Road To Reality–Part I

This past year I read Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe

The tome is definitely the read for anyone interested in our current understanding of reality from the ground up. It doesn’t shy away from mathematics like most popular science accounts. Rather, as mathematics is the gasoline to travel the Road, it fuels the reader up along the journey. Yet the mathematics quickly progresses from exploring what a number exactly is to a graduate level textbook equivalent and this whirlwind journey is not to be taken lightly. Rather than a Road, I actually consider The Road to Reality to be more of a Roadmap indicating a path to reality without fully providing the reader with the tools to travel it. It worked for me–a Physics PhD student–as most of the book was putting familiar things in a grander context. However, for those not on the Road as a career, supplemental work is probably needed to get the most out of the book. In the that spirit I am presenting a condensed Roadmap in chunks of 6 chapters (there are a whopping 34 chapters covering 1123 pages) with additional links to online courses (primarily sourced from the wonderful Khan academy, Coursera, and MIT OCW).

Without further ado, I present the Roadmap I of VI of Chapters 1-6 of The Road to Reality: Read More …

Extreme Email Management via GMail Filters

To follow up on my old blogpost http://cosmicrays.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/gmail-workflow/ I now have a refined method-much the same as in the original blog post only more of it: more filters, labels, and inboxes. I was reminded of this is a post TEDxZurich 2012 conversation about my email management techniques and as part of that conversation I did a few quick analytics on my Filter system and was inspired to create an infographic of the result. Read More …

Cryptography course–the power of XOR

I took a Cryptography I course on coursera.org taught by Stanford’s Dan Boneh. The lectures are easy listening (I usually put on my wireless headphones while doing a household chore, and set my iPad somewhere convenient if I need to glance at the slide), although clocking in at about 2 hours a week, are certainly a bit of a commitment. The are broken into 5-20 minute chunks, the online system tracks which you have listened to already, and asks you 0-3 questions a lecture to make the whole process more interactive and to jolt you to attention if you’ve filtered out an important section. Read More …