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Ed Chi
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Attended University of Minnesota
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Ed Chi

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PSA for robotic and machine learning researchers on a data set available from Google.
Today, we're releasing two large datasets for robotics research:

Grasping: A collection of 650k grasp attempts, data used in:

Push: A collection of 59k examples of pushing motions, data used in:

Both datasets contain RGB-D views of the arm, gripper and objects, along with actuation and position parameters. They were collected in a controlled environment using a wide collection of everyday objects, some of which were held out for evaluation. Enjoy!

Credits: +Sergey Levine, +Chelsea Finn and +Laura Downs.
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Read this about swimming and race.
Today, a Black, American woman won a gold medal in swimming. This prompted a lot of discussion about the history of racism and swimming in the USA, and reminded me of something I think is worth sharing.

When I was a teen, I worked as a lifeguard. And one summer I worked at the city's "Formerly" segregated blacks-only pool. I say formerly in quotes because for all practical purposes it was still a blacks-only pool.

The city had two pools: A big, nice, well-maintained center-of-city pool. And a crappy, badly maintained pool near the poorer part of the city. While any resident could legally go to any pool they wanted, they both required an entry fee to get in, and the big nice pool had a bigger entry fee. Besides that, you'd have to travel a ways from the poorer neighborhood to get there. And guess what race the people in the poorer part of this city (with a LONG history of race segregation) tended to be?

Big city pool had two short diving boards, a high dive, a separate lap swimming pool, a separate family pool, a small grill / snack stand, etc. Little pool had a mostly broken diving board and a snack bar consisting of chips and candy bars and a soda machine.

So, I lifeguarded along with ONE other person (the big nice pool had 8 to 10 on duty), and our clientele was mostly young black boys and girls.

They'd arrive at the pool, stay about 30 minutes, get super rowdy and end up ignoring the guards and all attempts at discipline, and get kicked out. Every day. And when they'd refuse to be kicked out (a fun game for them), the guards were instructed to call the police on them. Repeatedly, we'd be told to call the cops. At first we would and they'd be driven away by the boys in blue.

This cycle repeated itself, with the kids getting more and more disruptive and the cops getting more angry at us calling them, and at the kids for them having to be there.

Then it changed.

I don't know what prompted us to start addressing things differently, but I think it's mainly hatred of our own bosses - our pool company paid us $4.25 an hour (minimum wage at the time) and treated us like crap. The "main manager" was a jerk and occasionally sexually harassed the (under-18) female guards. We hated the company.

So one day when the kids came in and we didn't want to deal with it anymore, we broke the cycle. We took the change drawer from the snack bar, and threw the whole contents into the pool, and told the kids that whatever they dredged back out of the pool they could use to buy snacks.

By my estimate, this cost the pool company about $10 in candy and chips. It kept the kids occupied for HOURS. And they were happy. They weren't bored, they used up a ton of energy diving after the coins, and they got to buy snacks that they could usually not afford to buy when they came.

That was the first day we had zero discipline problems, not to mention one of few where the police weren't called.

The next day we did it again. Same result. So we kept doing it, almost every day for the rest of the summer.

So yeah, technically we were "stealing" $10 a day from our company - hopefully the statute of limitations on that have expired in the last two decades. But I don't look at it that way - I think were investing that money.

We invested in a bunch of boys and girls who were already being shown that they were worth less, by the shitty state of the pool they were given to play in. By the way the company allowed their pool to have nothing to do compared to the nice city pool, so that they would be driven to mischief in their boredom. And by how the company wanted us to involve police in the antics of 12 year olds, when at the big nice pool we'd almost never call the cops for discipline, we'd just get several guards to kick someone out.

They didn't need discipline, they needed someone to offer them something fun to do.

We invested $10 a day to keep hundreds of dollars of taxpayer cost from having cops come deal with petty problems. And this was a CITY pool being privately managed. That investment was in the taxpayer interest.

The most important thing we invested in though, was that we treated the kids like we cared about them, not a nuisance. What I hope we told them was "Yeah, we get it, you're bored and wish you could afford the candy we've got behind the counter. We're on your side, and we'd rather you have a happy time while you're here than hold the line on a $0.75 snickers bar that the company bought for $0.10 in bulk."

I'm honestly not sure where I meant to go with this post, but I guess where I'm going with it is that a lot of the "problem" we had was that negativity was being met with negativity, and no one was offering anything positive to anyone. When we started being on the kids' side, we started forming positive interactions with them. Those led to good feelings, which led to empathy, which led to a good opinion of each other and giving one another benefit of doubt that we weren't just there to fill the role of "Angry lifeguard and troublesome kid".

In a lot of cases compassion, even if it comes at the cost of being on the wrong side of the law, produces MUCH better results than obstinately holding the line and trying to crack people into shape using force.

If you want to deal with racism, or fascism, or fear of terrorism, or pretty much anything else that's wrong with the world, I think compassion and care at the smallest level can break those cycles far more effectively than surveillance, police crackdowns, or any measure of imposition of order.

Edit: To wrap up this rambling story, as it relates to black swimmers - there's a history of racism in the USA and it involves keeping black people out of pools, or at least out of the nice ones. It's no surprise to me that it took this long to have a black gold medalist swimmer because, in my experience, my city wasn't interested in letting black kids have FUN at their pool. And god knows, if you want to stick to doing something long enough to become the world's best at that thing, you damn sure have to enjoy doing it.
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This is a most excellent story.
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Coverage of my keynote at the Data Science conference in Taiwan last month. 
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大數據(Big Data)已經從玄學變顯學,台灣資料科學協會理事長陳昇瑋昨(16)日表示,台灣資料科學已進入啟動元年,Google研究科學家紀懷新及美國創業家Kyper Data創辦人及執行長張宗堯均認為,大數據最重要的是「怎麼用」跟「發生影響力」。
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I've never had to have mugshots taken to speak at a conference. Very cool.
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Simone Manuel Wins Olympic Gold. That's A Really Big Deal

I loved her reaction when she won. So genuine. 
When the 20-year-old won gold Thursday night, she wasn't just an athlete excelling at her sport. She was a symbol for what should have been self-evident all along: Swimming is for everyone.
Ed Chi's profile photoLisa Borel's profile photo
Agreed. I recall as a 15 year old, visiting an aunt in Florida, being shocked when she asked me if I knew how to swim. My assumption was that everyone my age knew how to swim. Clearly that is not the case.
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Taiwan has 22 diplomatic allies, mostly small countries that look to it for development aid. China and Taiwan, political rivals of seven decades, used to play checkbook diplomacy to buy off each other’s friends and Taiwan with bigger aid packages, and Taiwan came out the net loser before the two [...]
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Yeah, no kidding. But I'd think the god doesn't abandon anyone. But apparently that might not be true. 
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Trouble in Hong Kong politics.
Hong Kong’s young protesters return with a new demand: Independence from China.
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Ed Chi
point taken. But what's the analogy with Philippine? I didn't understand the connection.
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When Uber decided to develop its own self-driving car, it went big. The company came to Carnegie Mellon University, the epicenter for autonomous driving research for three decades, and hired away four professors and 36 technical staff members. A lot of news reports described that as “poaching.” I call it embracing the free market for brilliant people. As dean of CMU’s School of Computer Science, I don’t take lightly the loss of 40 valued employee...
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Banning 'Burkinis' From The Beach Is Stupid And Sexist.

I agree. 
The mayor of one French resort town claims the ordinance will "protect" women.
Nicholas Brickhouse's profile photoJohn VanRoekel's profile photo
So, we are going to "protect women" by requiring them to show skin at the beach, and by incidentally banning the standard wet-suits used by most divers.
Personally I think it is a bit more bigoted than sexist, but both aspects of assholeery are there in plenty.
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Trump spokesperson got caught spreading falsehood again. She's a real disaster. 
Ed Chi's profile photoLisa Borel's profile photoBob Moore's profile photo
She seems to be another BS artist, like Trump. BS artists don't exactly lie, in the sense of saying something they know to be false. BS artists have no idea what the truth is, but make something up that supports the argument they are trying to make. Being willfully ignorant is pretty much necessary to being a successful BS artist.
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You've been doing it wrong! :) Learn this. 
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Cute, but I prefer the nonslip shoelace knot form Practical Fishing Knots by Sosin and Kreh.
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I thought this was click bait. Then I watched it. Wow!!! Trump is running the ultimate scam. 
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I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Gary Johnson takes at least half of the Republican and right leaning independent votes. 
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Sr. Staff Research Scientist at Google
  • Google
    Sr. Staff Research Scientist, 2015 - present
  • Google
    Staff Research Scientist, 2011 - 2015
  • PARC
    Area Manager and Principal Scientist, 2007 - 2011
  • Xerox PARC
    Sr. Research Scientist, 1999 - 2006
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Palo Alto, CA
Minneapolis, MN - Taipei, Taiwan
Sr. Staff Research Scientist at Google focusing on Machine Learning, HCI and Social Computing.
Disclaimer: This is my personal G+ account, and represents mainly my own personal opinions, and does not represent Google in any official way.

Ed H. Chi is a Staff Research Scientist at Google, working on the Google+ project.  Ed was the Area Manager and a Principal Scientist at Palo Alto Research Center's Augmented Social Cognition Group. He led the group in understanding how Web2.0 and Social Computing systems help groups of people to remember, think and reason. Ed completed his three degrees (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.) in 6.5 years from University of Minnesota, and has been doing research on user interface software systems since 1993. He has been featured and quoted in the press, including the Economist, Time Magazine, LA Times, and the Associated Press.

With 20 patents and over 80 research articles, his most well-known past project is the study of Information Scent --- understanding how users navigate and understand the Web and information environments. Most recently, he leads a group of researchers at PARC to understand the underlying mechanisms in online social systems such as Wikipedia and social tagging sites. He has also worked on information visualization, computational molecular biology, ubicomp, and recommendation/search engines. He has won awards for both teaching and research. In his spare time, Ed is an avid Taekwondo martial artist, photographer, and snowboarder.

In 2012, Ed was the Technical Program Chair for ACM CHI2012 conference, the premier conference on Human-Computer Interaction research. 

Collections Ed is following
  • University of Minnesota
    B.S., minor in Math, 1992 - 1994
  • University of Minnesota
    M.S., minor in Scientific Computation, 1994 - 1996
  • University of Minnesota
    Ph.D., 1996 - 1999
Basic Information
Other names
Ed Huai-hsin Chi, Ed H. Chi, 紀懷新
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Ed Chi's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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