Cluedumps 2010

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Full schedule

[edit] Scripts

Date: September 14, 2010, at 4:00 PM
Presenters: Edward Yang
Location: 3-133
Notes: Scripts for Power Users, Evolution of a Shared Web Host, Scripts Cheatsheet
Abstract: Scripts is SIPB’s shared hosting service for the MIT community. However, it does quite a bit more than your usual $10 host: what shared hosting services integrate directly with your Athena account, replicate your website on a cluster of servers managed by Linux-HA, let you request hostnames on *, or offer automatic installs of common web software, let you customize it, and still upgrade it for you? Scripts is a flourishing development platform, with over 2600 users and many interesting technical problems.

[edit] Audio/Video Compression

Date: September 21, 2010, at 4:00 PM
Presenters: Keith Winstein
Location: 3-133
Abstract: How does MP3 work? How about MPEG-2, DVDs, Blu-rays, and HDTVs? I'll talk about the nuts and bolts and big picture of audio and video compression, including psychoacoustics, filterbanks, variable quantization, colorspaces, chroma subsampling, Huffman codes, the discrete cosine transform, and the amazing data-saving technique of blurring. I'll include some demos and a special SNEAK PEAK of my own stateless MPEG-2 inspection and decoding library.

[edit] Unicode and Character Encodings

Date: September 28, 2010, at 4:00 PM
Presenters: Nelson Elhage
Location: 3-133
Abstract: Do you get email with subject lines like "???? ?????? ??? ????"? Does your Python code throw mysterious UnicodeError's because someone tried to put a "♥" in their name? Are you totally clueless about the difference between UTF-8 and UCS-2? Do you wish that you could write code that handled unicode properly, but are stuck randomly sticking calls to encode and decode until something works right? If so, this is the talk for you. I'll explain everything you need to know about unicode, character sets, and text encoding, and leave you with enough of an understanding to go forth and confidently write programs that handle multi-lingual text.

[edit] How to Talk to People

Date: October 5, 2010, at 4:00 PM
Presenters: Liz Denys, Cathy Zhang, Karen Sittig
Location: 4-231
Abstract: Do you frequently find yourself in awkward situtations (sometimes/usually as a result of your input)? Do you make other people uncomfortable when you join a conversation? Do you wish you knew how to talk to people? At this Cluedump, we will teach you the basics of communication with other homo sapiens sapiens so that you can achieve more signal-to-noise in all of your conversations, whether it's with friends or with interviewers.

[edit] Virtualization

Date: October 12, 2010, at 4:00 PM
Presenters: Geoffrey Thomas
Location: 4-231
Notes: slides
Abstract: Virtualization has long had a key role in computing, from IBM's mainframe OSes in the 1970s to the new field of "cloud computing". We'll look at the technical history of virtualization and what exactly the term means, from the Popek and Goldberg paper to paravirtualization to the latest Intel and AMD processor extensions. We will also discuss several popular virtualization platforms and what you can do with them.

[edit] *CANCELED* Ethical Issues in Technology

Date: October 19, 2010, at 4:00 PM
Presenters: Danny Clark
Location: 4-231
Abstract: Coming Soon

[edit] How Real-time Graphics Work in 2010

Date: October 26, 2010, at 4:00 PM
Presenters: Jiawen "Kevin" Chen
Location: 4-231
Abstract: Do you ever wonder how games are actually rendered? Why is it that my OpenGL program runs so slowly on my expensive video card? How do I know if I'm efficiently using my graphics hardware? This cluedump answers these questions by going into how real-time graphics applications are actually written with modern APIs. We begin with a short introduction to graphics hardware architecture. We will then discuss how the OpenGL and Direct3D APIs in 2010 target this architecture, highlighting the enormous differences from their initial design almost 20 years ago. The session will be interactive with plenty of time for questions and live programming.

[edit] LaTeX

Date: November 2, 2010, at 4:00 PM
Presenters: Jason Gross
Location: 4-231
Abstract: LaTeX is a document preparation system especially well-suited for technical and mathematical documents. It is an extension, written by Leslie Lamport, to Donald Knuth's TeX. I will explain briefly why LaTeX is the most popular language for typesetting mathematical and scientific papers. I will begin with the basics of LaTeX, how to install it, and what it is and is not. I intend to teach you everything you'll need to know to typeset your psets and/or notes. As time allows, I'll describe some of the more advanced features of LaTeX, such as drawing pictures, making slide-shows, and it's powerful macro language. I'll end by handing out exercises which will help you become comfortable with typesetting math in LaTeX.

[edit] Introduction to Data-Parallel GPU Programming with CUDA

Date: November 9, 2010, at 3:00 PM
Presenters: Jiawen "Kevin" Chen
Location: 4-231
Abstract: Processor design very quickly approached a wall in the early 21st century. Due to power constraints, we can no longer increase clock speeds on processors while shrinking transistor sizes. The only way to increase performance today is to add additional processors, which demands a fundamentally parallel programming model. Although there are numerous forms of parallelism, "data parallelism" is by far the easiest to understand and exploit. The latest generations of graphics processing units (GPUs) are architectures designed for high performance on data-parallel tasks. This cluedump gives a tutorial on how to program a modern NVIDIA GPU using the CUDA API, with motivating examples in data analysis, image processing, and scientific computation. The session will be interactive with plenty of time for questions and live programming.

[edit] *CANCELED* C++: A case study in object-oriented language implementation

Date: November 16, 2010, at 3:00 PM
Presenters: Greg Brockman, David Benjamin
Location: 4-231
Abstract: Have you found yourself wondering how the compiler knows which version of a virtual method to call? Do you believe that multiple inheritance is the world's greatest evil? Come learn about the design and implementation of C++, a widely used object-oriented language. Familiarity with object orientation and basic C syntax will be assumed.

[edit] (Deb)athena Under the Hood

Date: November 23, 2010, at 3:00 PM
Presenters: Jonathan Reed
Location: 4-231
Abstract: Athena has been a fixture at MIT for over 25 years. During that time, it has evolved from a radical academic computing experiment to the Institute's primary distributed computing environment. Over the years many new components and platforms were added and others were removed. Most recently, Debathena replaced Athena 9.4 as the primary version of Athena. I'll cover the various components of Athena (Kerberos, AFS, Moira, Hesiod, etc), notable changes over the years, and enhancements Debathena added to the cluster environment. This talk will cover some of the material from previous cluedumps on Athena (2007, 2008) but will also introduce new material, and speculate about what Athena may look like in the future.
Bio: Jonathan Reed '02 is a SIPB prospective and Senior Student Liaison in IS&T's Faculty and Student Experience (FSX) group, where he spends more time working on Athena than originally planned.

[edit] A Grumpy Fuzzball's Guide to Talking to Girls

Date: November 30, 2010, at 3:00 PM
Presenters: Liz Denys, Cathy Zhang, Karen Sittig
Location: 4-231
Abstract: Genetically speaking, girls may only differ from you by one chromosome, but in this 1/46th of what makes us human lies a world of difference. If you've ever wondered about how to communicate with the fairer sex, this is the cluedump for you. Come learn about the historical gender role of women, how to engage a woman in polite conversation, and how to take it to the next level with a friend. No judgment, just learning.

[edit] Kerberos and Related Technologies

Date: December 7, 2010, at 3:00 PM
Presenters: Tom Yu
Location: 4-231
Abstract: Learn about Kerberos, the network authentication protocol

that underlies Athena. The talk will also give an overview of GSS-API, SASL, and related technologies. The talk also gives guidance for securing applications with Kerberos and related technologies.

Bio: Tom Yu is the Development Team Leader for the MIT Kerberos Consortium, and is an associate member of SIPB. He is a co-chair of the IETF KITTEN Working Group and has contributed to the evolution of the Kerberos protocol and the GSS-API within the IETF.

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