“ALOHA to the Web”: Dr. Norm Abramson to give 2016 Viterbi Lecture at USC

USC - Viterbi School of Engineering - Dr. Norm Abramson (viterbi.usc.edu)

“ALOHA to the Web”

Dr. Norman Abramson, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii

Lecture Information

Thursday, April 14, 2016
Hughes Electrical Engineering Center (EEB)
Reception 3:00pm (EEB Courtyard)
Lecture 4:00pm (EEB 132)

Abstract

Wireless access to the Internet today is provided predominantly by random access ALOHA channels connecting a wide variety of user devices. ALOHA channels were first analyzed, implemented and demonstrated in the ALOHA network at the University of Hawaii in June, 1971. Information Theory has provided a constant guide for the design of more efficient channels and network architectures for ALOHA access to the web.

In this talk we examine the architecture of networks using ALOHA channels and the statistics of traffic within these channels. That traffic is composed of user and app oriented information augmented by protocol information inserted for the benefit of network operation. A simple application of basic Information Theory can provide a surprising guide to the amount of protocol information required for typical web applications.

We contrast this theoretical guide of the amount of protocol information required with measurements of protocol generated information taken on real network traffic. Wireless access to the web is not as efficient as you might guess.

Biography

Norman Abramson received an A.B. in physics from Harvard College in 1953, an M.A. in physics from UCLA in 1955, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in 1958.

He was an assistant professor and associate professor of electrical engineering at Stanford from 1958 to 1965. From 1967 to 1995 he was Professor of Electrical Engineering, Professor of Information and Computer Science, Chairman of the Department of Information and Computer Science, and Director of the ALOHA System at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. He is now Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hawaii. He has held visiting appointments at Berkeley (1965), Harvard (1966) and MIT (1980).

Abramson is the recipient of several major awards for his work on random access channels and the ALOHA Network, the first wireless data network. The ALOHA Network went into operation in Hawaii in June, 1971. Among these awards are the Eduard Rhein Foundation Technology Award (Munich, 2000), the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal (Philadelphia, 2007) and the NEC C&C Foundation Award (Tokyo, 2011).

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2016 North-American School of Information Theory, June 21-23

2016 North-American School of Information Theory, June 21-23, 2016 (itsoc.org)

The 2016 School of information will be hosted at Duke University, June 21-23. It is sponsored by the IEEE Information Theory Society, Duke University, the Center for Science of Information, and the National Science Foundation. The school provides a venue where doctoral and postdoctoral students can learn from distinguished professors in information theory, meet with fellow researchers, and form collaborations.

Program and Lectures

The daily schedule will consist of morning and afternoon lectures separated by a lunch break with poster sessions. Students from all research areas are welcome to attend and present their own research via a poster during the school.  The school will host lectures on core areas of information theory and interdisciplinary topics. The following lecturers are confirmed:

  • Helmut Bölcskei (ETH Zurich): The Mathematics of Deep Learning
  • Natasha Devroye (University of Illinois, Chicago): The Interference Channel
  • René Vidal (Johns Hopkins University): Global Optimality in Deep Learning and Beyond
  • Tsachy Weissman (Stanford University): Information Processing under Logarithmic Loss
  • Aylin Yener (Pennsylvania State University): Information-Theoretic Security

Logistics

Applications will be available on March 15 and will be evaluated starting April 1.  Accepted students must register by May 15, 2016.  The registration fee of $200 will include food and 3 nights accommodation in a single-occupancy room.  We suggest that attendees fly into the Raleigh-Durham (RDU) airport located about 30 minutes from the Duke campus. Housing will be available for check-in on the afternoon of June 20th.  The main part of the program will conclude after lunch on June 23rd so that attendees can fly home that evening.

To Apply: click “register” here (fee will accepted later after acceptance)

Administrative Contact: Kathy Peterson, itschool2016@gmail.com

Organizing Committee

Henry Pfister (chair) (Duke University), Dror Baron (North Carolina State University), Matthieu Bloch (Georgia Tech), Rob Calderbank (Duke University), Galen Reeves (Duke University). Advisors: Gerhard Kramer (Technical University of Munich) and Andrea Goldsmith (Stanford)

Sponsors

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Amerikan Krazy: Top 100 on Amazon?!

Can you help Amerikan Krazy cross into the top 100?

Late yesterday on Amazon, some fans noticed that Amerikan Krazy was on the borderline of the top 100 in the rankings at #101 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Humor > Lawyers & Criminals! The ebook version was also at #331 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Satire and has been quickly climbing.

I have a feeling that a few more sales this week would not only put us solidly in the top 100 in the first category, but could earn the book a space among some of the greats in the genre along with Kurt Vonnegut, Carl Hiaasen, Ray Bradbury, Bret Easton Ellis, Vladimir Nabokov, Don Delillo, Thomas Pynchon, and Umberto Eco!

If you haven’t purchased a copy yet, but want to help support our efforts to get the book out there, now is the time to take the plunge.

Buy Now!

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, keep in mind that you can read the ebook for free! If you’re not a member, you can read it now by trying the Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial.

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Bush’s Baked Beans: The Vegetable Kids Love!??!

Beans and peas are the mature forms of legumes. Is it really any surprise that Americans' diets are so wildly off base and obesity and diabetes are on the rise?

This afternoon on the Food Network, I saw this surprising and shocking commercial:

I was so surprised that I actually had to rewind and rewatch it to make sure I’d actually heard it correctly.

Given the casting and the bright cinematography reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live skit (particularly with the talented and heavily underrated Evan Arnold), I was hoping to have a nice little laugh, but I was stunned by the tag line at the end. And no, I’m not talking about the advertising agency’s designated tagline “Booyah!”, which cleverly buries the lede; I’m talking about the tagline they designed to be remembered and the one which threw me: “Bush’s Baked Beans: The Vegetable Kids Love.”

While technically correct in so many of the wrong ways based on the USDA’s definition of vegetables, this commercial and its definition of vegetable belies the spirit in which the vast majority of American viewers are going to view and understand it. (And I’ll freely admit that at any given time, I’ve got up to two quarts of cooked beans in my refrigerator and a massive 25 pound bag of dried beans in the larder.)

I’ll at least give them credit that the dish served in the commercial did feature chicken as the protein, which by the USDA guidelines then pushes the beans into the “vegetable” column rather than the protein column in this meal. And I’ll further credit them that the serving sizes are almost reasonable for children of this age, though I suspect that from a commercial production standpoint, the small servings were more a function of trying to better feature the beans on the plate. However, if this is a balanced dinner, I’m guessing that the children aren’t getting their USDA RDA for “true” vegetables and fruit and are drastically overdosing on protein.

Fortunately, this commercial isn’t as egregious as Cheetos suggesting that they’re part of the vegetable food group because they’re made out of corn byproduct (incidentally, they have a pitiful Overall Nutritional Quality Index of 4!), but it does leave us on the terribly slippery slope that probably isn’t helping the overall American diet.

Beans and peas are the mature forms of legumes. They include kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), split peas and lentils. They are available in dry, canned, and frozen forms. These foods are excellent sources of plant protein, and also provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc. They are similar to meats, poultry, and fish in their contribution of these nutrients. Therefore, they are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Many people consider beans and peas as vegetarian alternatives for meat. However, they are also considered part of the Vegetable Group because they are excellent sources of dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate and potassium. These nutrients, which are often low in the diet of many Americans, are also found in other vegetables.

 

Because of their high nutrient content, consuming beans and peas is recommended for everyone, including people who also eat meat, poultry, and fish regularly. The USDA Food Patterns classify beans and peas as a subgroup of the Vegetable Group. The USDA Food Patterns also indicate that beans and peas may be counted as part of the Protein Foods Group. Individuals can count beans and peas as either a vegetable or a protein food.

–Source Beans and peas are unique foods | USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov

For more information on beans, I’ll recommend the following more reliable resources:

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Hopkins Humanities Center celebrates 50 years as home to a diverse intellectual community

Hopkins Humanities Center celebrates 50 years as home to a diverse intellectual community (The Hub)

Congratulations to Richard Macksey on 50 years!!

One of the most famous stories about the development of literary and critical theory in the United States has its origin at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus about half a century ago.

It was at “The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man” symposium held at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library in October 1966 that a then relatively unknown French thinker named Jacques Derrida threw a wrench into a few of the central ideas supporting structuralism, a linguistic methodology for understanding and conceptualizing human culture dominant at the time and epitomized by luminaries such as Claude Lévi-Strauss, Louis Althusser, Jacques Lacan, and Roland Barthes. What’s often forgotten about that event is that it was in fact the inaugural conference organized by Johns Hopkins University’s Humanities Center, an academic department that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

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Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read

Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read (The New York Times)
A reader analytics company in London wants to use data on our reading habits to transform how publishers acquire, edit and market books.

likes Moneyball for Book Publishers: A Detailed Look at How We Read – The New York Times

readingdata-1050

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Amerikan Krazy: Life Out of Balance | Exhibition at BC Space

I highly recommend everyone take the time to visit BC Space in the coming month to see their exhibition "Amerikan Krazy: Life Out of Balance"!

Yesterday, along with my friend Henry James Korn, I attended the opening of the BC Space Gallery exhibition Amerikan Krazy: Life Out of Balance, and it was fantastic! If you’ve got time to see it sometime in the next few weeks until it closes on May 20th, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I don’t think I’ve experienced so much shock and amazement at an exhibition in a long time.

Sadly, Henry won’t be there doing a live reading of his new novel Amerikan Krazy every day for the next month, but you’ll be continually astounded for the entire time you’re there emoting over all of the work on display in an exhibition that is not only aptly named but touches on many aspects of the cultural zeitgeist.

Jeff Gillete, Desert Debris Dismayland Castle
Jeff Gillete, Desert Debris Dismayland Castle

I walked through the gallery half a dozen times over four hours and was continually amazed by new things I’d run into that I somehow hadn’t seen on my first passes, or I’d experience new emotions in pieces I’d spent time studying after coming back to them after viewing others.

For those attending, I hope you’ll notice the experience begins almost as soon as you open the door, it continues even for those who visit the restrooms(!), and it doesn’t end until you’re dumbfounded even as you leave the gallery–in fact, I was so intrigued that I walked back up the stairs to leave a second time.

I was particularly enamored by many of the Glenn Brooks pieces, a fantastic video by Max Papeschi, and the haunting work of Tom Lamb, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the gallery.

Below is a small sampling of some snapshots I took (along with a few professional shots), but don’t let the poor quality of my photography detract from experiencing it more viscerally in person. (Click photos to enlarge and view slideshow.)

 

Here’s the original invitation from Mark Chamberlain and the BC Space Gallery in Laguna Beach:

Dear Friends of BC Space

…Here we go again, as go we must.

BC Space Gallery is proud to present Amerikan Krazy: Life Out of Balance featuring the work of over twenty notable southland artists.

There will be an opening reception on Sunday, March 20, MMXVI, from 1-5 PM in celebration of the Vernal Equinox when our planet once again achieves balance between light and dark.

At the opening, from 2-4 PM, Henry James Korn will launch his new book Amerikan Krazy after which this show was named and thematically assembled. Henry’s comic masterpiece picks up where George Orwell, Jules Verne, and Edward Abbey left off, and turns political writing into art.

Henry Korn is the former director of the Art, Culture, and Heritage program at the Orange County Great Park. At the conclusion of his reading, there will be a discussion period on how the original grand dream for the transformation of the former Marine Corps air base has changed from a public serving project into a corporate theme park, sports complex, and housing development that mirrors the “Founding Father Land” depicted in Korn’s relentless satirical novel.

Amerikan Krazy: Life Out of Balance includes work by: Jorg Dubin, Joella March, Stephen Anderson, Jeff Gillette, F. Scott Hess, Tom Lamb, Douglas McCulloh, Haley Blatte, Jerry Burchfield, Mark Chamberlain, Ricardo Duffy, Jared Milar, Max Papeschi, Jessica DeStephano, Lynn Kubasek, Glenn Brooks, Ron English, Dustin Shuler, Clayton Spada, Jacques Garnier, Pat Spakuhl, and Dan Van Clapp.

This exhibition will be on display until May 20, 2016. Gallery hours are by arrangement. The opening reception is free to the public, but seating for the book launch is limited so reservations are encouraged.

For additional information please contact the gallery or Mark Chamberlain.

Source: BC Space

The gallery can be contacted at the details below:

BC Space Gallery
235 Forest Avenue
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.497.1880
bcspace@cox.net

Henry Korn chats with fans after reading from Amerikan Krazy
Henry Korn chats with fans after reading from Amerikan Krazy
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A few more cases of Amerikan Krazy showed up this afternoon for the event at BC Space on Sunday

Amerikan Krazy novelist Henry James Korn is slated to appear at the curated exhibit “Amerikan Krazy: Life Out of Balance” featuring the work of over twenty notable Southland artists. More details at Boffo Socko Books.

A few more cases of #AmerikanKrazy showed up this afternoon for the event at BC Space on Sunday http://www.boffosockobooks.com/2016/03/15/bc-space-gallery/

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Photo taken at: Boffo Socko Books

Laguna Beach, California, United States of America

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@DuttonBooks What?! No appearances in his own back yard in Los Angeles? Let’s fix this…

a tweet by Dutton Books Dutton Books (Twitter)
Want to discover #TheBigPicture? Secure your spot now for one of @seanmcarroll's book tour events this May! pic.twitter.com/JvEMoW6j45

@DuttonBooks What?! No appearances in his own back yard in Los Angeles? Let’s fix this…

IndieWeb “Press This” Bookmarklet for WordPress

IndieWeb press this by Matthias PfefferleMatthias Pfefferle (GitHub)

I’m not sure why I didn’t upgrade this ages ago when I saw it mentioned (probably because of the manual nature of the upgrade and the fact that I don’t think it’s bundled into the IndieWeb plugin for WordPress), but here we go. And this is the first post actually using the bookmarklet.

IndieWeb press this

One big IndieWeb raison d’être is using your own web site to reply, like, repost, and RSVP to posts and events. You do this by annotating links on your site with simple microformats2 HTML.

Having said that, most people don’t want to write HTML just to like or reply to something. WordPress’s Press This bookmarklets can already start a new post with a link to the page you’re currently viewing. This code adds IndieWeb microformats2 markup to that link. Combined the wordpress-webmention plugin, you can use this to respond to the current page with just two clicks.

What’s more, if you’re currently on a Facebook post or Twitter tweet, this adds the Bridgy Publish link that will reply, like, favorite, retweet, or even RSVP inside those social networks.

Source: pfefferle/wordpress-indieweb-press-this: some IndieWeb magic for WordPress’ “press this” bookmarklet

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Amerikan Krazy Book Launch at Chevalier’s Books

Amerikan Krazy Book Launch at Chevalier's Books

Part of the huge crowd that showed up for the launch of #AmerikanKrazy

Part of the huge crowd that showed up for the launch of #AmerikanKrazy

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Photo taken at: Chevalier’s Books

Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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Henry Korn Reading from Amerikan Krazy

Henry Korn Reading from Amerikan Krazy
@henryjameskorn reading from #AmerikanKrazy. #latergram
@henryjameskorn reading from #AmerikanKrazy. #latergram

Instagram filter used: Normal

Photo taken at: Chevalier’s Books

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