About
Hi. I’m Krishna Chittur. At the moment, I’m working at Duolingo as a software engineer. Before that, I was doing an MS in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
Here’s my resume, and here’s my GitHub page. If you’d like to be notified of updates, check out my RSS feed!
My email address is [my first name]@chittur.dev. For an alternative email address, see my resume.
Some Posts

So what's the point of linear algebra, anyway?
Or: let's try to invent linear algebra, but backwardsAsking someone in a STEM field to justify linear algebra concepts is a bit like asking a Haskell programmer about monads. The best case scenario is that you’ll get a shrug and a “don’t worry about it, just learn when to use it”. The more common scenario is an hourlong explanation that leaves you more confused than when you started. In keeping with my lifelong passion for confusing and upsetting as many people as possible, today I would like to talk about linear algebra. (I’ll save the monads for a later date. Don’t worry, they’re just burritos.)

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.

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, Go^{1}. 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 3stock 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 testmakers. That being said, do understand that getting a perfect score is largely a matter of luck past a point.