Hello 2016! As WordPress politely informed me today, it’s been 8 months since my last post! 8 months! Where has the time gone? I would say I’m again making a New Year’s resolution to blog more, but it’s no longer January…no, not even close. It’s already April!
On my end, the past 8 months was full of agonizing over grad school essays, mad rush towards writing results, mad rush to submitting applications, and, finally, a month of waiting and more waiting, which I say is probably worse than all the rushing and stress of the months prior. But it’s April! And I have a host of amazing, amazing schools to choose for grad school. But then, in typical fashion, comes a month of worrying over choices, of comparing every minute detail between the schools. But no more! I will be going to the place that will best fit my research interests, where I will hear about problems and solutions from some of the best researchers in the field. Where the feeling of excitement over solving hard challenges doesn’t fade, where people work and sleep at odd hours, and where nerdiness prevails. I hope that wherever I end up will make me feel with absolute certainty that I made the right decision by turning my back to the allure of Silicon Valley with all its sparkling glory two summers ago, exchanging that lifestyle for a different type of fun and a different type of nerdy.
But enough about me, to ring in my new New Year’s Resolution (hey, it’s snowing outside so we could believe it’s New Year’s if we try reaaaally hard), I’m going to talk about some of my favorite blogs. You might have heard of some of them:
- Shtetl-Optimized: This is probably the blog you have heard of/read before. But there’s a reason why it’s so popular and a reason why it’s on the top of my list. Scott Aaronson’s humor, very candid discussions, eloquence, and breadth of scientific discussion on his blog is unparalleled. Here’s a snippet of a post he made in January (regarding his daughter’s third birthday):
Lily: Why is the world spinning?
Me: Because of the conservation of angular momentum.
Lily: Why is the … consibation of amomomo?
Me: I suppose because of Noether’s Theorem, and the fact that our laws of physics are symmetric under spatial rotations.
Lily: Why is…
Me: That’s enough for today Lily! Link to post
- Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP: I think I’ve quoted several articles from this blog already. If there is a major scientific breakthrough in computing, then an article will appear on this blog within the next few hours and it is usually one of the most comprehensible and yet informative articles on the topic. This blog has a combination of news-like topics which discussions of esoteric problems in computing. It has a bit of everything, all discussed in an engaging and readable way. Plus lots of puzzles!
- FiveThirtyEight: I guess some would say this is more website than blog but it has that blog feel to me. Nate Silver’s great. His analysis is great. I’ve been reading his analysis for the primaries when I should have been working on my thesis.
- Terence Tao’s Blog: I usually don’t like very technical blogs (ironic isn’t it?) But Terence Tao explains concepts wonderfully, especially if you want a summary of a long and intricate paper (like the explanation of Zhang Yitang’s work on the Twin Prime Conjecture and related background). Beware, not for the faint of heart.
- Theory, Evolution, and Games: I had an interest in evolutionary game theory at some point in the past. I still do, and this blog has some interesting articles.