Machine Learning That Matters

I happen to come across this excellent article from this year's ICML on Machine Learning that Matters. I encourage everyone, especially computer science Ph.D students, to read it.

As an industrial researcher who draws a lot of job satisfaction by making both scientific and practical impact, I completely agree with the author on that we need to work on research "that matters",  not just for machine learning. Many of the challenges outlined by the author are applicable to many other areas in computer science as well. 

Commonly Used Forms for Home Remodeling/Repairs

As a new home owner, we have been going through a lot of home remodeling and repair projects. I found myself often search online for the same set of forms again and again. This post is to record all the forms that I often use and sometimes difficult to found.

1. Simple contract (To be updated)

2. Payment forms (including those for both pregressive payments and final payments)

Baby Cloth Shoe - First Attempt

As a busy computer scientist, I don't really get to exercise my inner Martha too much. But I did somehow manage to make my first ever attempt on sewing projects --- baby cloth shoes (as gift for my niece).

Here is the result --- I added the handmade pompom for extra cuteness. :)

baby cloth shoe

baby cloth shoe

The detailed steps can be found from the following link

Cat Photography with iPhone 4s

It has been a while since Yunyao got her iPhone 4s, which is known for its "superb" camera --- "8MP camera with all-new optics also shoots 1080p HD video". 8MP on a cell phone sounds really impressive, does it? Maybe she finally can leave her big heavy Pentax for a while?

So she tested its performance with her favoriate model: Mayori.

First, let's test it under natural light setting:

"What's up?"


"I am sad ..."

"I am really really sad"

Count Number of Maps: First Exercises of Conceptual Mathematics in Clojure

As previously mentioned, I am learning category theory, beginning with Lawvere's Conceptual Mathematics book. This is a very elementry book that assumes almost nothing as a background. However, it is still a math book, which requires doing some exercises. Since the book provides no answer to exercises, I decide to make my own and post them here as I did them. Hopefully someone will find them useful. Continue reading »

Install Vim with Homebrew Python on OS X

For people that need full features of vim, the default installation of vim on Mac OS X is definitely not enough. For example, I need to use vim to post to this blog, which requires a version of vim with python support. I also prefer terminal version of vim to the GUI version, so MacVim is less desirable.

One way to get what I want is to compile a version of vim with homebrew. Homebrew does not officially have a vim fomula, because that would be a duplicate of the system version. Fortunately, we can grab an unofficial formula at Continue reading »

Start learning category theory

Perhaps due to my rather small brain (literally), I dislike remembering tedious details. When in elementary school, I hated reciting classic Chinese poems, but liked composing my own :-).  In high school, I hated chemistry but loved physics, because one could do everything based on a few principles in physics, whereas chemistry was all about memorization. Last year, I was chatting with a colleage of mine who had a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Harvard. He said he's good at it because he could find patterns in all the tedious details and summerized them in his own head, so he didn't have to remember them all. So I said why not write those patterns down so others can benefit, and he didn't seem to like that idea. Anyway, let's go back to the main topic.

It's official: Tom is a Nebelung!

When Tom (唐唐)was adopted from the animal shelter, his papers listed him as an "American Domestic Long Hair". As new cat parents, we were eager to find out his true breed. We searched and searched online, and identified him as a Chartreux, based on his fur color and personality. We knew that Chartreux is a short hair cat but Tom has long hair, but we thought Tom must not have been a pure breed. We always joked about Tom's purpoted French origin and attributed his love of bread and butter to his French ancestry.

Are you Han? My paternal ancestry - 12 Marker Results

As mentioned previously, I swabbed my cheeks and mailed my Y-DNA test specimen to FamilyTreeDNA a few months ago. Now the first part of the results, consists of twelve markers, are known. These are standard Y-STR results. Before showing the actual numbers, let me briefly explain.

Why category thoery is fundamental yet hard to understand

Category theory is mathematical theory about mapping. Some call it the foundation of mathematics.

According to my understanding of math as reproducible mental object, this is not supprising. As all the brain does is doing mapping. Or in Plovian's words: conduction. Signals going from one set of neuros to another.  Understanding mapping is fundamental obviously.

Now category is billed the hardest to understand branch of mathematics, also known as "abstract nonsense". 

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