Announcing X in a Box & Array 101

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2020 by Brit Cruise

In March 2020, I launched a new company (X in a Box – http://www.xiab.org) with my colleagues Tony DeRose and Elyse Klaidman. Our idea was to take what we’ve accomplished with Pixar & Imagineering in a Box and expand on it in various ways. Here is a teaser of what we do:

 

We’ve been unexpectedly inundated with opportunities because of the dramatic shift to online learning as a result of the pandemic. Continue reading

The Beauty of Neural Networks

Posted in Uncategorized on November 15, 2019 by Brit Cruise

I’m thrilled to finally post part 3 in my Deep Learning series, it covers the first 80 years of neural network research and was one of the more difficult scripts & visualizations I’ve ever worked on. It pulls together many years of thinking about this subject:

Making “Imagineering in a Box”

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2019 by Brit Cruise

Screen Shot 2019-07-30 at 12.03.00 PMToday I’m happy to announce we are finally launching Imagineering in a Box on Khan Academy from my team behind Pixar in a Box + some new partners at Walt Disney Imagineering. Here is a five min overview of the project:

A Brief History

When I was 12, I was so curious to find out how one could become an Imagineer. I wanted to learn about all the cool work going on behind the scenes of a theme park.

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In the mid 90’s Continue reading

New series on Artificial Intelligence coming soon

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2019 by Brit Cruise

Been hard at work at a seven part series on AI. I’ll most more details soon. For now:

 

What I made with IEEE in 2018

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2018 by Brit Cruise

This year I produced two videos with my friends at IEEE (Information Theory Society) which cover two highly influential academic papers from the 20th Century. What’s really exciting about these videos is we had the original authors of the papers review the script during development (Abraham Lempel and Robert Gallager). On average we spent about 4 months writing & iterating on each script until we had something that is clear and correct.

Here they are:

Lempel-Ziv compression – One of the most influential compression algorithms of the 20th Century:

LDPC codes – One of the most versatile and widely applicable error correction codes which was about 40 years ahead of its time:

 

In 2019 I will continue this project with IEEE.

What is Bitcoin?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 28, 2018 by Brit Cruise

I spent a long time thinking about a way to explain the what/why/how’s of Bitcoin to general audiences (my Mom) in a way that doesn’t frustrate Engineers (no hand waving). I feel that all existing Bitcoin videos contain jargon that scares away the typical viewer. In this video I made a point to avoid using a single word that might confuse people. I don’t know if I succeeded but I tried my very very best…

 

Please share this video with anyone who still doesn’t “get it” – as it might fill in some gaps.

 

 

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):

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…

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…

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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)

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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.

 

What is Computer Science? (Part 1: declarative knowledge)

Posted in Uncategorized on April 6, 2016 by Brit Cruise

This first video explores declarative vs. procedural knowledge through the lens of the Turing Test & Oracle machines. It’s intended to hook + ground the viewer in some basics before building towards Logic & Turing Machines. After this video we will dive deeper into procedural knowledge via. Algorithms. Then we’ll explore more history (arithmetic vs. formal logic) before building towards 20th Century ideas.

What is Computer Science? (Overview)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2016 by Brit Cruise

After a long period of research I’m happy to report Art of the Problem’s third episode is in production. This episode will act as the final piece of a CS trilogy. Here is the first video which gives an overview of the series: (or watch on YouTube)

I’ve also published an essay version of this video with extra links below (or read on Medium).


 

Around 100 years ago something really exciting was happening.

Continue reading

The making of Pixar in a Box

Posted in Research and Projects with tags , , , , , on September 25, 2015 by Brit Cruise

Prehistory

In early 2014 Tony DeRose (Senior Scientist and Lead of the Research Group at Pixar Animation Studios ) and Elyse Klaidman (Director of Pixar University and Archives) approached Khan Academy with an idea. They wanted to answer a question everyone asks in school at some point: “Why do I need to learn this?” Previously, Tony had given talks which try and engage children in mathematics by demonstrating how math lives at the intersection of design and technology at Pixar. It was clear that you could motivate kids to learn math and science by showing them how concepts they encounter in school are used at Pixar to make movie magic… Continue reading