, and history: Regular Expression Matching Can Be Simple And Fast, Regular Expression Matching: the Virtual Machine Approach, and Regular Expression Matching in the Wild.
posted by chunking express on Mar 17, 2010 - 57 comments

Asking for an apology.

Alan Turing, one of the men responsible for computers as we know them today, was persecuted by the British government for being a homosexual. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on Aug 19, 2009 - 209 comments

The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences

Ever wondered what comes next, and why? The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences has the answers. (Previously.)
posted by parudox on Mar 10, 2009 - 33 comments

The Price of Anarchy

Braess' paradox and the price of anarchy [PDF]: "We had three tunnels in the city and one needed to be shut down. Bizarrely, we found that car volumes dropped. ... We discovered it was a case of Braess' paradox, which says that by taking away space in an urban area you can actually increase the flow of traffic, and, by implication, by adding extra capacity to a road network you can reduce overall performance." [more inside]
posted by parudox on Dec 27, 2008 - 15 comments

Malcolm Gladwell on genius

Malcolm Gladwell asks: is there such a thing as pure genius? [more inside]
posted by louigi on Nov 15, 2008 - 67 comments

Computer science doesn't require a computer

Learn (or teach) fundamentals of computer science, without a computer. Provided as hands-on exercises suitable for children, or even CS-illiterate adults. (If this is too basic for you, go here.)
posted by orthogonality on Apr 10, 2008 - 13 comments

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