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Jason Knight
271 followers -
Electrical engineering PhD student in cancer research
Electrical engineering PhD student in cancer research

271 followers
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Jason's posts

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What a great, comprehensive, introductory article on running: http://www.nytimes.com/well/guides/how-to-start-running

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Awesome technology, awesome interview: Lighthouse is Valve's new standard/product to grant sub-millimeter tracking accuracy in a 15ft x15ft room for their upcoming VR products. Really cool implementation.

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I just finished playing with the LIGO data that was used to declare the first ever detection of gravitational waves. This is through a great interactive scientific notebook at https://github.com/cranmer/ligo-binder.

In case you haven't heard what this is all about: scientists recently (last week) announced that they had detected (for the first time ever) gravitational waves propagating across the universe. What's more is that these waves were produced by the collision of two black holes each several times more massive than our own sun. What's MORE is that this collision happened 1.3 Billion years ago, and the waves just passed by our tiny little rock called Earth.

Below is what that process looks like in a so-called spectrogram. But what's even cooler is what it 'sounds' like. IE: if your ears were sensitive enough, and could detect gravitational waves, then this is what you would have heard had you been listening carefully enough (I highly recommend cranking the volume and especially the bass to get the full effect):

http://jknight-static.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/ligo/GW150914_H1_whitenbp.wav

That is the sound of two blackholes spiraling in towards each other at half the speed of light, and then finally merging, followed by "ringdown" which occurred 1.3 Billion years ago... Woah.
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I'm only a fraction of the way through. But this one's already rocking my world. +Bryan Knight +姜兴德

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I guess the one bright side here is that Federalism allows this in the first place. </optimism>

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+Bryan Knight +Bud Knight Woah, I wonder how they get so much precision.

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I haven't been this excited/blown away by a puzzle solution in a long time. Wow!

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So close...
Video of Falcon 9 first stage landing burn and touchdown on Just Read the Instructions https://vine.co/v/euEpIVegiIx
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This is one of the best articles I've ever read on math education in the United States. It makes me worry about my kids and the country as a whole.
This is an unusually thoughtful article about the roots of Americans' issues with innumeracy, and how it can be fixed: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/magazine/why-do-americans-stink-at-math.html

This part really struck me:

"The unschooled may have been more capable of complex math than people who were specifically taught it, but in the context of school, they were stymied by math they already knew. Studies of children in Brazil, who helped support their families by roaming the streets selling roasted peanuts and coconuts, showed that the children routinely solved complex problems in their heads to calculate a bill or make change. When cognitive scientists presented the children with the very same problem, however, this time with pen and paper, they stumbled. A 12-year-old boy who accurately computed the price of four coconuts at 35 cruzeiros each was later given the problem on paper. Incorrectly using the multiplication method he was taught in school, he came up with the wrong answer."

This is one of several examples that strongly suggests our issues lie not with inherent inability to do math, but simply with the way it's taught. Unsurprisingly, teaching children abstract methods completely divorced from reality confuses them and breaks with intuition, leading them to believe they "simply aren't good at it".

As we move from arithmetic to more advanced secondary school math, this echoes Lockhart's Lament, which I strongly suggest to anyone who cares about the way kids (or adults, for that matter) learn math: https://www.maa.org/external_archive/devlin/LockhartsLament.pdf

I'm trying my best to give my own daughter a more intuitive understanding of math, through play, but I'm still stumbling around in the dark, never having done this before. As such, I'd be very interested in hearing about other parents' approaches. Any ideas and suggestions?
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