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Opinion | The Moral Meaning of the Plague - The New York Times
Viktor Frankl, writing from the madness of the Holocaust, reminded us that we don’t get to choose our difficulties, but we do have the freedom to select our responses. Meaning, he argued, comes from three things: the work we offer in times of crisis, the love we give and our ability to display courage in the face of suffering. The menace may be subhuman or superhuman, but we all have the option of asserting our own dignity, even to the end.
compassion  meaning  frankl  brooks 
[2002.11146] Quantum Algorithms for Simulating the Lattice Schwinger Model
The Schwinger model (quantum electrodynamics in 1+1 dimensions) is a testbed for the study of quantum gauge field theories. We give scalable, explicit digital quantum algorithms to simulate the lattice Schwinger model in both NISQ and fault-tolerant settings. In particular, we perform a tight analysis of low-order Trotter formula simulations of the Schwinger model, using recently derived commutator bounds, and give upper bounds on the resources needed for simulations in both scenarios. In lattice units, we find a Schwinger model on N/2 physical sites with coupling constant x−1/2 and electric field cutoff x−1/2Λ can be simulated on a quantum computer for time 2xT using a number of T-gates or CNOTs in O˜(N3/2T3/2x√Λ) for fixed operator error. This scaling with the truncation Λ is better than that expected from algorithms such as qubitization or QDRIFT. Furthermore, we give scalable measurement schemes and algorithms to estimate observables which we cost in both the NISQ and fault-tolerant settings by assuming a simple target observable---the mean pair density. Finally, we bound the root-mean-square error in estimating this observable via simulation as a function of the diamond distance between the ideal and actual CNOT channels. This work provides a rigorous analysis of simulating the Schwinger model, while also providing benchmarks against which subsequent simulation algorithms can be tested.
FAR-QC  quantum  ojas  wiebe  schwinger  algorithms  lougovski  ASCR 
7 days ago
Assessment of Rydberg atoms for wideband electric field sensing - IOPscience
Rydberg atoms have attracted significant interest recently as electric field sensors. In order to assess potential applications, detailed understanding of relevant figures of merit is necessary, particularly in relation to other, more mature, sensor technologies. Here we present a quantitative analysis of the Rydberg sensor's sensitivity to oscillating electric fields with frequencies between 1 kHz and 1 THz. Sensitivity is calculated using a combination of analytical and semi-classical Floquet models. Using these models, optimal sensitivity at arbitrary field frequency is determined. We validate the numeric Floquet model via experimental Rydberg sensor measurements over a range of 1–20 GHz. Using analytical models, we compare with two prominent electric field sensor technologies: electro-optic crystals and dipole antenna-coupled passive electronics.
rydberg  atomic  sensing  quantum  radio 
7 days ago
Epidemic Calculator
Brilliant calculator for COVID-19 infections/deaths. More sophisticated than a simple SIR model, since it incorporates hospitilization, and response time. Great references and documentation.
covid-19  coronavirus  calculator  model  graph  epidemic  infection 
8 days ago
Lisp: Good News, Bad News, How to Win Big [1991] | Hacker News
Do the Right Thing (MIT): correct, consistent, complete, simple interface, simple implementation

Worse is Better (New Jersey): simple implementation, simple interface, correct, consistent, complete

Lisp is prone to follow the MIT school of design, Unix and C follow the New Jersey school of design. The MIT approach is very hard to get right. The worse is better approach results in shipping products that become popular and then will improve. They'll never be as good as the right design would have been, but they tend to win in the market, and eventually will become good enough.
lisp  programming  hn  worse 
13 days ago
Chudnovsky algorithm - Wikipedia
The Chudnovsky algorithm is a fast method for calculating the digits of π, based on Ramanujan’s π formulae.
pi  ramanujan 
13 days ago
A Bayesian view of Amazon Resellers | beta-binomial model
How to compare Amazon reseller ratings with different sample sizes.
bayes  statistics  amazon  probability 
13 days ago
Which rating is better, mathematically speaking? | Probabilities of probabilities, part 1 - YouTube
3Blue1Brown video on how to think about Amazon ratings and compare with different sample sizes.
3b1b  probability  bayes  ratings  amazon 
13 days ago
How Git Partial Clone lets you fetch only the large file you need | GitLab
Partial Clone is a new feature of Git that replaces Git LFS and makes working with very large repositories better by teaching Git how to work without downloading every file. Partial Clone has been years in the making, with code contributions from GitLab, GitHub, Microsoft and Google. Today it is experimentally available in Git and GitLab, and can be enabled by administrators (docs).
git  clone 
14 days ago
Google is making it easier to develop quantum machine-learning apps - MIT Technology Review
Google is releasing free open-source software that will make it easier to build quantum machine-learning applications. TensorFlow Quantum is an add-on to Google’s popular TensorFlow toolkit, which has helped give machine learning a big boost since its launch in 2015.
google  quantum  ml 
19 days ago
Write your own eulogy to shape your future - Ness Labs
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Steve Jobs.
death  eulogy  7habits 
20 days ago
Gene sleuths are tracking the coronavirus outbreak as it happens - MIT Technology Review
By tracking mutations to the virus as it spreads, scientists are creating a family tree in nearly real time, which they say can help pinpoint how the infection is hopping between countries.
covid-19  coronavirus  gene  tree 
21 days ago
NSF Responds to JASON Research Security Report | American Institute of Physics
In her foreword to the response report, NSF Director France Córdova writes that the agency “strongly agrees” with JASON’s views on the importance of continuing to encourage foreign-born scientists to train and work in the U.S. Córdova also states the agency “appreciates JASON’s affirmation that the actions of some foreign governments pose a significant threat to the U.S. research ecosystem” and lists steps NSF has already taken to address security concerns.
nsf  jason  emerging  china 
21 days ago
AQC 2020
The 9th annual AQC conference will bring together researchers from a broad range of communities to explore the use of Adiabatic Quantum Computation and related approaches for combinatorial optimization and sampling. The goal of the conference is to further the dialogue on the opportunities but also the challenges that must be overcome to realize a useful quantum advantage within this computational paradigm.

The field of adiabatic quantum computation began with the proposal to use adiabatic evolution in quantum ground states to solve combinatorial optimization problems. Since then this framework has inspired a large variety of related approaches, including more general forms of Hamiltonian computation such as Quantum Annealing (QA) and recent gate-model approaches such as the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA). Similarly, the range of applications has expanded beyond optimization to include more general quantum algorithms, including universal adiabatic computation, sampling tasks such as those involved in machine learning, and quantum simulation of systems in physics and chemistry.
aqc  adiabatic  qcomp  unm  abq 
21 days ago
Synthetic at Every Scale – BLDGBLOG
What if, in other words, truly advanced intelligence, having long ago taken to non-biological form, finds ways to maximize technology on the level of the very small? Thus [Australian artificial intelligence researcher Hugo de Garis]’s interest in femtotech, a technology at the level of 10-15 meters. The idea is to use the properties of quarks and gluons to compute at this scale, where in terms of sheer processing power the improvement in performance is a factor of a trillion trillion over what we can extrapolate for nanotech.
SETI  nanotechnology  AI 
21 days ago
Wildcard: Spreadsheet-Driven Customization of Web Applications
Many Web applications do not meet the precise needs of their users. Browser extensions offer a way to customize web applications, but most people do not have the programming skills to implement their own extensions.

In this paper, we present spreadsheet-driven customization, a technique that enables end users to customize software without doing any traditional programming. The idea is to augment an application’s UI with a spreadsheet that is synchronized with the application’s data. When the user manipulates the spreadsheet, the underlying data is modified and the changes are propagated to the UI, and vice versa.
website  spreadsheet  html 
29 days ago
Wormholes Reveal a Way to Manipulate Black Hole Information in the Lab | Quanta Magazine
What does all this have to do with black holes? The black hole information paradox asks what happens to the information that gets tossed into a black hole. The AdS/CFT correspondence is a key component of one proposed solution, since it supplies the means by which quantum entanglement could imprint the information on Hawking radiation and prevent it from being irrevocably lost.
In 2004, Hawking himself explained how, assuming the AdS/CFT conjecture is true, we could recover this information by capturing every single Hawking photon a black hole radiates over its entire lifetime before fully evaporating. As Norman Yao of the University of California, Berkeley described it, “If you were God and you collected all these Hawking photons, there is in principle some ungodly calculation you can do to re-extract the information in [each swallowed] qubit.”
nqi  qsa  monroe  yao  preskill  AdS  CFT 
4 weeks ago
If you believe in nihilism, do you believe in anything? | Aeon Essays
A century before Arendt, Friedrich Nietzsche described in his notebooks (published posthumously by his sister in The Will to Power) a choice between ‘active ‘ and ‘passive’ nihilism. One of his many aphorisms on nihilism was that it is the result of the highest values devaluing themselves. Values such as truth and justice can come to feel like they are not merely ideas, but that they have some supernatural power, particularly when we say: ‘The truth will set you free’ or ‘Justice will be served.’ When these values turn out not to have the power attributed to them, when truth turns out not to be liberating, when justice doesn’t ensue, we become disillusioned. Yet, rather than blame ourselves for putting too much faith in these values, we instead blame the values for not living up to our expectations.
nietzsche  nihilism 
4 weeks ago
Japanese Firemen’s Coats (19th century) – The Public Domain Review
Each firefighter in a given brigade was outfitted with a special reversible coat (hikeshi banten), plain but for the name of the brigade on one side and decorated with richly symbolic imagery on the other. Made of several layers of quilted cotton fabric, using a process called the sashiko technique, and resist-dyed using the tsutsugaki method, these coats would be worn plain-side out and thoroughly soaked in water before the firefighters entered the scene of the blaze. No doubt the men wore them this way round to protect the dyed images from damage, but they were probably also concerned with protecting themselves, as they went about their dangerous work, through direct contact with the heroes and creatures represented on the insides of these beautiful garments.
japan  firefighting  history 
4 weeks ago
Ten Simple Rules to becoming a principal investigator
he biggest choke point in an academic career is going from postdoc to principal investigator (PI): moving from doing someone else’s research to getting other people to do yours. Being a PI is a fundamentally different job to being a postdoc; they just happen to be in the same environment. It is not an easy transition. It draws on few of the skills you learn at the bench, and the odds are clearly not ever in your favor. So, calling this article Ten Simple Rules is obviously a simplification. It is more accurate to call them ten tricky steps.
academia  career  research  ideas 
4 weeks ago
pytudes/Economics.ipynb at master · norvig/pytudes · GitHub
Nice Norvig pytude on a simple economic simulation of the evolution of inequality using Gini coefficients and multiple models for transactions:
economics  python  jupyter  norvig  pytude 
4 weeks ago
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