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Michael Kleber
Works at Google
Attended Harvard
Lives in Newton, MA
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Michael Kleber

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I loved yesterday's Google Doodle in honor of Hedy Lamarr's 101st birthday.  Check out https://www.google.com/doodles/hedy-lamarrs-101st-birthday for some great early sketches and storyboarding by the always-excellent doodler +Jennifer Hom.
Actress and Inventor Hedy Lamarr's 101st birthday #GoogleDoodle
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I enjoyed reading +Yonatan Zunger's post[1] about the jellyfish[2] (they look like squid to me) and yet I was left with a desire to know how long it would actually take for the squid to all return back to the place they started.

If we number the squid 0-255 then we can describe the state of the image with a 256 dimensional vector.  The squid start out with number 0 at the top and number 255 at the bottom.  Then the moves can be described by 256x256 permutation matrices.

The identity matrix is the permutation matrix  that leaves everything right where it was.  In the images below that is represented by a solid black line from upper left to lower right (element 0 goes to 0, element 1 goes to 1, etc). 

The animation is made up of three moves repeated over and over.  In these permutations squid either move left and right within a row (near the identity diagonal, but just off it) or up and down a row (which appear as the diagonal lines away from the center line).

As the moves continue the squid move farther from home. In the animation below the intermediate frames have squid scattered all over the field, much as it feels when you try to watch them.

Repeating the moves is the same as multiplying these permutation matrices. Asking "how long will it take for the squid to return home" is the same as asking "how many times do I need to multiply the matrix by itself before I get the identity matrix back".

If the squid were only moving in one fixed pattern, it's clear that it would take 256 steps: each squid visits the location of each other squid exactly once before they all end up back at their starting locations in unison, like a big, convoluted, squid conga line. This is exactly what we find, if we raise the matrix corresponding to one of the patterns to the 256th power, we get the identity matrix back. That matrix is the 256th root if the Identity matrix.

The really tedious part is extracting the permutation matrices to begin with. For that, I manually extracted the frames from the GIF from the points in time where the squid are just arriving at their next location, while their tentacles are still visible.  Then a very simple vision algorithm picks out those tentacles and writes down the permutation matrix inferred by the direction of motion.

Once we have the three matrices for the three patterns, we multiply them together to get the overall permutation matrix for one loop of the animation.

Then we just multiply that by itself until we find the identity matrix again, and we finally get there after 2064 steps.

Te animation has 75 frames played with a 40ms delay, so if you want to see the quid return home, you'll need to watch for a little over 100 minutes.

Go code for the curious: https://github.com/cwren/squid

I have an animation of the whole 2064 step cycle but g+ won't accept it for some reason, so it's here instead: http://imgur.com/4CzDl2j

[1] https://plus.google.com/+YonatanZunger/posts/4urrnW3sZsi
[2] http://wavegrower.tumblr.com/post/126854522925/currents-if-i-had-the-time-i-would-check-if-one-of
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Great gallery of pictures from this year's Bridges conference.  Bridges celebrates the connections between math and art.  The art has changed a lot over the last 15+ years, with as much laser cutting and 3D printing as you might expect.  But there is lots of lovely technology-free math art as well.
The Bridges Conference is an annual event that explores the connections between art and mathematics. Here is a selection of the work being exhibited this year, from a Pi pie which vibrates the number pi onto your hand to delicate paper structures demonstrating number sequences.
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+Heidi Burgiel No, I've always just watched from afar.
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The Intercept is doing an okay-if-not-great job writing about the Snowden-leak-based "revelation" that the NSA uses large-scale speech-to-text on the large-scale collection of phone calls it records.  These days everyone's Android and iPhone do this all the time; it hardly seems like it should count as a revelation.  When I worked at BBN 8 years ago, the NIST-run competitions had worse error rates than we do now, but they were already running on a single machine at 10x faster than real-time.  None of this was secret; read http://www.itl.nist.gov/iad/mig/tests/ace/2007/doc/ace07_eval_official_results_20070402.html if you're a glutton for punishment.

But The Intercept's focus on the question "Are they creating a transcript of everything?" is misplaced.  If you wanted to find all phone calls that contained the word bomb, you would be stupid to make your one-best-guess transcript of the recording and then grep for "bomb", missing all the cases where the text-to-speech produced "balm" or "calm" or "slalom" errors.  Instead you would have your computer scan the audio, using a model that's specifically trained to look for bomb (and the other thousand words you most care about), and flag the bits that sound like they might match, even if your models say "balm" is a slightly more likely transcription.

Sadly, there's ample evidence that the FISA court's attempts at constraining the NSA are just as naive as The Intercept's way of reporting on it.  Surely there's nothing stopping the NSA from doing this, and so surely they do it.
Telephone calls involving Americans are recorded by the NSA through surveillance technically aimed at foreigners. Are they automatically transcribed, too?
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+Daniel Egnor Strangely, it seems like the "human listens to it" line is the one they have been arguing constitutes a "search", and so might need a warrant.  (If you believe that sort of regulation actually constrains their actions, of course.)
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Ow. Yes, it is true that you can convert from kilograms to pounds by multiplying by 2.2. That does not mean that doing so is the right way to modify every statement.
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The source is the book The Wacky & Wonderful World Through Numbershttp://www.amazon.com/Wacky-Wonderful-World-Through-Numbers/dp/1438005903.  It is a bizarre collection of things some of which I hesitate to call facts.  Let's just say it's a collection of sentences that each start with a number, all with zero context, and with varying degrees of correctness, confusion, and coherence.

You are welcome to peruse it next time you're over.
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Hey, it's 2/4/16. How very squary. Wish I'd noticed that at 2:56.

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Nope, its 4/2/16. Wait for April to have 2/4/16. #leagueforcorectwritingofthedate 
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Excellent article by Neal Koblitz and Alfred Menezes about what we as outsiders can deduce the NSA probably does and doesn't know about elliptic-curve cryptography and quantum computing, based on smart historical analysis and the NSA's recent policy statements about the need to develop quantum-safe cryptographic techniques.

"A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma", https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/1018.pdf

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A Washington state court has awkwardly attempted to sidestep Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protect online service providers from being charged for crimes committed by their users, by claiming that a site's content guidelines make it an information provider, and therefore exempt from safe harbor protection.

This ruling distorting the purpose of Section 230 comes as calls to retire the protection amplify among U.S. politicians desperate to police the space created by the internet.

This sentiment was clear in the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act, which began circulating in Congress in 2014, seeking to make it a crime to benefit financially or receive anything of value from knowingly distributing advertising that offers a commercial sex act by someone who has been forced into the sex industry. What constitutes "knowing" is defined so vaguely that the act in practice would make it possible for sites to be charged even if they do not know they are hosting such ads.

As the American Civil Liberties Union pointed out at the time, passage of the act would create a situation not unlike that created by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which has resulted in a trigger-happy regime where sites take down content said to be infringing copyright without question, forcing the individual who posted the content to defend their right to do so through a complicated and intimidating process. The DMCA has been criticized as having a chilling effect on speech, as it is employed most often by individuals who disagree with speech and want it removed, rather than by actual copyright holders.

The SAVE Act passed the House of Representatives in 2014, but it stalled. In January, it resurfaced in the new House and was passed once again, with chances of its being enacted slightly improved. It seemed for a moment that it might stall again, but instead, it was quietly added to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), a whopper of a bill that dramatically shifted the conversation from free speech to the right of victims to receive federal funding to cover abortions.

The JVTA seeks to make it easier to go after those who seek to buy sex from a victim of coercion by putting soliciting on equal footing with trafficking. Like so many instances where we are assured that giving up a tiny bit of freedom will result in more security, what the JVTA actually does is authorize and fund a number of local, state, and federal law enforcement initiatives and expand the powers of existing agencies, such as Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in order to combat not only sex trafficking, but "illicit sexual conduct," "illicit e-commerce," and "cybercrime."

Though the intent of the SAVE Act is intended for sites like Backpage, there is no reason this whittling of Section 230 will end with classified sites. Investigations by law enforcement have already implicated Facebook and Instagram as sites used by would-be pimps to "lure" young women into sex commerce through the use of hashtags.

But Facebook and Instagram are not the only sites being used by people involved in commercial sex. Indeed, law enforcement’s continued interest in sites used by sex workers has had the unintended effect of driving more of them to general-use social networks. The inherent risk of using sex worker-specific forums was made abundantly clear to sex workers in June of last year when the FBI seized the site myRedBook and raided its center of operations in Mountain View, and more recently when Homeland Security raided Rentboy offices in New York.

There is no knowing what site will be the first target of the JVTA now that Obama has signed it into law, but it's more than likely that it will force action by sites used by the general population. It’s no coincidence that the first draconian policies against "adult" content coincide with the first opportunistic political campaigns targeting pornography online, or that so many sites have enforced dangerous “real” names policies against users, including vulnerable populations. This last was one of the first demands made by Richard Blumenthal when he went after MySpace in 2006 as Attorney General of the state of Connecticut. And he rode his success as a champion of a "clean" internet all the way to the Senate.

It would not be surprising if, as a result of increased policing under the JVTA, social networks began suspending the accounts of sex workers -- and with it, the activism for human rights that they often undertake. Just as voluntary sex work is often framed as "self-trafficking" in some jurisdictions, so too have safety primers for sex workers been seen as encouraging prostitution. A case in point is the recent suspension from YouTube of Charlotte Rose, a sex worker and MP candidate who organized a rally protesting UK pornography regulations.

All of these policies and the manner they are enforced are a self-protective response from American tech companies to an assault by the state, not in the name of finding traffickers, but to control a space that the state cannot yet easily police — and, by extension, those of us who inhabit it, whether we fall under their jurisdiction or not.
905100 (PDF) · 905100 (Text)
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Woo hoo!  So great to see this launched.
 
This is what I've been working on for the past year.  Very excited for it to have finally launched!
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If you've always wondered what neural nets dream about, we finally know the answer.  This is seriously amazing: a good read and great pictures.
 
All of these images were computer generated!

For the last few weeks, Googlers have been obsessed with a internal visualization tool that Alexander Mordvintsev in our Zurich office created to help us visually understand some of the things happening inside our deep neural networks for computer vision.  The tool essentially starts with an image, runs the model forwards and backwards, and then makes adjustments to the starting image in weird and magnificent ways.  

In the same way that when you are staring at clouds, and you can convince yourself that some part of the cloud looks like a head, maybe with some ears, and then your mind starts to reinforce that opinion, by seeing even more parts that fit that story ("wow, now I even see arms and a leg!"), the optimization process works in a similar manner, reinforcing what it thinks it is seeing.  Since the model is very deep, we can tap into it at various levels and get all kinds of remarkable effects.

Alexander, +Christopher Olah, and Mike Tyka wrote up a very nice blog post describing how this works:

http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2015/06/inceptionism-going-deeper-into-neural.html

There's also a bigger album of more of these pictures linked from the blog post:

https://goo.gl/photos/fFcivHZ2CDhqCkZdA

I just picked a few of my favorites here.
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Oh, someone please make a movie of a continuous zoom.

Also, Pigsnail is the name of my next band.
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Hey +Henry Segerman, just received my order of Skew Dice, and they are indeed beautiful.  My 9-year-old's reaction "Those can not be fair!" was just as good as I had hoped; my 16-year-old is sitting here looking for axes of rotational symmetry.

I was surprised to note that you left in a square corner, with three right angles coming together, just like a regular cube!  (In fact there are two such, of course.)  Did you play with examples both with and without it, and make an aesthetic choice?  Packing eight of them around a corner is a pretty appealing thing to do, especially if you alternate the enantiomorphic forms...
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Sounds like you're getting some good reactions +Michael Kleber! +Robert Fathauer did the code for generating the large scale geometry. There's still a one-parameter family of shapes with the 90 degree angles - I think that assuming 90 degrees was a good way to cut down the number of choices we had to make.
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Education
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    Math, 1989 - 1993
  • UC Berkeley
    Math, 1993 - 1998
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Mathematician, at Google, making the web faster.
Introduction
I'm a mathematician and algorithm designer.  I now work for Google making things go faster, and keep my finger in recreational mathematics on the side.
Work
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Software Engineer
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2007 - present
  • MIT Math Department
    1998 - 2001
  • Brandeis Math Department
    2001 - 2004
  • Broad Institute at MIT
    2004 - 2006
  • BBN Technologies
    2006 - 2007
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Rockville, MD - Berkeley, CA - Cambridge, MA
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Alice's adventures in Wonderland
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Triple Town
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Triple Town, by Spry Fox, is an original puzzle game in which you try to create a great city!

Today's Google Offer in Boston - $10 for $20 toward puzzles, games and m...
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5000+ puzzles & games for all ages. Toys to make you think and have fun. Unique gift ideas for the holidays. Convenient Coolidge Corner

Through the Looking Glass
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The dot & the line
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Once upon a time there was a sensible straight line who was hopelessly in love with a beautiful dot. But the dot, though perfect in every wa

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Cookie Monster spoofs Carly Rae Jepsen's song "Call Me Maybe." For more fun games and videos for your preschooler in a safe, child-friendly

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Bought a new C-Max hybrid here, just a week after they arrived at the first dealerships. Surprisingly pleasant and relaxed car-buying experience -- much nicer than the other hybrids we test-drove the same weekend. What's more, they had the car we wanted on the lot, and after checking around, no one could beat their price, nor offer us another dollar on our trade-in. Thumbs up.
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