Read ‘Physics of the Impossible’ by Michio Kaku

 

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel’ explores the popular science fiction concepts in the light of hard scientific facts. In doing so the author explains scientific theories in a way that is very engaging and comprehensible for a layman. Along the way author alludes to interesting details about how the modern scientific theories developed overtime and what are current areas of research which could make the impossible possible. All analyzed concepts are categorized based on how long it might take for human civilization to achieve them if ever.

In my opinion, this is a definite read for only one interested in science or science fiction.

Completed ‘Machine Learning’ from Coursera

Completed ‘Machine Learning’ course offered by Andrew Ng, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University. This course was offered through Coursera.org

The course started on 23rd April and the duration was 10 weeks. It was an exhilarating opportunity to learn about this cutting edge field. The distinctive feature of the course was weekly programming assignments in Octave which were automatically evaluated by Coursera.org. Also the course was very well organized, we can expect that as it was offered by the co-founder of Coursera.

 

Completed ‘CS101 (Introduction to Computing Principles)’ from Coursera

Completed the ‘CS101 (Introduction to Computing Principles)’ course offered by Nick Parlante, Lecturer in Computer Science, Stanford University. The course was offered online through Coursera.org

The course started on 23rd April 2012 and went on for 6 weeks. It was a introductory course and meant for people from non-IT background. Despite having two degrees in Computers, I still went for it to explore the Coursera platform. I found it to be such a fun platform to learn, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Free online courses from Top Universities

A revolution is underway in higher education. Top universities are offering their courses online for free through initiatives like:

Coursera – Launched by two Standard University professors: Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng
Udacity – Co-founded by Google Executive and Standard professor Sebastian Thrun
edX – Joint venture by MIT and Harvard

We already have a lot of video lectures from top universities on YouTube and iTunes. But these new initiatives are different, they are a game changer. They are able to create a virtual classroom environment which is attracting thousand of people from all over the world.

First the course starts at a particular time and you have to enroll for it. That means a lot of students take the course at the same time and they are able to discuss and help each other through forums.

Secondly rather than hour long video lectures, each video is about 10 minutes long covering one concept at a time. This really suits the online self-paced learning model.

Students are required to submit review questions and assignment each week. This gives a sense of progress and acheivement which is vital to keep you going back to the virtual classroom every week. Statement of Accomplishment of issued at the end if you get the passing score.

I have enrolled in some of the courses from Coursera and having a wonderful time 🙂

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World (book)

 

The book is about the travels of Micheal Lewis to western countries which are worst affected by the recent financial crisis. It explores how the crisis has devastated Iceland, Greece and Ireland; and its impact on Germany and US.

The author sketches quite a few stereotypical characters from the countries he visited, I not sure how much they correspond to reality.

Overall, It is an interesting read.

Microsoft Case Study for Disaster Recovery

In 2007, I was working at Engro Chemicals Pakistan as ‘Applications Lead Team’. We had a major fire disaster at Head Office which destroyed the whole building along with the IT data centre. One aspect of my work on disaster recovery was published by Microsoft as a case study on their website. Following is the link to microsoft website:

http://www.microsoft.com/india/casestudies/Case_Study_Detail.aspx?casestudyid=4000004068

Following is the case study in word document: EngroCaseStudy (source: www.microsoft.com)