Math is in the air

Start this year the right way

New year’s time is usually a time to make some new year’s resolutions. I won’t do it and instead this year for me at least will be solely focused on applied mathematics. Math topics interest  me for a long time. But I never took it seriously to invest quality time into studying advanced math topics with enough detail. This year will be different. The plan is to start from some quite general books on math that try to approach the topic in an engaging way like Measurement book by Paul Lockhart and slowly transitioning to more technical books for applied mathematics like Elements of Applied Mathematics by Zeldovich and Myskis and  Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Steven H. Strogatz.

A little bit about the books

Why these three books you may wonder? Actually, there are four books I want to focus on. What is so specially about these books is the fact that they do not simply talk about one specific field in math with a very narrow focus on the subject, but like Donald Knuth’s The Art Of Computer Programming volumes approach the subject in a more general way without being fearful to delve in fields of physics, engineering, biology etc.

To summarize the books are:

measurement

Measurement by Paul Lockhart which tries to show math as an engaging activity that resembles arts, such as music, painting where there is a place for creativity,  a joy of new discoveries or a pain of being stuck trying to get a solution.

 

 

 

 

2020-01-01 16_03_56-Elements Of Applied Mathematics _ YA. B. Zeldovich, A. D. Myskis _ Free DownloadElements of Applied Mathematics by Zeldovich and Myskis which is an old book, but it’s still relevant today, at least in many parts of it, as it was back in 1972. As authors themselves put in the foreword of the book

So our advice is: read our book and study it. But even if there is not time enough to make a deep study, then merely read it it like a novel, and it may be just the thing you will need for solving some difficult problem.

 

 

math_arnoldMathematical Understanding of Nature: Essays on Amazing Physical Phenomena and Their Understanding by Mathematicians by Vladimir Arnold. This book is a collection of applied math problems  that were drawn from various fields such as physics, engineering etc.

Note: If you’re capable of reading in Russian then this book is available in full for free here.

 

 

nonlinear-dynamics-and-chaosAnd finally there is the voluminous  Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Steven H. Strogatz that makes me feel better by having hundreds of differential quotations.

Note: The older edition of this book is available for free, for example, here.

A unique feature of the book is its emphasis on applications. These include mechanical vibrations, lasers, biological rhythms, superconducting circuits, insect outbreaks, chemical oscillators, genetic control systems, chaotic waterwheels, and even a technique for using chaos to send secret messages.

 

Now is the best time to start

This paragraph is dedicated to myself and possibly you. Remember that now is the best time to start doing what you wanted, but postponed ad infinitum. So start by taking small steps to big results later. Or at least to having satisfaction from solving some non-trivial tasks and applying a new skill to real life problems.

Thoughts on physics and artificial intelligence on 2019 New Year’s eve

Make the New Year happy, because you can

It seems to me the New Year will be interesting and exciting as it always seems this way on new year’s eve. What makes me think so though is a number of books I read recently. One of the book is a collection of interviews with prominent people in the field that is known as Artificial Intelligence. The other book is about the particle physics being stuck with high hopes in String theory and why it may be a root cause of not seeing no new physics discovered so far in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) except for Higgs boson.  

The power of the right books

In his book Architects of Intelligence: The truth about AI from the people building it Martin Ford has done something interesting by combining a numbers of interviews, more than a dozen, with people who are focused on Artificial Intelligence progress in various levels. In it you may find Geoff Hinton the founding father of Deep Learning and his colleagues Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun who need no special advertising (hint, search in Google). There are also a row of interviews with people like Jeff Dean and Ray Kurzweil from Google Brain that are interesting to read too.

The main point of the book is that those people were asked more or less the same questions, including how they came into field of Artificial Intelligence, what they think about Deep Learning and whether it will alone lead to Artificial General Intelligence. Will the recent advances in machine learning jeopardize jobs and what to do about that. What is interesting to see is that each person interviewed naturally had a different answer to these questions, so it helps to get a balanced view on what is the state of the art of Deep and Machine Learning in 2018.

Things that require new explanations

In her book Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray Sabine Hossenfelder a particle physicist discusses an interesting matter of various biases that affect theoretical physicists that set out to devise a theory that intended to explain laws of physics. For example, String Theory is discussed extensively in the book since this theory though it’s very elegant, beautiful and full of  naturalness completely failed due to the absence of any predictions that the theory envisioned. Indeed, no new particles except for Higgs boson, were found in the Large Hadron Collider and it feels like there is a time to abandon String Theory which isn’t working and check other theories that won’t be plagued with ad hoc assumptions of naturalness and apparent, and very likely deceiving, beauty of the nature. If you are interested why there was found nothing new in the particle physics in recent decades, you may find Sabine’s explanations insightful. And maybe just, maybe you’ll discover that you too like me have biases that affect our perception of the nature. 

 

So make the upcoming year as you wish it to be

Remember that as intelligent creatures we are chanced to possess a capability to set goals and achieve them when we plan and act on plans with an enthusiasm and a perseverance (and Google search).

Happy New Year!

 

 

Language Acquisition. Multidisciplinary approach. Part three.

 

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Multidisciplinary approach

This post about the research of natural language acquisition will be as short as previous parts. This time I want to describe how the current research that is too linguistically focused may benefit from being open up to other disciplines, such as Machine Learning, computer Science, Neurosciences and Physics.

Currently, the language acquisition research is predominantly done by linguists. In my opinion, it is the reason why the progress in this field is so slow. It is very clear that researches that trained only in linguistic alone cannot leverage advances in other fields that are related to natural language processing, such as Neural Machine Translation which is a part of Machine Learning, Neuroimaging which is a part of Neuroscience, Neuromorphic Chips which are part of Electronics, and Dynamical Systems which are part of Physics. The mere luck of mathematical modeling is a very constraining factor, and it propelled all fields mentioned above. That is why groups that consists of generalists that have good grasp of math, machine learning, neuroscience and engineering will be most efficient in advancing the research and practical implementation of language acquisition. 

Clearly defined goal

As Jeff Hawkins from Numenta that is focused on developing general neocortex algorithm based on neurological evidence mentioned we have enough data to work on general theory of neocortex functioning. There is no lack of data, in opposite the data is in abundance. What lacks is the clear goal of what we want to achieve and clear plan how to move into right direction. It seems to me the best approach should be something along the lines of Lunar Program back in 60th and 70th of 20th century. Though there is no need to invest billions of dollars to make a progress, but dedicated people with right background and well defined goals.

References

 

 

 

Welcome To The Quantum Machine

The Dawn Of Quantum Computing

There are great news for those of you who’ve heard about quantum computers and quantum computations. Finally, thanks to IBM Quantum Experience site it is possible to run experiments on a real 5 qubits Quantum Processor connecting to it via IBM Cloud interface! Isn’t this sound great?  It is an advancement in computing that is equal in its importance to the transition from mechanical to digital computers and it can be hardly overestimated. I recommend to read this IBM’s article that explains the endeavor before proceeding any further.

What Is It All About?

IBM Quantum Experience is aimed to bring hands-on skills in programming quantum processor. This is not a simple task taking into consideration that Quantum Computations far complex to grasp in comparison to classical computations and requires understanding of quantum physics and linear algebra. But it can be done with effort and dedication. In addition, there is a need in motivation and curiosity.

Prerequisites

If you have no prior knowledge of quantum computations you’d better learn a little bit at this link at IBM Quantum Computing site. In addition to this, to jump deep into experimenting with quantum algorithm there is a need to revive or acquire skills in Linear Algebra (this one is at Khan Academy) and quantum physics fundamentals concepts. Preferably, it is better to have a BSc degree in physics, engineering, mathematics etc.

How To Apply?

The application is straightforward. There is a need to register at the site. Then confirm the registration. Log in and compose your first quantum algorithm. One who has no previous knowledge in quantum computation is advised to go through very detailed guide at the site.

What Can Be Implemented On This Processor?

Well, this is exactly the question that I am asking myself right now too. I’ve found that it is possible to implement Deutsch–Jozsa algorithm and to see how it works for real. Following articles may help to understand how to do it.

What Else May Help?

There are additional resources that may come in handy tackling this topic.

Parting words

And so it begins…

 

MagLev Is Like Magic!

It’s a kind of magic

If you haven’t heard yet about Magnetic Levitation then check out the video of my final project for a BSc. in Electronics back in 2011 that did just that.

There are a number of types of magnetic levitation and you may find a lot of peculiar videos about it on YouTube. In addition, don’t miss this MagLev World Record video.

How does it work?

Specifically in my own project the maglev was implemented using digital controller that controlled the magnitude of current flowing in the electromagnet as a function of distance of a floating object from electromagnet steel core. A Hall effect sensor, actually, two of them were placed at opposite sides of electromagnet core and provided the readings of the magnetic field surrounding the electromagnet.

With a help from my friends

I’d like to thank once again Mr. Arie Shnaiderman an outstanding control engineer at ReWork company who helped me make this instrument a real thing.

 

 

 

Gravitational Waves Discovered

And so it begins …

This post is a  very special one due to the fact that on 2/11/2016 it was announced that long ago predicted from General Relativity Theory gravitational waves were detected by

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory  (LIGO) in USA.

This is the most exciting discovery of the 21st century so far and its consequences are hard to predict. What is for sure that now we have a mean to probe what happens in the places such as where black holes collide.

I congratulate all of humankind with this achievement that is a great example of science teams collaboration around the world that is a way to go.

Resources you won’t want miss

  1. An interview with the Kip Thorne the genius behind the machines that made it a reality.
  2. Video from Washington’s National Science Foundation press-conference were this announcement was made.