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Category: Commentary

On the Essential Nature of Foundations

On the Essential Nature of Foundations

We get asked frequently a valid question: why fund our research? Why fund mathematics research, when I can't see what the finished product will be, and you can't give me a guaranteed code library next quarter? I'm going to use an analogy of building and stray from my usual temptation to use math analogies. Every…

Paper Review: Active Queue Management with Non-Linear Packet Dropping Function

Paper Review: Active Queue Management with Non-Linear Packet Dropping Function

As promised in the previous article, I plan to review Reference 2, Active Queue Management with Non-Linear Packet Dropping Function, by D. Augustyn, A. Domanski, and J. Domanska, published in HET-NETs 2010, which discusses a change in the structure of the packet drop probability function using the average queue length in a buffer. I mentioned previously that…

Commentary: White Papers Don’t Impress Me Much

Commentary: White Papers Don’t Impress Me Much

I spent the last week at an event called Tech Field Day (my second time). In a nutshell, it's a traveling panel of 12-15 delegates who are generally IT professionals (and me) that visits 8-10 companies over three days to hear various presentations on their technology. Sometimes it's storage tech, sometimes networking, or cloud, or…

Carnival of Mathematics 154

Carnival of Mathematics 154

The Math Citadel is happy to host Carnival of Mathematics edition , where we take a look at math blog posts from all around. For all those interested in Carnival of Mathematics future and past, visit The Aperiodical. Observing Tradition To get things started, we present a few interesting properties of , in keeping with Carnival…

(Commentary) Spectre and Meltdown: Spokes on a Wheel

(Commentary) Spectre and Meltdown: Spokes on a Wheel

There has been a flurry of articles and discussions related to Intel’s Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. Many good writings discuss the technical nature and implications to hardware, and you can find a selection here, here, and here. As of this writing, many software developers and security experts are frantically trying to create patches to protect…

Commentary: Infrastructure Considerations for Machine Learning

Commentary: Infrastructure Considerations for Machine Learning

Welcome to another brief commentary and departure from the heavier mathematics. I have been endeavoring to expand the breadth of my knowledge on the tech side of things, and chronicling some things I've learned and observed from speaking with different companies, both as an independent and as a Tech Field Day delegate. Many of these…

Commentary: Technical Debt in Machine Learning

Commentary: Technical Debt in Machine Learning

I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on an episode of the On-Premise IT Roundtable podcast, the topic of which was technical debt. (You can listen to the twenty minute episode here, or watch the video version here.) The conventional definition of technical debt, for both consumer and enterprise technology, is the lagging of upgrades,…

Commentary: On Straight As and Salaries

Commentary: On Straight As and Salaries

(Fair warning: this is a personal account.) The systems were designed well, I think. When we were in school or college, passing was supposed to mean you knew the material, basically. A B showed you were pretty good, and an A was only for the smartest students. Not relatively the smartest, but objectively the smartest.…

Commentary: High Level Data Filtration

Commentary: High Level Data Filtration

The consensus over the last five or so years has converged on a conclusion regarding data: we're drowning in it. We have more than we can possibly monitor with our own eyeballs, and certainly more than we know what to do with intelligently. The motto for data scientists has been "More is better." Well, ask…

Commentary: Returning to Fundamentals in Tech

Commentary: Returning to Fundamentals in Tech

I once heard a great analogy about the difference between mathematicians and engineers in their problem-solving approaches. If an engineer and a mathematician are tasked with crossing a river, the engineer will create a set of stepping stones and get you across quickly, and safely in most cases. The mathematician will spend a month examining…