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Tobin Fricke
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With spring in full swing, many of us are starting to spend more time outdoors. We think it’s about time we take our brand new 600kW energy kite outside for some fresh air too.

Here, the 600kW energy kite is being moved out of our headquarters on the kite cart, which was designed and built so our team can easily move the kite around. Over the next few weeks, we will be assembling the energy kite’s components here in Northern California, so we can see how the whole system works together. Stay tuned for more once we’re all settled in and ready to begin testing!
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Dead-Simple Human Powered Airplane!
It's just three days until the first day of our Open House for DaSH at our new workshop DB5 , near the San Jose airport.

We'll be giving periodic tours throughout the day.  Food and drinks will be provided.  Please bring family and friends.

The Open House for the DaSH human powered airplane project is on both Saturday 2/28 and Sunday 3/1 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.  Come by to check out the airplane build and see the progress we've made as we near completion and get ready for flight in late Spring/early Summer.  

What:   DaSH PA human powered airplane Open House
When:  Saturday, February 28th and Sunday March 1st, 10:30 a..m. to 4:30 p.m. each day
Where: 1450 Koll Circle Suite 110, San Jose CA 95112
Map:  http://goo.gl/d2D9fu

Project Blog:  http://dashpa.blogspot.com/

DaSH is an all volunteer project to build a human powered airplane for fun and education.  See the Project Information for more info about joining the project to help build:  http://dashpa.blogspot.com/p/project-information.html
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Looks like a potentially really great advanced course on dynamics.
A free online course on chaos theory

Chaos theory is the study of physical systems whose motion depends very delicately on how they start out.  There's a lot of deep geometry here, and +Predrag Cvitanović has started a free online course on the subject!   

There's a lot of hype about chaos theory, but Predrag is a good physicist, and he's written a good free textbook on the subject, so this is the real deal.

To register, just go to his webpage here.  The course started a week ago but you can still join in.  It lasts 8 weeks.  It'll use his book, links to explanatory videos, and weekly homework assignments, which include some computer programming. For the assignments you can use any computational tools you want, but he'll provide you with stuff written in Python.  There are no tests.

He encourages you to register even if you won't do the homework: you can talk to other students on the course forum.  

Some administrators from his university tried to shut this course down at the last minute, probably because it's free.  I'm glad he fought them off and prevailed.  

This course is called Nonlinear dynamics 1: Geometry of chaos, and here are the topics:

Topology of flows - how to enumerate orbits, Smale horseshoes
Quantitative dynamics - periodic orbits, local stability
The role of symmetries in dynamics

There will also be a second, more advance 8-week course called Nonlinear dynamics 2: Chaos rules, with these topics:

Transfer operators - statistical distributions in dynamics
Spectroscopy of chaotic systems
Dynamical zeta functions
Dynamical theory of turbulence

The prerequisites for this first course are a basic background in linear algebra, calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability theory, classical mechanics, and statistical mechanics.  You'll need to able to work with equations involving vectors and matrices, differentiate simple functions, and understand what a probability distribution is.   You will learn to write programs in Python. 

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A wild ride!

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Swedish summer landscape
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Sweden 6/2013
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On Friday, I defended my PhD dissertation. Done with grad school!
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PhD defense!
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PhD defense!
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I just heard that, after a long illness, Dennis Ritchie (dmr) died at home this weekend. I have no more information.

I trust there are people here who will appreciate the reach of his contributions and mourn his passing appropriately.

He was a quiet and mostly private man, but he was also my friend, colleague, and collaborator, and the world has lost a truly great mind.

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The new open-access PRX journal has published the first five papers of volume 1, issue 1! Hurray for open-access scientific publishing!
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