Events Archive: Fall 2010

Mathematics and aesthetics in maze design

| 5:30 PM EST | MC4061

*by Dr. Craig S. Kaplan*. In this talk, I discuss the role of the computer in the process of designing mazes. I present some well known algorithms for maze construction, and more recent research that attempts to novel mazes with non-trivial mathematical or aesthetic properties.

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For thousands of years, mazes and labyrinths have played an important role in human culture and myth. Today, solving mazes is a popular pastime, whether with pencil on paper or by navigating through a cornfield.

The construction of compelling mazes encompasses a variety of challenges in mathematics, algorithm design, and aesthetics. The maze should be visually attractive, but it should also be an engaging puzzle. Master designers balance these two goals with wonderful results.

In this talk, I discuss the role of the computer in the process of designing mazes. I present some well known algorithms for maze construction, and more recent research that attempts to novel mazes with non-trivial mathematical or aesthetic properties.

CSC Invades Toronto

| 1:00 PM EST | Outside DC

The CSC is going to Toronto to visit UofT's [CSSU](<http://cssu.cdf.toronto.edu/>), see what they do, and have beer with them. If you would like to come along, please come by the office and sign up. The cost for the trip is $2 per member. The bus will be leaving from the Davis Center (DC) Saturday Nov. 13 at NOON (some people may have been told 1pm, this is an error). Please show up a few minutes early so we may board.

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The CSC is going to Toronto to visit UofT's CSSU, see what they do, and have beer with them. If you would like to come along, please come by the office and sign up. The cost for the trip is $2 per member. The bus will be leaving from the Davis Center (DC) Saturday Nov. 13 at NOON (some people may have been told 1pm, this is an error). Please show up a few minutes early so we may board.

Hackathon

| 8:00 PM EDT | CnD Lounge (MC3002)

Come join the CSC for a night of code, music with only 8 bits, and comradarie. We will be in the C&D Lounge from 7pm until 7am working on personal projects, open source projects, and whatever else comes to mind. If you're interested in getting involved in free/open source development, some members will be on hand to guide you through the process.

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Come join the CSC for a night of code, music with only 8 bits, and comradarie. We will be in the C&D Lounge from 7pm until 7am working on personal projects, open source projects, and whatever else comes to mind. If you're interested in getting involved in free/open source development, some members will be on hand to guide you through the process.

Analysis of randomized algorithms via the probabilistic method

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC4040

In this talk, we will give a few examples that illustrate the basic method and show how it can be used to prove the existence of objects with desirable combinatorial properties as well as produce them in expected polynomial time via randomized algorithms. Our main goal will be to present a very slick proof from 1995 due to Spencer on the performance of a randomized greedy algorithm for a set-packing problem. Spencer, for seemingly no reason, introduces a time variable into his greedy algorithm and treats set-packing as a Poisson process. Then, like magic, he is able to show that his greedy algorithm is very likely to produce a good result using basic properties of expected value.

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The probabilistic method is an extremely powerful tool in combinatorics that can be used to prove many surprising results. The idea is the following: to prove that an object with a certain property exists, we define a distribution of possible objects and use show that, among objects in the distribution, the property holds with non-zero probability. The key is that by using the tools and techniques of probability theory, we can vastly simplify proofs that would otherwise require very complicated combinatorial arguments.

As a technique, the probabilistic method developed rapidly during the latter half of the 20th century due to the efforts of mathematicians like Paul Erdős and increasing interest in the role of randomness in theoretical computer science. In essence, the probabilistic method allows us to determine how good a randomized algorithm's output is likely to be. Possibly applications range from graph property testing to computational geometry, circuit complexity theory, game theory, and even statistical physics.

In this talk, we will give a few examples that illustrate the basic method and show how it can be used to prove the existence of objects with desirable combinatorial properties as well as produce them in expected polynomial time via randomized algorithms. Our main goal will be to present a very slick proof from 1995 due to Spencer on the performance of a randomized greedy algorithm for a set-packing problem. Spencer, for seemingly no reason, introduces a time variable into his greedy algorithm and treats set-packing as a Poisson process. Then, like magic, he is able to show that his greedy algorithm is very likely to produce a good result using basic properties of expected value.

Properties of Poisson and Binomial distributions will be applied, but I'll remind everyone of the needed background for the benefit of those who might be a bit rusty. Stat 230 will be more than enough. Big O notation will be used, but not excessively.

Machine learning vs human learning - will scientists become obsolete?

| 5:30 PM EDT | RCH 306

*by Dr. Shai Ben-David*.

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UNIX 102

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC3003

This installment in the CS Club's popular Unix tutorials UNIX 102 introduces powerful text editing tools for programming and document formatting.

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Unix 102 is a follow up to Unix 101, requiring basic knowledge of the shell. If you missed Unix101 but still know your way around you should be fine. Topics covered include: "real" editors, document typesetting with LaTeX (great for assignments!), bulk editing, spellchecking, and printing in the student environment and elsewhere.

How to build a brain: From single neurons to cognition

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC4061

*By Dr. Chris Eliasmith*. Theoretical neuroscience is a new discipline focused on constructing mathematical models of brain function. It has made significant headway in understanding aspects of the neural code. However, past work has largely focused on small numbers of neurons, and so the underlying representations are often simple. In this talk I demonstrate how the ideas underlying these simple forms of representation can underwrite a representational hierarchy that scales to support sophisticated, structure-sensitive representations.

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By Dr. Chris Eliasmith. Theoretical neuroscience is a new discipline focused on constructing mathematical models of brain function. It has made significant headway in understanding aspects of the neural code. However, past work has largely focused on small numbers of neurons, and so the underlying representations are often simple. In this talk I demonstrate how the ideas underlying these simple forms of representation can underwrite a representational hierarchy that scales to support sophisticated, structure-sensitive representations. I will present a general architecture, the semantic pointer architecture (SPA), which is built on this hierarchy and allows the manipulation, processing, and learning of structured representations in neurally realistic models. I demonstrate the architecture on Progressive Raven's Matrices (RPM), a test of general fluid intelligence.

UNIX 103

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC3003

Unix 103 will cover version control systems and how to use them to manage your projects. Unix 101 would be helpful, but all that is needed is basic knowledge of the Unix command line (how to enter commands).

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Unix 103 will cover version control systems and how to use them to manage your projects. Unix 101 would be helpful, but all that is needed is basic knowledge of the Unix command line (how to enter commands).

BareMetal OS

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC4021

*By Ian Seyler, Return to Infinity*. BareMetal is a new 64-bit OS for x86-64 based computers. The OS is written entirely in Assembly, while applications can be written in Assembly or C/C++. High Performance Computing is the main target application.

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By Ian Seyler, Return to Infinity. BareMetal is a new 64-bit OS for x86-64 based computers. The OS is written entirely in Assembly, while applications can be written in Assembly or C/C++. High Performance Computing is the main target application.

Unix 101

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC3003

Need to use the Unix environment for a course, want to overcome your fears of the command line, or just curious? Attend the first installment in the CSC's popular series of Unix tutorials to learn the basics of the shell and how to navigate the unix environment. By the end of the hands on workshop you will be able to work efficiently from the command line and power-use circles around your friends.

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Need to use the Unix environment for a course, want to overcome your fears of the command line, or just curious? Attend the first installment in the CSC's popular series of Unix tutorails to learn the basics of the shell and how to navigate the unix environment. By the end of the hands on workshop you will be able to work efficiently from the command line and power-use circles around your friends.

A Brief Introduction to Video Encoding

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC4061

*By Peter Barfuss*. In this talk, I will go over the concepts used in video encoding (such as motion estimation/compensation, inter- and intra- frame prediction, quantization and entropy encoding), and then demonstrate these concepts and algorithms in use in the MPEG-2 and the H.264 video codecs. In addition, some clever optimization tricks using SIMD/vectorization will be covered, assuming sufficient time to cover these topics.

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By Peter Barfuss. With the recent introduction of digital TV and the widespread success of video sharing websites such as youtube, it is clear that the task of lossily compressing video with good quality has become important. Similarly, the complex algorithms involved require high amounts of optimization in order to run fast, another important requirement for any video codec that aims to be widely used/adopted.

In this talk, I will go over the concepts used in video encoding (such as motion estimation/compensation, inter- and intra- frame prediction, quantization and entropy encoding), and then demonstrate these concepts and algorithms in use in the MPEG-2 and the H.264 video codecs. In addition, some clever optimization tricks using SIMD/vectorization will be covered, assuming sufficient time to cover these topics.

Calling all CS Frosh

| 5:30 PM EDT | DC1301 (The Fishbowl)

Come meet and greet your professors, advisors, and the heads of the school. Talk to the CSC executive and other upper year students about CS at Waterloo. Free food and beverages will also be available, so there is really no excuse to miss this.

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Come meet and greet your professors, advisors, and the heads of the school. Talk to the CSC executive and other upper year students about CS at Waterloo. Free food and beverages will also be available, so there is really no excuse to miss this.

Cooking for Geeks

| 7:00 PM EDT | MC4045

The CSC is happy to be hosting Jeff Potter, author of "Cooking for Geeks" for a presentation on the finer arts of food science. Jeff's book has been featured on NPR, BBC and his presentations have wowed audiences of hackers & foodies alike. We're happy to have Jeff joining us for a hands on demonstration.

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The CSC is happy to be hosting Jeff Potter, author of "Cooking for Geeks" for a presentation on the finer arts of food science. Jeff's book has been featured on NPR, BBC and his presentations have wowed audiences of hackers & foodies alike. We're happy to have Jeff joining us for a hands on demonstration.

But you don't have to take our word for it... here's what Jeff has to say:

Hi! I'm Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks (O'Reilly Media, 2010), and I'm doing a "D.I.Y. Book Tour" to talk about my just-released book. I'll talk about the food science behind what makes things yummy, giving you a quick primer on how to go into the kitchen and have a fun time turning out a good meal. Depending upon the space, I’ll also bring along some equipment or food that we can experiment with, and give you a chance to play with stuff and pester me with questions.

If you have a copy of the book, bring it! I’ll happily sign it.

In the Beginning

| 5:30 PM EDT | MC4061

**by Dr. Prabhakar Ragde, Cheriton School of Computer Science**. I'll be workshopping some lecture ideas involving representations of numbers, specification of computation in functional terms, reasoning about such specifications, and comparing the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

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I'll be workshopping some lecture ideas involving representations of numbers, specification of computation in functional terms, reasoning about such specifications, and comparing the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. No prior background is needed; the talk should be accessible to anyone attending the University of Waterloo and, I hope, interesting to both novices and experts.

Elections

| 5:30 PM EDT | Comfy Lounge

Fall term executive elections and general meeting.

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Fall term executive elections and general meeting.