My email address is [first name first initial][last name][at]utexas.edu.
My finished thesis, graduation, and the future
It’s been a long and wonderful four years at the University of Texas at Austin. A huge thanks to my friends, family, and teachers, all of whom did much to support me thus far. Here’s a quick overview of where I am, what I’ve done, and where I’m headed.
Let's talk about readable hashes
Hash functions are great - for computers. But how often do you find yourself actually verifying checksums by hand or eye? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could take a blob of binary, like an RSA key or a piece of software, and then not just hash it into something illegible like
d732fee6...5787c7ae, but make an English phrase that’s memorable enough for a human to remember?
Negation and notation
This one’s going to be pretty quick. Here’s a puzzle. Suppose you have functions $f$ and $g$, and you want to make it clear that $f(a) = g(b)$ and $f(-a) = g(-b)$ in a single terse line of notation. How do you do it? Note that we haven’t defined any other operations on $a$ and $b$ besides negation.
Types of difficulty in games
Some games are easy. Some games are hard. But not all hard games are hard in the same ways. Dark Souls is not difficult in the same way as, say, Go1. To that end, I would like to propose a model of, let’s say, five different types of difficulty in games.
As you might notice, here I’ll be using the word “game” loosely to encompass video games, board games, card games, and physical sports. You’ll have to forgive me for drawing most of my examples from video games, however. ↩
The secret field that nobody will tell you about: part 1
Most schools teach number systems the same way. First they teach natural numbers (or “counting numbers”), then integers, rationals, reals, and complex numbers, in that order. Rationals are countable and reals are not, but that’s okay. Once you start taking roots, you need a number system more powerful than a countable underlying set allows for. Right?
My GRE Guide (or: How to 3-stock the GRE)
The following is a collection of vague insights I gathered while preparing for, and taking, the GRE. Reading this guide won’t automatically increase your score or anything, but hopefully it’ll give you some ideas on how to squeeze out those last few points, or at least understand the mentality of the test-makers. That being said, do understand that getting a perfect score is largely a matter of luck past a point.