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Hitting “Mute” on the Ocean Engg professors’ brain August 23, 2008

Posted by gantech in External Links, Fun.
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Ah…I’d have just loved to do that. Seriously !! on all those 4 profs who blabbered on and on in the 40 x 4 odd classes i had in that department.. and made me listen to 75% of those.. ! read on

TMS: The brain’s mute button
The Michael Bay Verizon FiOS Commercial we’re parodying is all over YouTube.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) isn’t only used to turn off the speech center of the brain, as depicted in the video accompanying the Daily Telegraph article that John highlights in this episode—it’s also useful in therapeutic contexts. For example, it can be used to treat depression.

Naturally, Gawker Media sci-fi blog Io9 does its best to imagine the most dystopian way this treatment could possibly be used. The psychiatrist behind Corpus Callosum recently posted a good roundup of what’s new in TMS.

Am sorry..but that damned sciam-monitor website doesn’t tell me an obvious way to embed that video here.. Please go there and see the video for yourself.

Don’t forget to list the people whom you would like to use this upon !

Pani Puri !! August 20, 2008

Posted by gantech in External Links, Something Interesting.
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Ah.. a presentation on Pani Puri won some prize for the best slide show at Slide Share

just can’t wait to have one.. will try making it rather.. !

via How to Change the World (thro Rahul Roy Chowdhury)

Technology Shift August 20, 2008

Posted by gantech in External Links, Something Interesting.
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A nice slide show on technological shifts. Face those facts. But all those predictions seem nonsense to me. See it for the first few slides and once the predictions start.. forget it.

Some interesting olympics videos August 18, 2008

Posted by gantech in External Links, Something Interesting.
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Some truly interesting videos from the olympics of yesteryears !!

Kerri Strug wins a gold for the US team women gymnastics in a do or die situation..limping to the spring board… (let me not spoil the moment by describing it in mere words)

1996 Altanta Olympics – Kerri Strug’s Gold Medal Vault

Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea swims alone in the first of the 100m free style heats at the 2000 Sydney olympics.. hats off to him and for those who sponsored him to come up to this big stage to participate and booooooo to the laughing crowd and the taunting commentators …

The Dream: Roy and HG on Eric ‘The Eel’ Moussambani

Do you know of other interesting videos ? Please include them in the comment.

via The Best Article Every day

Finding paths through the World’s photos August 18, 2008

Posted by gantech in Something Interesting.
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Interesting stuff.. !! They take photos of a location from Flickr and create a 3D rendering out of that to create paths that take you from one photo to another !! Impressive stuff.. !

Interesting to know that a person of my own batch from IITD is involved..

link via Blogoscoped

Writing papers for sake of writing papers…!! September 13, 2006

Posted by gantech in Personal thoughts.
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While I was at IITB, I had this wonderful opportunity of attending a lecture/discussion on Report writing. This was organized by the Research Students Association there. So it was basically meant to guide them on how to write papers and the multitude of reports that they would be writing during their stay at IITB. Well if you thought I was going to tell what I learnt there, here, you’re wrong. I actually picked an interesting point there.

 According to one prof there (a fairly young prof) a “Paper” is an expression of how thoughts flowed during your research. (The two profs involved were Dr.Swati Patankar (Bio Sciences) and Dr. Gadre (Elec) )

 Any good paper (“good” in that prof’s terms) has the following stucture.

1. What is the broader setting in which this piece of research is done. i.e what is it’s application ??

2. Work already done in that field.. blah blah blah.. giving references to what has already been done in that area.

3. Intro to your work.

4. The detailed description of your work.

5. Discussions on the results that you obtained.

6. And probable Off shoots from here. What more can be done. Or what is the next step in your research plan.

7. Full list of references.

According to the prof, this is the way the thought process flows while doing research. So .. anybody who writes a paper in this manner, should have done a fair job at research. Now comes my question !!

Suppose my only aim is to write papers, will that automatically ensure that I do a good job at it ? If the prof’s views are correct, then I guess it should be so. There are obvisouly some assumptions. Bad papers get rejected !! So if you write a good paper and it gets published, you have done a good job at it. Even if you weren’t interested in doing it in the first place. I was actually of the view that such a thing can’t be done. But seeing the enthu of people around me to get papers published, irrespective of whether they know something in that field or not, or are interested or not, I get the feeling that work without interest (and sometimes even knowledge) is possible after all. Our seniors app files go to the extent of saying that “

Don’t apply for a Ph.D without publishing a paper, even if it’s a conference held in Tarams !!

(btw, Taramani is a small town right behind our institute.) It definitely does not seem restricted to doing boring courses in your department just because the Institute Senate has told that such and such courses need to be done in order to get your B.Tech degree !! Infact when I met my Prof at Bombay for the first time to discuss what I was going to do there for the next 2 months, one among the questions that he asked me was “Do you want to publish a paper ??” I was totally taken aback. He seems to have been pretty much used to this and has adapted his way to using the students enthu to get his job done. Atleast that’s how it looks.

Now this thinking can be extended in many possible directions. Many of my friends just want to get a Co-ordship in Shaastra/Saarang… and say that they’ll do this FOR Shaastra blah blah.. !! So they aren’t interested in doing it, but for that Shaastra brand value (actually who cares about Shaastra!! It’s the brand value of the Shaastra Co-ordship that he/she gets that matters !) This seems to be the case more often than not.

So there are 2 ways of doing things.

1. Develop all the required technical expertise in a particular area. Then go ahead and do something with the expertise you’ve just acquired.

2. Set out to do something.. (hardly matters if you’re interested or not).. and learn all the required expertise along the way. Finsh it and then totally forget about it.. (Ofcourse you do retain some badge saying you did it.. that’s a paper in the academic case…and not to forget the Shaastra Co-ord certificate or badge in the other case !!)

I personally seem to prefer Route 1. Though it cannot stand on it’s own (there’s always some part of 2 that’s required.. atleast for motivation. !!)

What do you ??

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A Day in the life of a Grad student August 30, 2006

Posted by gantech in External Links, Fun.
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This made my humour reading for the day !! Loved it to the core !!

 6:30       Wakeup and lie awake in Bed
6:31 Realize you spent $18 on last night's dinner,
means no eating out for the next 6 weeks
6:32 Hit snooze button. Go back to sleep.
7:00 Wake up suddenly with heart in mouth when you
realize you didn't hit the snooze button--you turned it off.
7:01 fall asleep again.
7:44 Wake up with heart in mouth again.
7:45 Ready to go to school, will shave tommorrow,
will eat early brunch at
(Denny's/Penny's/Lenny's/Dinko's whatever
cafeteria).
8:03 Arrive at school
Realize your foreign officemate arrived earlier
today must have got more work done
8:04 Pass by Advisor's office, chat with Secretary to
find out if he is coming in today. He is, darn.
Need to start work on the draft due this afternoon.
8:15 Read electronic mail
8:20 Delete mail from students taking CMPSC201
regarding questions about the class.
Hate your TA job.
Depression: too much work to do today
9:00 For jumpstart: go to Pepsi machine.
9:05 Kick Pepsi machine; promise yourself to call up
the company and ask for your money back.
Wonder why they would beleive you.

………
………

 1:00       Group Meeting with advisor
1:14 sudden awareness of one's shallowness
resentment towards foriegn officemate for
sucking up to your advisor
Get reminded by your advisor that you need to do
some more work for your literature survey.
1:51 Advisor hands you the reddened copy of your
draft for corrections
1:51:02 The 49 second urge to murder advisor begins!!
1:51:52 Realize that he controls your
assistantship/grade/graduation
possiblity/graduation date/all job
opportunities/and the rest of your life.
1:52:53 Thank him
1:52:54 Thank yourself for not saying something
stupid to your advisor.
1:53:00 splitting headache #1
1:59 Check electronic mail, don't reply though, you are
too busy to do that
2:06 More generic cola
2:17 Oh No, it is my turn to cook tonite :-(
2:30 Sit through the class you were told to sit through
2:39 Look outside the window make unrealistic plans
to quit this degree program and take up a job.
Wonder why blonde girls are so pretty.
2:48 More perverted day-dreams.
Close the office door and open a few .gif files.
sharpen pencil
3:06 worry about never graduating
time to write a letter--NOT! no time for that.
rearrange desk
call up bank; see if you have any money
fear of losing aid next Fall
Read latex manuals to figure out how to put
&$%&% in %$^% format
3:43 watch the clock
make plans to do a all-nighter tonite
Vow to watch only 2 TV programs
4:58 Notice Advisor leave
4:58:01 Sudden sense of freedom
Go home for quick, short dinner break.
9:00pm Come into the office
........
.......

Wow !! That was cool.. (uhh.. just hope that I don’t enter this attractor’s limit cycle.. )

thanks to Kmap for the link

Statcounter gives stats using Google Maps !! August 21, 2006

Posted by gantech in Something Interesting.
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This seems to be pretty cool !!

statcounter_google

Now I already knew that so many junta were watching my website..but now..it feels nice to see it on a map.. that too a Google map !!

Quantum Mechanics – An Introduction by Julian Schwinger August 20, 2006

Posted by gantech in Books, Physics.
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Suddenly (but not without reason) I decided to drop the course OOPS and take Quantum Mechanics by Arvind instead. I remember almost nothing of the first course in .. hold your breath.. Chemistry.. that I did on Quantum Mechanics. My discussions (actually rather than discussions.. it has nearly always been me asking questions and Aswin ending up giving a long lecture) with Aswin on theoretical physics (usually Cosmology.. but many times on other aspects of Physics too) have always enthused me to take some courses on basic theoretical physics. However this is the first concrete step that I am taking in that direction. I hope to do atleast 2 more .. Classical Mechanics and Statistical Physics before I complete my Dual Degree here.

Ok.. now coming to the subject matter of this blog.

The intro that I read in this book is easily one of the most coherent, simple and enlightening pieces of text that I have read. At the end of each para.. I would sit up exclaiming WOW !! and my mother would keep running in asking what happened ?? This was the situation at my home yest !! After reading it you really feel as if you’ve understood the whole of Quantum Mechanics, not to mention Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Electrodynamics. Of course I know I’ve not.. but you just feel so after reading it. I doubt if I would be able to read the book during the sem given my tight schedule. I would rather stick to Sakurai and Feynman and read this later.

 He starts off defining what is a “Causal” and “Deterministic” theory at the same time clearly differentiating between the two. Then he goes on to describe the two limiting cases of classical behaviour namely the Discrete and Continuous models and how they are unified. He then gives the example of the wave and particle nature of light to illustrate the above point.  Then he goes on to describe the “atomistic” and “statistical” nature of microscopic phenomena using the example of Atomic spectra for the atomistic nature and the classical electron beam interference experiment for the statistical nature. After describing the theory of Measurement, he goes on to say why we can’t measure the properties of an object at the microscopic scale without disturbing it because of the atomistic nature of things and why we can’t correct for those measurements because of the statistical nature of things. This piece was particularly cool !! Using the above arguments he goes on to describe Quantum Mechanics as a Causal but only Statistically Deterministic theory.

 After this I did not understand everything as I had understood what he had said so far. nevertheless.. I shall make an attempt to tell something. He starts off on Symmetry describing particles using wavefunctions, particle creation operator and how all these result in the creation of “Quantum Field Theory” unifying the two limits of Classical Physics models already described. Then he goes on to describe how developments in technology helped them create higher energies to study particle interactions which resulted in the field of “Quantum Electrodynamics”. Though the last particularly difficult to read, I really enjoyed reading a major part of the Intro. It will go a long way in making me ever more attentive in my Quantum Mechanics class and learning more about wonderful subject.

Browsing through his life history, you can find that Schwinger was an outright genius. His first physics paper was at 16 and his Ph.D at 21 with claims that he actually completed his thesis at 18 itself !! I can hardly wait to learn more about Quantum Mechanics to fully appreciate his achievements.

(btw does anybody know of this guy..apparently a 15 year old M.Tech student at the CSE dept in my insti.. working in Cryptography under Pandu I saw him on Times Now yest and want to know more about this rare specimen in my insti)

Feels nice to be back in the blogosphere after a long time. My first post after coming back to IITM.

Finally a fluid mechanics blog July 28, 2006

Posted by gantech in External Links.
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Finally after some searching thanks to me registering with Technorati I found this blog. Seems to be pretty cool. Fluid Mechanics, Turbulence, PIV.. satisfied ??. here comes more.. Python, Scipy !! …………. Cool !!

http://alexl.wordpress.com/

Do check out the Image gallery in his blog http://alexl.wordpress.com/fluid-mechanics-around/
Found this interesting link there.. http://www.efluids.com/efluids/pages/gallery.htm will take quite some time to see through all those pics