Thursday, July 30, 2009

Florida in August ...

or France? Well, all of France has shut down whereas Florida is just hot, humid and worse than Singapore. I think I'll take Florida.

Now this is a perfect scene.

It's Pléneuf Val-André, Brittany at its best. It's France in the run-up to August. (Our group went there for a retreat in June. Well, I retreated, some others were paying tribute to Machiavelli.)

So why do I prefer Florida? I'll be working with Anuj Srivastava at FSU, This will be my first opportunity to work closely with a professor. And there will be 4 months of this. I'm excited.

I should mention I have a grant from UEB, and if that is not enough, my regular INRIA CORDIS grant is there. One should be grateful even if it is August and Thanksgiving is many months away.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Language Pathways

I'm looking at the arcuate fasciculus, a white matter fiber tract that serves as a relay between the Broca and Wernicke region of the brain. As background, I'm reading some papers by Marco Catani who has done some interesting work on the language networks in the brain.

Language models have their roots in the 19th century and in the first part of this paper, Catani et al. survey these early models. Then as now, the understanding progressed in small increments, and indeed the picture is still evolving. One physician, Reil, identified the arcuate fasciculus, perhaps in the dead of night in a cold disection room full of cadavers. A second (Burdach) named these fibers. A third, Wernicke, proposed a model linking the Broca and Wernicke regions and a fourth, Constantin von Monakow, suggested that this link was in fact the arcuate fasciculus.

(To be updated)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Linear Algebra like you've never seen before

Of course, in Mathematics there are rockstar performers too. Take this lecture by Gilbert Strang. The audience is involved, the delivery is brilliantly timed, you see things you never saw before and you leave wanting more. Luckily, there is a whole series of these lectures.

And there are even more of his lectures on the MIT OCW website.

Oh, and since the topic was positive definite matrices, there are 3 ways to tell if you have one (t=47:17 on the video):
1. all the pivots are > 0
2. all the eigenvalues are > 0
3. \quad x^TKx > 0 \quad \forall x \neq 0 

Latex on Blogger

To set-up latex, I modified the Blogger Layout using these simple instructions.

And now I can happily type in equations such as this:


Updated February 2012
The above does not work any longer on my version of the blogger software. Please Make A Note lists another source with which I get:

for the equation above.