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V.D. Veksler
Attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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Education
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Cognitive Science, 2009
  • Rutgers University
    Computer Science; Psychology, 1999
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engineering the mind
Introduction
I am a scientist doing research on Computational Cognitive Modeling. My work falls under Artificial Intelligence and Psychology domains. I study human/animal learning and decision mechanisms, and develop computational agents based on these mechanisms (links: 1 2 3). 

I also spend a good deal of time on cognitive robotics (interfacing robots with cognitive systems link), on virtual world simulations (interfacing Second Life with cognitive systems link), on semantic models (getting computers to learn word meaning by reading link), and cognitive engineering (a sub-field of human-computer interaction), and I have taught courses on all of these topics at Rensselaer (i♥rpi).

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V.D. Veksler

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reading over the list of things google is announcing at #io15 :
unlimited free photo storage/sharing, seamless nfc payments, one touch search about whatever text is on screen, vr for classroom, vr for ios, battery life extension for android, offline maps, intelligent identity verification, etc, etc....

i've come to expect amazing things from google, but they're hitting it out of the ballpark this year.
Today was Keynote day at Google's 2015 I/O Conference, and you know what that means: announcements, announcements, announcements. Who has time to follow all..
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a $9 computer w/ wifi, bluetooth, and internal storage?
$19 also gets you a 3000mAh LiPo battery (perfect for mobile robotics).

this thing is not a toy, it's a full-fledged 1GHz linux box w/ 512MB of RAM. hard to believe this is real, but there it is.

i thought raspberry pi was too good to be true, but this is on a whole 'nother level. 
Next Thing Co. is raising funds for CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer on Kickstarter! Built for work, play, and everything in between! \(•◡•)/
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touchless smartwatch control. kinda neat.
Mostafa Safavi originally shared to Technology News:
 
The Aria Lets You Control Your Smart Watch Without Touching It
The Aria is an add-on band that solves this occasional frustration by measuring movement in the wrist to control smartwatches with finger gestures. Compatible with Android Wear and the Pebble Time, their module slots in to an existing band and lets you move through a watch’s interface without tapping the screen or using controls on the side of the watch face.
To read more: http://goo.gl/3BQyal
#smartwatch   #aria   #technews  
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This actually a good concept.
Not for replacing the touch screen, as much as for allowing a degree of control when for example wearing thick gloves. 
Another group of people who can benefit from it are amputees with one hand.
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Meet Pocket PiGRRL, a retro portable gaming build that's suitable for confident beginners. It's a compact and delightful update to last year's popular PiGRRL from Adafruit.
Last year we went into full retronerd dribble mode over the PiGRRL, a Pi-powered Gameboy. Our friends at Adafruit have brought the project up to date with the Pocket PiGRRL. It has a 3D printed case and uses the smaller Raspberry model A+ plus a 2.4″ PiTFT HAT to bring the size down. Emulation is handled by …
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raspberry pi + droid razr lapdock = $180 laptop!
if you already have a pi and some of the cables, this project seems to run about $120.
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Today, May 16th, 2015 Massimo Banzi, CEO and co-founder of Arduino, announced at Maker Faire during the “State of Arduino” keynote that Adafruit is manufacturing Arduino's for Arduino.cc in New York City, New York, USA! Limor “Ladyada” Fried said: “Adafruit and Arduino.cc have been working ...
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A new US manufacturer and a new global sister brand for Arduino.
Through a U.S. manufacturing partnership with Adafruit and the launch of a new global sister brand called Genuino, Arduino today announces a couple of big moves that address the challenges that have emerged for the company over the past few months. Much of 2015 has seen the open-source board maker …
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V.D. Veksler

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The Martian will be a movie?!  awesome.
it is such a good book.
if you call yourself a geek, you HAVE to read this book (or get the audiobook, Bray does a great narration for it).
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I loved the book
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i'm sure you've heard by now. rip John Nash.
The narrative of Dr. Nash’s brilliant rise, the lost years of severe mental illness, and the eventual awarding of a Nobel Prize captured the public mind.
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Scalzi writes superb (and fun!) scifi, he deserves this.
I think the deal is that he will receive $3.4mil over 10 years.
Here's his self-interview about this deal:
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/05/25/about-that-deal/
Mr. Scalzi’s books include a series known as the “Old Man’s War” and “Redshirts,” a Hugo award winner about characters on the original “Star Trek.”
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As per the man himself:

Dude, that’s like… a lot of money.
It is. Mind you, it’s spread out over a decade and thirteen books. And I only get the money if I actually, you know, write the books. But, yeah.
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/05/25/about-that-deal/
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Codie, a $169 robot with 8 sensors and an easy-to-use graphical programming language (also can use standard programming langs and connect via bluetooth), is now fully funded. this seems to be a wonderful alternative to the super-expensive lego mindstorm. you can still get yours early on indiegogo, but it looks like these guys will start selling to consumers in 2016.
Learn Coding With A Cute & Advanced Personal Robot. Priced under $170 for limited time, ends May 16. | Crowdfunding is a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community. Make a contribution today!
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5 Hottest Robot Projects on Kickstarter
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