Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stretching My Old Brain Probabilistic Graphical Models
My current class is Probabilistic Graphical Models, it is fun and a bit challenging. The class started about a month ago, but I am already about one week behind. Daphne Koller is a great teacher, and has a vision to help provide quality education to the world, via Coursera
In December, 2011, I finished the online AI class “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” taught by
Thanks Professors Thrun and Norvig
Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun. It was tremendous.
In April, 2012 I finished CS 101 - Building a Search Engine, a free course offered by Udacity (It was free but not easy). I really learned a lot - and I did enjoy the final, it was a bit of a challenge for me. This was one of the first courses offered by Udacity.
Hope You Enjoy the Final
The person on the right is David Evans, he was our teacher for this course; a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia. On the left is Sebastian Thrun, who helped start Udacity. Sebastian is a Research Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and a Google Fellow.
I have been quite impressed with what is available for online classes. The fact that anyone in the world can take a class and learn is quite amazing. My goal is to keep on learning. I really hope to learn more about the nature of consciousness and how sentient species came about.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hike List 2007
03 Mar Nisqually Wildlife Refuge with Bruce, Brenda, Linda, and Roger
March Elwha Riverwith Jim C
27 May Mount Si
31 May Mailbox Peak with John S group
02 June Welch Peak with NARGS
07 Jun Annette Lake with John S group
14 June Bandera with John S group
23 June Navaho Pass with Bruce D group
01 July Burroughs Mountain with Brian
05 July Granite Mountain
07 July Dege Peak
Sept Mount Rose with Clark

Friday, May 11, 2007

Learning About Lichens

I haver tried to learn a little more about lichens, they interest me. I recently read Lichens by William Purvis. I found Antartic cryptoendoliths, organisms living within rocks to be fascinating.

Also of interest

Teloschistes fields in the Namib desert

USDA- Forest Service PNW Lichens and Air Quality


A Study of Lichens and Lichenometry

Here is a relevant article.
Cryptoendolith Communities in Antarctic Dry Valley Region Sandstones: Potential Analogues of Martian Life-Formshttp://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2003/pdf/1576.pdf
Rebecca L. Blackhurst, A. Verchovsky, K. Jarvis, M. M. Grady, Lunar and Planetary Science
This Lunar and Planetary Science article provides information about cryptoendolithic life (microbes living within rocks on the Earth's surface) in Antarctic sandstones. The purpose of the study was to use chemical and isotopic methods to determine what influence the cryptoendoliths have on the rocks they live in. These cryptoendoliths are predominantly lichen that live in the pores between sand grains in sandstone. The article features a color photograph of the cryptoendolith as well as an image and diagram of data.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Booknotes 2007

Book Ideas

100 Top Books By 100 UW Authors some interesting books by University of Washington authors

Luis Alberto Urrea (From The Week 7 April 2006)
He is the author of The Devil's Highway and Then Hummingbird's Daughter.
He recommends Nobody's Angel by Thomas McGuane, The Stand, Desrt Solitaire, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, THe Essential Haiku by Robert Haas, and The Motorcycle Betrayal Poems by Diane Wakoski. An interesting selection - several I alraady like, so my guess is that there is a fair chance that I will enjoy some of the others he has selected.

Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon - maybe???

Books Read by me

Truck: A Love Story (Audio) by Michael Perry
Population - 485 - Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren At A Time (Audio) by Michael Perry

Both of these are about Perry's life in New Auburn, Wisconsin when he returns to his hometown after 12 years of living in the "outside" world.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (Hardcover)by Ray Kurzweil

At Dawn We Slept

The Last Season by Eric Blehm

Lichens by Wiliam Purvis

Kavli Foundation

I read about the Kavli Foundation in an article published in the Seattle Times on 26 Nov 2006. The foundation has created 14 Kavli Institutes that are devoted to nanotechnology, neuroscience and astronomy.

In the nanoscience (nanotechnology) area there are three institutes:

The Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science

The Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology in Holland

Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology at Harvard University

In the neuroscience area there are three institutes:

The Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale University, led by Pasko Rakic

The Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University. Directed by Eric Kandel

The Kavli Institute for Brain & Mind at the University of California, San Diego. Led by Nicholas Spitzer and Jeffrey Elman,

In Physics (including cosmology and astrophysics) there are 6 institutes:

The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara

The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University

The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago

The Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China at the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University

The Kavli Prizes of $1 million prizes will be awarded every two years beginning in 2008 in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

"Some of the most fascinating scientific research today is being done at the nanoscale, the realm of atoms and molecules. I expect that the Harvard Institute will contribute significantly to our knowledge of nanoscale processes, and help to harness them for the benefit of humanity."
Fred Kavli - Sep, 2006

"I like to look far into the future, I think it's important for the benefit of all human beings."

"We don't try to tell the institutes what to do. We try to just select the very best science teams and institutions and support them in what they want to do, and we expect them to choose the very best course of action."

"I am a fully fledged optimist."
Fred Kavli Nov, 2006

Kavli made his money with Kavlico, which specialized in navigational sensors for the defense and aircraft industries. He sold it for $345 million to C-Mac Industries in 2000. He also has substantial Southern California real estate. He immigrated from Norway to the US in 1955.