Sunday, 29 December 2013

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Essay - how should we behave?

There is no general and final rule that could establish the way of our behaviour. There were different philosophical as well as religious concepts that strived to give us a recipe for life, but without success. Moreover, there is always a clash between conservative and liberal approaches to life.
Technology seems to be the one of the sources of frictions between older people and teenagers. The elder are reserved towards new electronic devices, whereas young generation absorbs them rapidly and uses them everywhere, especially in public places. In my view, young people should neither play songs noisily from their smartphones in public places nor telephone to somebody and talk loudly. It can be really annoying. On the other hand, sitting there and waiting for somebody or going by bus and doing nothing can be boring. Then, the person can read something on a tablet, listen to music using earphones, play a game or textchat with somebody. It is at least difficult to get to know somebody in a bus, so why not to catch up with your friends on Facebook. The best way to solve the problem is to have both sides the elder and younger to sit there and talk about technology. Maybe, this time young people could teach  something their parents and grandparents.
We should remember about individualism. We should not be concerned about other people's judgement about us. Only then can we be creative and enthusiastic. Each of us has his or her big value as an individual. We ought to be aware of that since this forms a fundamental role in our personal and professional life. I fully agree with this. However, we do not have to become rebels. The case is to find our own paths in our lives and follow them even against the odds. Everybody will die someday, so we have nothing to loose. It is easy to copy others. Although it is much harder to be innovative, it gives more fun and satisfaction.

All in all, our behaviour is a result of many factors. Each of us had better find their own path, but at the same time be tolerant and be aware of different opinions. We should inhibit the bubbles created around us by the other people from inflating. We must stay hungry, full of energy and open-minded.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Who is an outcast?

I'm attending an online course on Algorithms, Part II by Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne. I implemented a tool that uses WordNet data to determine an outcast in a group of words. What was interesting about that? There was a file outcast2.txt which contained only two words: von_Neuman and Turing. Here is the result of a test:

Test 1: test outcast() on WordNet digraph
  *  outcast2.txt
     -  nouns = Turing von_Neumann 
     -  student   outcast() = von_Neumann
     -  reference outcast() = Turing
 
It occurs that Turing was an outcast, not von_Neuman. Hmmm, according to the video by Bret Victor http://bit.ly/1d47YgE, if we had listened to all von_Neuman's theories, we all would write code in an assembly language ;)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Algorithms (graphs)

34.2-2 (Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, and Stein, Introdution to Algorithms, 3rd edition)

Prove that if G is an undirected bipartite graph with an odd number of vertices, then G is nonhamiltonian.

Introduction to the problem
A bipartite graph is a graph whose vertices can be divided into two disjoint sets A and B such that every edge connects a vertex in A to one in B, that is, A and B are each independent sets.

Examples of bipartie graphs:

As we can see, in the upper picture the graph with odd number of vertices is nonhamiltonian. The second one is hamiltonian.

Proof
Let G=(AB,E) be a bipartite graph. To be Hamiltonian, a graph G needs to have a Hamilton cycle: that is, one which goes through all the vertices of G. As each edge in G connects a vertex in A with a vertex in B, any cycle alternately passes through a vertex in A then a vertex in B.

There are odd number of vertices, so |A|!= |B|. Suppose, without loss of generality, that |A|>|B| , that is, that there are more vertices in A than in B. Let |A|=m,|B|=n. Suppose G has a Hamilton cycle C.
Let that cycle start at uB. After 2n edges have been traversed, we will have arrived back at u again, and all the vertices of B will have been visited. But there will still be mn vertices in A which have not been visited. Hence G cannot be hamiltonian. 

QED

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Thus, there is limited but practical research at Google, blue-sky research at CERN and "the sky is the limit", sometimes useless research in academia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ-IwnnjBy0

Friday, 18 October 2013

A solution to Exercise 35.2-5 in the book "Introduction to algorithms" by Cormen, Leiserson and Rivest.

Suppose that the vertices for an instance of the traveling-salesman problem are
points in the plane and that the cost c(u,v) is the euclidean distance between
points u and v. Show that an optimal tour never crosses itself.


 
If the optimal tour crosses itself then it can be in a manner shown in the attached picture. Thus, there are edges AC and DB (a tour with crossing) instead of AB and DC (optimal tour). The edge AC can be represented as a sequence of edges: AX and XC. The same can be done for edge DB, which can be represented as a sequence of edges: DX and XB. By the triangle inequality, AB < AX + XB (red) and DC < DX + XC (green). In this case, we can show that the optimal tour cannot cross itself, because: AB + DC < AX + XB + DX + XC = (AX + XC) + (DX + XB) = AC + DB. Now, we can generalize the case, and have a cross between more than two consecutive vertices, for example, A'C' and AC, but then we can see from the picture, that we will have to turn back at some point, for example from A to C (instead of going forward), which lengthen the path even more.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and other CSS and JavaScript files from CDNs not loading on Ubuntu

I used to live in a dormitory in Warsaw. Many times there was a problem with a DNS server. It was broken regularly and it was blooming ridiculous as the building was a property of a technical university.

Anyway, there was a problem with DNS on my own router. It occurred that Ubuntu automatically assigned primary DNS setting to my router and it was broken. I found the solution here: http://bit.ly/17tDSQG Then according to my "standard" procedure changed the DNS settings for my local connection: http://bit.ly/1dvAuuP and "voila" it worked. Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and some other big players could load their CSS files and other resources!

My current settings:


Thursday, 29 August 2013

The simplest RPC call ever in Python:

Server (file xmlrpc.py):
def fibonacci_naive(n):
    if n == 0:
        return 0
    if n == 1:
        return 1
    return fibonacci_naive(n-2) + fibonacci_naive(n-1)

import SimpleXMLRPCServer
server = SimpleXMLRPCServer.SimpleXMLRPCServer(('192.168.0.104', 8000))
server.register_function(fibonacci_naive)
server.serve_forever()

################################################################

$ python xmlrpc.py 

Client:
>>> import xmlrpclib
>>> server = xmlrpclib.ServerProxy('http://192.168.0.104:8000')
>>> print server.fibonacci_naive(10)
55

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Pythonic

Pythonic
return multiple values from functions using tuples

Un­Pythonic 
output parameters

What is Pythonic? The answer can be found here:
http://blog.startifact.com/posts/older/what-is-pythonic.html


Take a look at these slides (they're worth reading):
http://jacek.web.cern.ch/jacek/courses/python-intro/course.html#slide0

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

My general presentation on databases for newbies

Hello everyone. My name is Adam. I’m a computer scientist and a specialist in databases. Today, I’ll speak to you about databases. I divided my presentation into 3 main sections:

First, I’ll give you a brief overview of the world of databases.
Secondly, I’ll tell more about different types of databases, including NoSQL databases.
At the end I’ll sum up the presentation and tell you about a special particle.

I’ll try to leave time for questions at the end.

So let me explain you the basics. Generally, databases are used to store and process data. The data is typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality. We can encounter databases everywhere. The exemplars of databases can be found in banks, where a large amount of data are stored and processed. The data about the balance on my account, about transactions and many other things have to be stored. The information about products in shops is stored in databases. What’s more? You can find databases even in your smartphones! Be aware that databases are in all kinds of devices. Outside the world of professional IT, the term database is sometimes used casually to refer to any collection of data, perhaps a spreadsheet in Excel.

There are at least 5 main kinds of databases.
- relational databases - represent a traditional approach to databases where data are stored in tables (the tables similar to that you know from Excel spreadsheet)
- object oriented databases - data are stored in objects. Nowadays, to write programs we use mainly object oriented programming and object databases’ main purpose is to make it easier to store data from objects in applications to objects in databases.
- NoSQL databases - these databases are used to store huge amount of data and are used mainly by companies, such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and even CERN.
- graph databases - the basic model is a graph with nodes and edges. This kind of databases suits best for modelling connections between elements, for example, what are the all railway connections is Poland
- hierarchical databases  - to model hierarchy of elements, for example, a hierarchy of people in an organisation.
- spatial databases - the queries on such data include location based queries, like "Where is the closest hotel in my area?".

Nowadays, there are many information systems that store data in databases. Databases were created to provide us with tools to store data efficiently and they cause that processing data is not burdensome anymore. The interesting thing is that after almost 40 years of reign of relational databases, which is something unusual in fast developing technology field, new movement of NoSQL databases emerged. I brought to you the particle of NoSQL databases from CERN.

Thank you. Are there any questions or comments?

Longer and better life? Yes, please.


The more inventions the longer and better life. Have you ever wondered if your your lifespan can be increased? Do you want to control your car with your brain and be in a nowhere near place at once? Let's consider inventions that could help us to achieve these goals.

A drug against ageing is on top of the list. We do want to live longer. Some scientists argue that a special region in our brain (the hypothalamus) is responsible for the ageing process and possible to be controlled. By applying a drug that could block chemical process in this region of the brain we would be able to lengthen our lifespan.

What about a helmet which would detect signals in your brain, process them to specific instructions and control machines around you. For example, instead of  a steering wheel in your car you could turn left using a thought in your brain. A pilot of a jet fighter could control the machine in a better way since movements of hands on a joystick are slower than brain signals communicating directly with an electronic follow up system.

The last but not the least invention is a supersonic individual transport. A novel way of transport in special capsules that could work like missals and have special start and stop docks. Much faster transport close at hand.

There is a long way to go to realise these plans. One thing we can be certain of is continuous progress that makes our life a little bit better every day.