Resonance, the PRC, and adaptation

Recently on the polyphasic google group, someone posed the question: Are there accounts of people who've attempted to adapt to any of these low-sleep schedules with what's generally agreed upon as the correct steps and still didn't adapt, or all evidence indicates anyone can theoretically adapt? A few months earlier (from this posting), I tried

Tool for viewing sleep data

The fine folks at Zeo invited me to participate in a polyphasic sleep experiment, and of course I was thrilled to do it. I've put together a little tool in python for parsing the output from their hardware. First, the pretty pictures: I'm nearly satisfied with the results (though I don't understand where the doubling

In which the optimizer eats itself, part I

A vanilla PSO algorithm has a handful of tunable parameters which affect the convergence rate. For our purposes, we're going to consider the set \{ \omega, c_1, c_2, n_{\mathrm{particles}} \} to be our set of adjustable parameters. It is certainly true that the bounds on both position and velocity for each particle will affect convergence,

Data plotting, three (or four) ways, part II

Having briefly covered gnuplot for interactive plotting, I'm now going to cover Octave. First, we might ask why anyone would need more than gnuplot. It does, after all, seem relatively powerful, and with a bit of coaxing it can produce reasonably good looking output. Consider, however, the case where you want to do some kind

Data plotting, three (or four) ways, part I

There are a large number of tools one can use to visualize data. I'm comfortable using a few of them, and there are a few more I could use if pressed. I generally separate visualization tools into three categories, based on how close they are to the source of the data we're trying to plot:

How not to present data

One of my students presented some data in our research meeting today, and it did not go well. It was essentially my fault, so I thought I'd take a look at the situation after the fact and try to see how to rehabilitate the presentation. The problem First, the graphs as they were presented: Looking

Termination conditions

One of the projects I'm supervising/working on this year is connected with optimization, and in particular, particle swarm based optimization algorithms. One of the things we've been struggling with is termination conditions, and so I thought I'd write a bit about it to clear my head. Any useful algorithm has to terminate at some point.


I've been working on an iPad app for the last few days, and it has been an interesting experience. Basically the app is a system for making and using rubrics, and I'm planning to use it in my classes to grade oral reports, homework portfolios, and so on. It is also the kind of thing


One of the projects I would like to develop (either as a capstone project with a student or on my own) deals with optimization, and in particular, biologically inspired algorithms for optimization. I dealt with optimization a little bit last year when we were working on a material validation problem; we were trying to find


We have our senior students do a capstone project as part of their requirements for graduation. Since I'm the professor of record for the capstone class this fall, I've been thinking a bit about the process, and how to help this year's crop of students have a better capstone experience. A part of my thought