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David Jao
Works at University of Waterloo
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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David Jao

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Fish N
 
Bluefin had an Obama sushi roll today too, though I didn't try it.
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David Jao

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+The SageMathCloud​ in action at the PIMS CRG Workshop on Explicit Methods for Abelian Varieties (+David Roe​ presenting).
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This needs a signal boost. Relevant for anyone who cares about the past and/or future of mathematical publishing. Money quote: "most of my books are there -- help yourself." (h/t +Joe Corneli)
The world of professional publishing, of scholarly communication, is in a state of profound transformation. In some fields, for example physics and computer science, researchers have embraced this transformation and are forging new policies and better customs. In my experience, however, ...
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David Jao

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Los Angeles Superior Court judge Rolf M. Treu has ruled that California's teacher tenure laws represent an unconstitutional violation of the California Constitution's equal protection clause guaranteeing each student equal access to education.

It's virtually impossible to find any neutral coverage of this story; the LexisNexis story below is as close as I could get. Some overtly partisan sites include:
http://studentsmatter.org/ (plaintiffs)
http://www.cta.org/ (defendants)
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/16/1284248/-Vergara-v-California-The-most-dangerous-lawsuit-you-probably-haven-t-heard-of (biased, liberal viewpoint)
http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-California/2014/04/29/Vergara-Case-Challenges-Teacher-Tenure (biased, conservative viewpoint)

My concern is not for public school education; that's an important battle, but a separate battle, which lies outside of my expertise. What worries me is that, simply put, this is a sneak attack against academic tenure. If teachers unions lose this round, you can be sure that David Welch and his friends will go after public universities next. And while private universities are probably immune to this particular constitutional challenge, these guys are persistent and I'm sure they'll think of something. Moreover, the institution of tenure itself would be greatly diminished if it were restricted primarily to private institutions.

Tenure isn't perfect, but it has served us educators well for over a century. I'm not willing to throw the whole system out just because it isn't 100% perfect.
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The new buildings on campus have whiteboards on all of the walls in the corridors, to facilitate scientific collaboration.
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Impressive and very creative!
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This is why nobody should buy e-books, period.
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David Jao

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Am I the only one who is bothered by Viacom/TV Land pulling the Dukes of Hazzard off the air?

I understand that no government action is involved, and Viacom, as a private company, has the right to make business decisions regarding airtime. There is no direct first amendment issue.

I understand that the shooting in Charleston was horrible, and I think it's nuts for South Carolina to fly the "Confederate flag" on statehouse grounds, but that's not the same issue.

The closest recent parallel I can find is "The Interview," which, let's face it, is way more racist than the Dukes of Hazzard ever was, and is at least tangentially associated with horrible human rights atrocities in North Korea, atrocities on a scale comparable with the horrors of institutional racism in the US. Sony Pictures Entertainment made a business decision to pull the movie from theaters, just as Viacom is doing here. And yet the Sony decision was met with cries of Censorship! from a wide spectrum of the American public, not just one side of the political divide.

For the record, I loved The Interview, and I loved the Dukes of Hazzard, and I don't think either one of them should be pulled.
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I don't have an opinion about that particular show, as it's been over 30 years since I've seen it. I just meant in general, there are messages that can be sent by taking symbolic actions that don't necessarily make a ton of functional sense when examined as an isolated decision.
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David Jao

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Canadians like to think of themselves as more civilized than our American neighbors, but when it comes to immigration, Canada has a lot to learn.

I am a US citizen by birth, along with my children. My wife is a US citizen by naturalization. The only difference in our legal status is that my wife cannot be the President or Vice-President of the United States, a restriction which is written into the US Constitution, and for most people is really not a big deal. In every other respect, all US citizens are equal before the law; this right is guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and cannot be overridden by statute.

US citizenship is valued in large part because of the opportunities that it provides, and the openness with which those opportunities are offered. The promise of equality is central to the core concept of American opportunity. It is the reason why Americans of all origins can call the United States their home. You are one of us, no matter where you are from, or how you got here. You are always welcome home, no matter where you go, or how long you leave.

Having been born and raised with these values, it comes as an absolute shock to me that Canadians would wish to demote citizens of immigrant origins to second-class status. I have no direct voice in Canadian politics, since I am not a citizen, but after seeing this ugly outcome, I am not even sure I want to be a (second-class) citizen. By degrading the privileges of citizenship, you degrade the value of citizenship. To be clear, I appreciate the warmth with which I have been welcomed into Canada and the economic opportunities that have been given to me. But I feel that immigration must be a two-way street, and that immigrants deserve respect as well, regardless of where they came from.
It’s a tale of two contradictions, says David Cohen, a Toronto immigration lawyer. Canada, a country that prides itself on diversity, has just made it harder for immigrants to become citizens. Germain Zima is among the estimated thousands of Torontonians caught in the snarl of what moved through government channels as Bill C-24.
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Point.
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When a corporation scrapes web sites, the media calls it a "leak" and explicitly labels it "not a hack job."

But when B-school applicants (who by the way end up working at said corporations) do the exact same thing, it's unambiguously called a "hack": http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2005/03/09/mit_says_it_wont_admit_hackers/
Twitter's leaked earnings were not a hack job, but only high-powered computer could have detected the early release of the sensitive financial data.
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It's kind of frustrating what gets considered hacking in general, especially by policy makers. Especially how it gets applied to middle and high schoolers. "You figured out your teacher's password is their first name and changed their background? You terrible hacker you!"
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"This debate is not your garden-variety political crisis. It's the battle for the long-term viability of American democracy, and it's a battle that the Democrats simply must win even if it means risking default."
The shutdown is political blackmail. If Democrats give in, the GOP will keep putting the US democracy and economy at risk
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Not surprisingly, the mainstream media will never cover this angle of the story, because they themselves are wrongheadedly addicted to DRM.
Summary: The major publishers say they needed to cut an ebook deal with Apple in order to blunt the force of Amazon’s monopoly — but they themselves helped construct that monopoly by insisting on platform-specific DRM.
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My phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, on which I am typing this right now, just got barred from sale in the US thanks to an Apple lawsuit.

If I could, I would pose just a few questions to Apple:

1. How in the world does a Galaxy Nexus "look a lot like the iPhone"?

2. Do you really have such a total lack of confidence in the quality of your product that you need to resort to legal measures in order to compete?

Our household has four iPads, two iPods, and two iPhones. I love Apple products. But it's time to say goodbye to them. I refuse to fund innovation-snuffing patent lawsuits.
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Patent law is out of control in the United States, especially in the state of Texas, where the judiciary has decided to flaunt international norms to the detriment of basic principles of free market competition.  Unfortunately, similar trends are now appearing in Canadian jurisprudence as well. 
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  • University of Waterloo
    Associate Professor, 2006 - present
    Faculty of Mathematics.
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  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Mathematics
  • Harvard University
    Mathematics
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