Science News

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jayakris
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Re: Science News

Postby jayakris » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:36 pm

He I should send him a note saying, "arre machaan, we are both from IITM machaan ... Give me some research dhuddd machaan"

Jay

PS: dhuddd = $$$, machaaan => not easy to translate well from thamizh :)

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Re: Science News

Postby Varma » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:47 pm

jayakris wrote:....machaaan => not easy to translate well from thamizh :)

Isn't it the same as "saaley" (brother-in-law)?

- Varma

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Re: Science News

Postby jayakris » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:08 pm

I believe that is the real meaning, but I think it is used somewhat more freely among male friends, compared to "saaley" .. and I couldn't think of an english translation (may be more like "dude") .. Jay

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Re: Science News

Postby shibi » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:17 am

I have always wondered why 'saaley' is a derogative word in hindi, Punjabi etc. while the equivalents in malayalam, tamil etc. are positive words used to denote close relationship between friends.

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Re: Science News

Postby prasen9 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:46 am


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Re: Science News

Postby suresh » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:29 am

This is not really science news. The science journal, Nature, has a special titled "Can Science Feed the World?". The discussion is whether we can feed all the people in the world -- the world population is scheduled to go up by around 2 billion over the next forty years and the challenge is to find ways to increase food productivity in a sustainable manner. Here is the link to their page.

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Re: Science News

Postby suresh » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:00 pm

An HP research scientist has put out a "proof" that P!=NP that has created a buzz. It appears that there might be gaps in his proof -- however his methods have created sufficient excitement that people are taking a serious look and making suggestions as to how the scientist may fill the gaps. Take a look at the Clay Mathematics Institute who have offered a million dollars to the person(s) who prove or disprove it: http://www.claymath.org/millennium/P_vs_NP/

There is also a masala aspect to this story. Here is his bio.

Suresh
PS: How come Prasen(9) has not posted anything on this?

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Re: Science News

Postby prasen9 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:11 pm

Suresh, I have been following the discussion and have not posted because I think that the proof will not eventually hold muster, but, I may be wrong. Also, I wanted to see what the final word on the proof was before posting. Furthermore, I did not know how many here would be interested in theoretical computer science, although, a proof will greatly impact everyone's lives indirectly. And, in general, I have not posted things close to my work here following the principle of separation of work and sport assiduously :-) Wrt the proof, some of the strategies taken may result in substantial progress and the very fact that the proof is being checked by the best minds is also useful because it does bring all of these great researchers together. The best site to follow this is the blog by Lipton that I have been following the last few days. I do not understand the technical details deeply enough to comment any further than what Lipton has done. I have but only one publication in the Theoretical Computer Science area. If you want more details than the Lipton blog that Suresh posted, here is a wiki where the discussion was initialized by Suresh ;-), and where the current discussions about the proof are going on: http://michaelnielsen.org/polymath1/index.php?title=Deolalikar%27s_P!%3DNP_paper for those interested in the technical details.

What is the masala aspect to the story?

For a discussion about the problem in gentler terms, see: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/science/Wpolynom.html or Fortnow's article http://www.cs.uchicago.edu/~fortnow/papers/pnp-cacm.pdf. Fortnow's blog is also worth checking: http://blog.computationalcomplexity.org/

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Re: Science News

Postby suresh » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:30 pm

The masala reference was a double entendre referring to the fact that the scientist in question is Indian and that the Indian news media will/are going overboard on our scientist having solved the P!=NP conjecture. :-)

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Re: Science News

Postby prasen9 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:10 pm

Ah, thanks!

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Re: Science News

Postby prasen9 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:22 pm

I will channel Fortnow, who summarizes things with the latest brouhaha about P != NP. I will not comment further personally because I do not understand the proof well enough and do not work in the area. Science has become so sophisticated that it would take me months to come up to speed with all the works on whose shoulders this proof stands to be able to check the over 100-page proof myself. http://blog.computationalcomplexity.org/2010/08/my-last-post-on-alleged-p-ne-np-paper.html

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Re: Science News

Postby prasen9 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:49 am

I have often wondered what is the right education strategy, broader field to specialist or specialist throughout: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/article586657.ece.

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Re: Science News

Postby suresh » Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:01 am

prasen9 wrote:I have often wondered what is the right education strategy, broader field to specialist or specialist throughout:


I think that it is better to have a broad-based education at an undergraduate level, especially in the Indian context where there is an overemphasis on the major topic of study. This is made worse by the fact that people choose their undergraduate major based on popular perception (and parental pressure) rather than interest. A standard question which I am asked while people are deciding their major is the following: What is the scope of ...? My pet answer is `limitless' to all majors. It is unbelievable that people think that a major makes a person.

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Re: Science News

Postby Prashant » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:18 am

Suresh - very well said. I wish my engineering education in India had had more humanities & social sciences, even if just to help me contextualize engineering better. I got very thorough exposure to one field of engineering (perhaps of higher quality than in a lot of schools in India), but very little ability to think about it in the larger context of the world.

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Re: Science News

Postby prasen9 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:34 pm

suresh wrote:This is made worse by the fact that people choose their undergraduate major based on popular perception (and parental pressure) rather than interest.
You forgot job projections. Or maybe that is covered under popular perception. A host of students, during our time, who took computer science had no clue about CS when we started college. We took it because people said that it provided the best chance of getting a good job and because people told me that it was somewhat similar to mathematics, my true love at that point. We were also told that mathematics will not get you a job. Being the eldest child in a middle-class family, that played a factor. I do not think that I was alone in such thinking. It was later that I found that I was lucky that this random choice coincided largely with my true interests. Strictly speaking, I also tell whoever asks me that you should choose what you love and if you are very good in your field, well maybe except gulli danda, you will be just fine. However, for the average Joe, getting a job after a certain major may be much easier. I do not think that education should necessarily be dictated by the job factor solely but it often does become a factor.


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