Monday, May 23, 2016

Numerical integration

I love reading everything Cleve Moler writes about scientific computing. He makes things sound so simple and I always learn something new. In fact, I nearly always learn lots of things.

Here's his latest blog post on numerical integration.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Update on WTFIT

A few weeks ago I blogged about an amazing new bot that was developed by the incomparable Ming Cheuk.

Since then, I've been wondering exactly how it works. Ming's interesting post on Medium provides some answers.

Finally, just for the record, and to keep things in perspective, I should point that WTFIT doesn't always work exactly like you'd hope.

Here's a picture I tested it with. The main character in the image is Ming.

Monday, May 9, 2016

New resources for learning about differential equations

Students often ask me how they can start to learn about scientific computing.

I normally tell them to do what I did - start with a problem that they are interested in (maybe one that they are working on?) and begin to tinker. Here's how that worked out ...

But I realize that there are probably better approaches. For example, many people now like to learn by watching videos and tutorials.

This blog post caught my eye this morning and the videos, lectures, and online material look super interesting. I hope to give these courses a try myself.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Image recognition and a new bot

Ming Cheuk, an exceptionally talented PhD student at the University of Auckland, has created a bot to identify objects in pictures. He calls it WTFIT.

I thought I'd give it a try. You just log in with Facebook and send it a picture. Here's what I got.

Amazing. Try it yourself at

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jason and the IT Crowd

I came across this on Facebook today and thought it was very funny.

If you haven't come across Maurice Moss before, he was one of the lead characters on The IT Crowd, a tremendously funny British sitcom.

Incidentally, I wrote about JSON in one of my first blog posts.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Neural networks for beginners

I've been thinking a little about machine learning recently so this blog post caught my attention.

It's a beautiful post that starts with a concrete example focused on using artificial networks to recognize digits and ends with a program that solves Soduko puzzles.