Art of the Problem & IEEE join forces with “The Information Age”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2017 by Brit Cruise

This year marked the beginning of a long term collaboration with IEEE Information Theory Society. The goal of our ‘Information Age’ series is to produce short videos which bring to life the most impactful ideas from Information Theory and show how they play a role in our lives today. The first two pilot videos we produced in 2017 were on Network Coding and Space-Time codes. In 2018 we’ll be exploring source coding, channel coding, quantum information theory and security. Below are the 2017 pilot videos. I’ve enjoyed working with Matthieu Bloch, Michelle Effros, Christina Fragouli & Suhas Diggavi on this project.

Network Coding:

Space-Time codes (multi-input multi-output networks):

Advertisements

Does P = NP?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2017 by Brit Cruise

 

I spent many years pondering (making sense of) this question. I ended up building a entire Computer Science series just to get to it. This video explores complexity theory and the (P vs. NP question) and is the conclusion to the CS series. I hope it helps others get the the key realizations faster than i…

The birth of a market

Posted in Video / Theatre on August 30, 2017 by Brit Cruise
Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 8.00.09 PM.png

The paper that started it all…

In November 2016 I felt something in the air…my gut told me it was time for the blockchain sector to finally have its moment. After playing around with cryptocurrencies for years it was the Ethereum launch that seemed to catapult this sector from a small network of crypto geeks into a larger pool of technology enthusiasts and investors looking to be part of web 3.0 – the decentralized internet. Continue reading

How a Turing Machine works

Posted in Uncategorized on May 17, 2017 by Brit Cruise

For years I struggled to clarify exactly what a Turing machine needs to do, and more importantly, how Turing conceived of it. Even after I finished a CS degree I wasn’t able to “build one from scratch” because I hadn’t yet independently realized what he had…

09484-1jm-kt25lww9sh33epb8ctw

Recently I had a moment of insight and hit on an improved analogy for the “program” of a Turing machine, which Turing describes as “a book”. I took this one step further and clarified that each page in this book can be thought of as a unique state. A page contains a single instruction to follow (which takes the form of a conditional statement). This subtle step is something Turing didn’t include in his paper (instead he skipped ahead and simply refers to it as a ‘big table’, which can be tough to digest at first)

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 2.31.03 PM

I feel this is the key to make the mechanism behind Turing machines more concrete and intuitive for the new learner. I hope Turing would approve of my modification to his analogy…and after reading his paper some 20 times, I can say with certainty that he would.

Here is the video on how it all works (this is also the 2nd last video in the CS series)

 

What is a Computer?

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2016 by Brit Cruise

This video was on the tip of my tongue for years, it feels wonderful to finally move on. It features Aristotle, Leibniz, Adam Smith and Charles Babbage. It’s the main “case study” for this series, after which we’ll move into more modern views on computers and computability.

 

Logic, Abstraction and Aristotle

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2016 by Brit Cruise

Posted a new video this week I’m really happy with. It covers abstraction, deduction & syllogisms through the lens of Aristotle’s work on Logic. Now that this video is complete I can finally get to the real meat of this series…. the dream of a “Universal Computer”. This video also features my son Booker, his second appearance in an Art of the Problem video.

What is an Algorithm?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 19, 2016 by Brit Cruise

I’ve seen so many botched, overcomplicated, misconstrued and boring attempts at explaining algorithms to new minds that it was a huge relief to finally finish this video. My goal here is to explain procedural knowledge (know-how) via a thought experiment involving actors. I cover what I consider the two core ideas behind algorithms and where they came from. I also extend the explanation to setup a future video on time/space complexity. You’ll see no mention of while loops, for loops, or bubble sort…horse before cart. This is part 2 in the series on Computer Science.