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Suhail Shergill
Attended University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Suhail Shergill

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Focusing on the invariants helps
 
A friend of mine recently shared with me the "three princesses" logic puzzle, while walking around Oxford.  This puzzle (reproduced below) is not too difficult to solve if one has access to pen and paper, and approaches the problem systematically, and it is certainly trivial to solve if one has access to the internet, but it was quite an enjoyable challenge to figure it out during our walk, with no assistance whatsoever.  

If anyone following this post would like to try the same exercise (minus the "walking around Oxford" component, naturally), I would be interested in hearing how it proceeded and what one's thought processes were in the comments below.  (But please don't just post the solution, which can after all be found in mere seconds using an internet search.)

Anyway, here is a formulation of the puzzle.  I do not know the actual provenance of the puzzle, or its original wording; the wording below is taken from an xkcd discussion forum, which can be easily located via search engine if desired.

--

You are the most eligible bachelor in the kingdom, and as such the King has invited you to his castle so that you may choose one of his three daughters to marry. The eldest princess is honest and always tells the truth. The youngest princess is dishonest and always lies. The middle princess is mischievous and tells the truth sometimes and lies the rest of the time. 

As you will be forever married to one of the princesses, you want to marry the eldest (truth-teller) or the youngest (liar) because at least you know where you stand with them. 

The problem is that you cannot tell which sister is which just by their appearance, and the King will only grant you ONE yes or no question which you may only address to ONE of the sisters. What yes or no question can you ask which will ensure you do not marry the middle sister?
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Windows kernel developer speak: "There's no formal or informal program of systemic performance improvement. We started caring about security because pre-SP3 Windows XP was an existential threat to the business. Our low performance is not an existential threat to the business."
What's wrong with “9-5 with kids types,” it doesn't make you a worse programmer to want a healthy work life balance. If you're able to pull that off it even suggests a level of skill that your company will allow you out of the “you have to do overtime” culture.
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+Gary Johnson: you are my G+ nemesis, the Professor Moriarty to my Sherlock Holmes. 

You have beaten the system, and your invitations make it through the G+ filters without slowing down at all. And you are one busy person, aren't you? Public event after public event.

Curses.
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An important new open-access journal has just been launched. Now we must try to make it a success.

http://gowers.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/a-new-open-access-venture-from-cambridge-university-press/
The formal launch has just taken place at the European Congress of Mathematicians in Krakow of the Forum of Mathematics, which to a first approximation is a new open-access electronic journal. Howe......
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Personal website of Suhail Shergill
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This is a campaign to get Google+ to support the LaTeX markup language for the purpose of posting to the stream.

1) From your home page click on the gear icon in the top right corner
2) Choose 'Send Feedback'
3) Type in something to the affect of "Please support LaTeX on Google+"
4) Drag the dialog box over your stream and click 'Submit'
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I like the connection the author of this post makes with Godel sentences.
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we demonstrate by experimental evidence (N = 144) that even mild social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect in simple estimation tasks. In the experiment, subjects could reconsider their response to factual questions after having received average or full information of the responses of other subjects. We compare subjects’ convergence of estimates and improvements in accuracy over five consecutive estimation periods with a control condition, in which no information about others’ responses was provided. Although groups are initially “wise,” knowledge about estimates of others narrows the diversity of opinions to such an extent that it undermines the wisdom of crowd effect in three different ways. The “social influence effect” diminishes the diversity of the crowd without improvements of its collective error. The “range reduction effect” moves the position of the truth to peripheral regions of the range of estimates so that the crowd becomes less reliable in providing expertise for external observers. The “confidence effect” boosts individuals’ confidence after convergence of their estimates despite lack of improved accuracy. Examples of the revealed mechanism range from misled elites to the recent global financial crisis.

This isn't news. Surowiecki wrote about it in 2005. Groups are wise only as long as the the members are independent. It has been noted that there are two ways to achieve independence: isolation and cacophony. The net, clearly, is cacophonous.
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An analysis of the asymptotic complexity of the patent system attacking two core premises: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2016968 #twt
Why do firms in some industries ignore patents when developing new products? This paper posits a simple but novel answer to this long-puzzling question: firms i
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You have found you a Suhail; hopefully it's the correct one.
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shergill, su, sss
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  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Computer Sciences, 2008 - 2010
  • Clemson University
    Computer Engineering, 2005 - 2008
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