Blog Entries

No real theme here. Just a place to dump things that may be worth sharing.

  • Democracy in the Digital Era - Fall 2015 @ CU-Boulder Meeting Time: Weds 3-5:30 Instructor: Michael Skirpan Course Number: ATLS 3519-001 Course Description The aim of this course is to do side-by-side examinations of historical and contemporary challenges, movements, and transformations in American Democracy. In particular, we will emphasize how technology and information access are changing the current landscape of democracy. This course hopes to attract a hybrid class of engineering and humanities students in order to leverage the skills of each group toward interactive workshops and cross-disciplined final projects.
  • Beyond the tiniest sliver of the American population who still manages political action via large sums of money, it is a commonly held belief that our system of democracy has become unable to function properly. Stating this platitude is about all we as citizens have been able to do; actionable responses are still pending. This lack of movement is not a lack of ideas given the constant influx of articles being published by academics and journalists that offer critique and sometimes even solutions.
  • On October 20, 2014, I was part of a panel discussion that followed a showing of “The Internet’s Own Boy” - a documentary about Aaron Swartz’s life and prosecution. The panel included two law professors who specialize in the fields of privacy and computer law, one open-source hardware designer and advocate, and one computer scientist and advocate (a/k/a me). The footage of the panel can be found for free at this link
  • In the Autumn of 2014, with the hard work of the students in our HCC: Big Data class, I mentored them in creating lobby art installation that combined both the technical and aesthetic aspects of large-scale data collection. The installation was the culminating project of our upper-division class on the subject, and its implementation was supported generously by a grant from CU-Boulder’s Engineering Excellence Fund along with my advisor Tom Yeh.
  • Making your own fractal trees At the time of writing, I am in an amazing class entitled Chaotic Dynamics by a wonderfully edifying instructor - Liz Bradley. Last week when we were studying fractals, I went a bit overboard and wrote a Javascript application that builds a Cantor-like set and then allows you to see the result of the set as a tree which has fractal properties. Please play around with it here
  • After spending a summer with Fast Forward Labs researching Deep Learning, I decided to make a visualization that would help others get some of the insights I did about the notion of learning in neural networks. For now I am simply going to direct you to the other places where my post lives. From there you can link to the interactive visualization and read the full post. Fast Forward Labs Blog KD Nuggets Blog