Author Archive

hang out and chat hack!

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Tuesday night!

Participants: Mark, Alex, Vinny

Topics discussed:
– languages and the future thereof
North Sentinel Island
– business plans
– starting a bar called The Trading Floor, where prices on beer floats based on market forces. For extra credit, make it so that bar patrons can also sell beer, and you have to run around all furious, wearing a suit and shouting into a phone about how buying and selling should happen. There need to be futures on beer, and it needs to be possible to go short on it. Maybe somebody will ring a bell loudly.
– copyright and the future thereof (or lack of a future thereof)
– places and traveling to them
– funding for research
– getting stuff fabricated for hardware prototypes
– Atlanta startup situations
souls and their relationships with mathematics
– Paraguay and its history
– Graham Keith Coleman
– the ATLHack IRC channel on freenode and how people on it don’t seem to be on the facebook community? is there a facebook community? I thought we had a googlegroup or something… but not a circle. Maybe there’s a circle? Maan, I don’t know. But I love all of you and I wish I got to see you more often and I kind of want to move back to Atlanta but atlhackers are worldwide now anyway <3

challenge problem for the evening: generate palindromes!

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

What’s the longest palindrome you can produce entirely out of words in
/usr/share/dict/words ? (or some other finite word list?)

– Spaces don’t count; the string, minus spaces and punctuation, has to
be a palindrome.
– Don’t use the same word more than once.
– Bonus points for constructing something syntactically valid-ish, but
that seems hard.

Something of a classic; I guess I was thinking about Peter Norvig.

hacking in Bloomington!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Alex R:
– finishing up writeup for a project on Deniable Encryption
— crypto is really fun.
Lindsey K:
– helping her advisor write a grant proposal, for mad type-theory cash
— (they’re going to prove that certain classes of parallel languages run deterministically, with certain kinds of write-once datastructures)

Look to the Frozen North for cool side-project hacks as soon as we’re done with classes for good…

distributed: hacking in Bloomington

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

– Made contact with the BloomingLabs folks, probably going to go hang out with them tomorrow and see what’s up.
– developing a lab assignment for his students: n-gram autopoetry… been having a good conversation with Edde Addad, mysterious Internet Electronic Poetry Person, about this.

little bit of hacking in Bloomington

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

It’s Tuesday night in Bloomington! Time for some relaxing hacking on NLTK

Making NLTK’s interface to MaltParser a little more usable
MaltParser is rad. Been reading about dependency parsing algorithms, and how to use this one in practice…
– Also, NLTK trunk wasn’t even loading today. Yeep! (Fixed!)

– asleep in Mountain View after a busy day at Mozilla. What with the FF4 release and all.
– also: got code in the Rust compiler today.

Bloominghack at 8 degrees F

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Greetings from the frozen north!

– fixing Ubuntu install on the netbook (video drivers for Poulsbo chipset keep getting screwed up)
– thinking about what to do for the Spring — brainstorming research projects for machine translation with limited resources, mailing professors asking them to be on my committee, wibbling about classes
– should be hacking on the verbs project, because it got accepted to MTML workshop!
– over the weekend: hacking on the Snippets project

– furiously reading for quals: going to be a qualified phd candidate in just over a week!

– reading a paper about Blame (correct attribution of type errors in dynamic languages): “blame assignment for dependent contracts”. Ask her or Lindsey or sstrickl what that means?
– thinking about contributing to NLTK

weekend bloominghacks!

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Hacking in Bloomington!

I’ve been helping Eric H a bit on a paper about training classifiers for webspam detection (sort of a “how to do machine learning for your security problem” paper), and I was supposed to write about Naive Bayes classifiers. It occurred to me that I’d never implemented one.

So I did! It’s straightforward, because naive classifier is naive.

Also, I did a bit of hacking on Snippets, which is like weekly atlhack notes for people’s non-side projects. It’s up and running, and some people at Indiana are even using it! As of last night, it sends weekly reminders to people, so they’ll remember to update (these are opt-in).

*hugs from the frozen north*
— alexr

hacking on a Tuesday in New York

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

– Working on his new poetry bot, sleep-furiously.
– this week: found some bugs in NLTK, submitted some patches (one of them accepted already!)
– Last week: kompressr: make text shorter harnessing the power of acronyms (MTSHTPOA). (python/nltk/appengine)

– Taking an operating systems class at Cornell, learning about memory management and filesystems.
– Tonight: writing a user-space filesystem!

What’s everybody else up to?

Early Spring Bloominghack!

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

– Alex is porting the rhyme-scoring code from the poetrybot to Python
– but right now, it only does end rhymes, which isn’t particularly interesting. (but it’d be pretty easy to expand to internal rhymes…)
– in research news, he plugged toulbar2 into the dependency parser (which uses constraint solving to do a parse — and now pretty soon will do “soft constraints”, or just “preferences”) — and is now thinking about how to find out what the weights on the constraints should be, with machine learning.

– Lindsey read about information flow security in a PL context (so, like: languages that support security levels in the type system. eg: jif)
– also: went running
– research news: working on translating a language with dependent types to continuation-passing style. Also, thinking about how to formally describe (like, with automated theorem-proving) the interactions between static and dynamic languages.

More hacking in Bloomington

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

– Alex has restarted his efforts to programmatically generate bad poetry.
— fixed the bit-rot in his old Lisp/inference-engine version
— started porting code for rhymes into Python
— NLTK is going to make this a whole lot easier.
— This wants to be running on App Engine, so people can vote snippets of text as POETIC OR NOT.

– Lindsey went to rehearsal for the choral piece she’s going to perform, answered a bunch of questions from her students, and is reading some papers about Foundational Proof-Carrying Code. And is still waiting to hear back from Jane Street.

Some of the grad students around Bloomington have started a weekly “study party” on Sunday afternoons at the local coffee shop — we need to hijack this and get them to work on cool side projects.

Also, our friend Will Byrd is getting a local hardware-hacking group together… he’s got Arduinos (etc) and is building animatronic kitties.