Monthly Archives: February 2012

Plan B (a.k.a. Redundancy)

Years ago when I was recruited as a research assistant, the dean asked me whether I plan my future as an academic fellow. I gave him an answer something like this: “Dear Professor, I never make my decisions on a solid plan. Instead I plan for several different scenario and when the time comes I select the most suitable one.” Continue reading

Hawthorne Effect & Student Selection and Placement System (OSYS) of Turkey

If the selection system shapes the students’ education system and have an observer effect on it, how successful can it measure? Not to mention the resulting impact on the educational development itself…

The Angel, The Evil and The … Ordinary People

This post is the result of a conversation with a friend of mine. Generally people categorizes other people as either good or evil. For me, we actually deal with 3 kinds of personality: The angel type, the evil type and the most common ordinary type. There is an interesting puzzle called “The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever” where there are three gods that either speak correct, wrong or random all the time. The objective of the puzzle is to find who’s who by asking yes-no questions. This is indeed a very correct abstraction of real human character types. Continue reading

Twitter feature requests

PRIORITY: I think Twitter should add a priority assignment feature to be applied to the followed accounts. It uses last in – first out scheme which is generally unfair for accounts that publish infrequent but important posts. The priority can be given as

  • Time : Posts that has +1 hour or 1+day priority.
    e.g. if an account has +1 day priority, posts from that account is placed above the posts that is 1 day newer but no priority assigned
  • No of post : Posts that has +5 or +10 post priority.
    e.g. if an account has +5 post priority, it is shown above 5 newer posts from an account that has no priority assigned

CATEGORIES: After a number of followed account it gets harder to get what you want when you wanted. To organize the followed accounts, a custom category feature and a category overview page would be very helpful. UPDATETwitter has a category support called LISTS. So forget about this last request.

Browse vs Search

In 2004 I noticed an interesting philosophical difference between two file sharing technologies, namely BitTorrent and peer-to-peer. Peer-to-peer technology is based on searching. You submit keywords and any computer connected to special hubs returns query results and you decide which file to download in return. Although BitTorrent offers a similar search feature, it offers more by categorizing the files and presents an alternative to find information, which is known as browsing. I frequently use both techniques, but I’m especially inclined to browse because historically I benefited from it most. Continue reading

Ventilation of an insulated case

I came across to an interesting problem when I was having difficulty implement a computing cluster in my small office. Although my attempt was unsuccessful, at least I had the chance to observe a situation described graphically below.

As seen in the figure, there is an insulated case. In the case there is a heat source. The objective is fixing the ambient temperature of the case by selecting a fan having an appropriate power at the outlet (blue rectangle at the upper right corner).

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“Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it.
Alan Perlis

A Method for Course Registration

A method proposal to prevent the problems like workload, insufficient course quotas etc. for course registration.

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