SIPB Cluedump Series 2017

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SIPB Cluedumps are informal technical talks open to the entire MIT community. They cover topics that are of general interest, such as web browsers, and topics specifically for the MIT computing community, such as Zephyr and Scripts. Cluedumps are usually one to two hours long, and we provide snacks.

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2017 Cluedumps

[edit] Emacs: What is the biggest possible hammer for text editing?

Date: March 22, 2017, at 7:00 PM
Presenters: Kit Haines
Location: 4-231
Abstract: When things get old and big, things get weird. Emacs has survived some things you might (or might not) have heard of: the editor wars, five version control systems, its own church, the Emacs pinky, and elisp, only to grow in strange capabilities (like tetris) and oddities (how is this compiled exactly?). Don't worry, beginners! We'll talk about how to get started with this too, and bring you in on all the jokes, but if anyone wants to come correct me on the finer points of org-mode, that's great too.

[edit] Transfer Functions

Date: April 19, 2017, at 7:00 PM
Presenters: Alex Sludds
Location: 4-237
Abstract: Have you ever wanted to be able to quantify when a tracking system will break down? Do you want to know how people who deal with signals and systems compartmentalize the world? Want to learn a tiny bit about stability of a system so

that your next killer robot does not break? This may be the cluedump for you! We will be explaining a lot of these complicated engineering concepts in a way that can be both used intuitively and also applied in a variety of applications.

[edit] Computational Complexity of Video Games

Date: May 3, 2017, at 7:00 PM
Presenters: Ray Hua Wu and Jayson Lynch
Location: 4-153
Abstract: The question of whether the complexity class P is the same as the class NP has been the central open question of complexity theory for decades. Even a weaker question, whether P is the same class as PSPACE, is still not resolved. Yet new problems proven NP-complete or PSPACE-complete are churned out by the month. Particularly interesting problems that have been categorized as complete with respect to a complexity class include theoretically-defined extrapolations of video games. In this cluedump, we analyze the complexity of various problems in Tetris, Minesweeper, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Portal, and other video games.

Although we will try our best to explain broad ideas and big-picture points to a general technical audience, a solid foundation in basic complexity theory is necessary background for the technical details of what we present. Complexity material covered in 6.045/18.400 or 6.046/18.410, or a higher class, is sufficient; 6.006-level familiarity with complexity may somewhat suffice.

[edit] Networks: From Basics to Internet Scale

Date: May 10, 2017, at 7:00 PM
Presenters: Alex Chernyakhovsky
Location: 4-237
Abstract: Have you ever wondered how networks actually... work? We'll be discussing networks starting from the Physical Layer and working all the way up to the Application Layer, following the OSI model. We'll discuss building small, local networks, as well as how things work over the Internet. Topics include packet formats, encapsulation, routing, encryption, SDN, and more! This is a discussion-based session -- come with questions!

[edit] Kerberos: An Introduction from the Underworld Up

Date: October 4, 2017, at 7:30 PM
Presenters: Robbie Harwood
Location: 4-237
Abstract: What is Kerberos, and how does it work? What really happens when I type `kinit`? How does a single sign-on system work? What's the difference between authentication and authorization? (And possibly related: what's with all these "permission denied" errors?) And how do I use Kerberos in my projects too?

Come to the place at the time where these and other questions will be looked at really hard by someone with a laptop. Lyres not included, and the presenter will be caffeinated as an additional defense.

Bio: Robbie Harwood is Red Hat's Kerberos maintainer and development lead. He is also an administrator of CMU's Computer Club, a sister organization that federates several services with SIPB. He is also younger than the subject of this presentation.

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