Sunday, October 30, 2005

A thought about holidays

A Happy Diwali to all the readers of this blog !!! I feel funny writing this, because more Americans read my blog than Indians ("more" is a relative term, hence out of the total people who read my blog). So I was thinking what am I going to be doing this Diwali? Go to school, take a midterm, read two papers for a class, and then go to a class. This got me thinking what if the weekend was only a day long, "just Sunday" and then have more holidays throughout the year. It would be like India, where you do have a holiday for Diwali, Christmas, Eid etc and not have a two day weekend. On an average we did have about 3-4 days of holidays in a month. America is a true melting pot, with more and more immigrants becoming a part of the mainstream culture, having holidays for different religion festivals in not totally an alien concept. Though how would Americans (or as a matter of fact even immigrants) feel about cutting short the weekend? Given the American lifestyle cutting short the weekend seems a more radical concept to get used to, even though the total number of days you get off would end up the same. I would like comments on this issue. Just see if people can even remotely think about such an idea.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Compositional Logic for Control Flow

This might be an interesting paper to look at. Since I do look at the control flow in low level languages to compute heuristics, A Compositional Logic for Control Flow by Gang Tan and Andrew W. Appel. This paper has been accepted for publication at VMCAI (Seventh International Conference on Verification, Model Checking and Abstract Interpretation (VMCAI 06)) 2006. The abstract is available for a read. I guess I have to wait for this paper to be available to look at it.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Beautiful Song

Do Naina aur Ek Kahani, Thoda Sa Badal Thoda Sa Paani, Aur Ek Kahani (2)
Do Naina aur Ek Kahani

Chotsi do jheeloon mein woh beheti raheti hai (2)
Koi sune ya na sune kaheti raheti hai
Kuch Likh kar kuch zubaani
Thoda sa badal Thoda sa paani Aur Ek Kahani
Do Naina aur Ek Kahani

Thodi si hai jaani hui Thodi si nayee (2)
Jahan ruke Aasun wahi puri ho gayi
Hai to nayee phir bhi hai to purani
Thoda sa badal Thoda sa paani Aur Ek Kahani
Do Naina aur Ek Kahani

Ek khamat ho to doosri raat aajaati hai (2)
Hooton pe phir bhule hue baat aajaati hai
Do nainon ki hai ye Kahani
Thoda sa badal Thoda sa paani Aur Ek Kahani
Do Naina aur Ek Kahani

Was hearing this song from Masoom. Its written by Gulzar. This is my recent favorite these days. Sung very well by Aarti Mukherjee. Though I got to admit I haven't heard her name that often. I am sure I have heard some other stuff from her but just can't place her in my head. There is a 4 CD set of Gulzar's songs out "Mera Kuch Saman". I would say its worthy of collection. The songs in it ranges four decades. This song is not in the collection but another song from Masoom, "Tujhe se Naraz Nahin Zindagi" is on it. There are songs from Bandini, Anand to Maachis and Pinjar. Great for listening in the evening. Well recently I have been listening to it while writing my MS proposal :). This is a recent addition to my songs by Pankaj Udhas, Mukesh, and Jagit Singh. They are up there in my most listened to list. I guess I should make a note of all the music I listen to and make sure to thank all the singers, composers, musicians in my thesis. Well I am pretty sure without the music I can't and I won't get there. I distinctly remember that while writting my ASE paper I was in the Yanni and kishore kumar mode.

More cricket updates

Well I guess I should be more careful about making blog posts during Mike Jones' class, or atleast make sure to change the time stamp :). South Africa beat New Zealand in the second one day international in the best of five matches. South Africa now leads 2-0. South Africa elected to bat after winning the toss. They made 201-9 with a very patient 51 from J. Kallis. I didn't see the match but given that the match was played in Cape Town, I figure that the wicket has some zing to it. The ball was swinging a little and bouncing off the seam. With the pitch doing something a score of 200+ is defendable but nowhere close to being a safe one. The kiwis were moving along fine but then collapsed. Nitni took 3-29. Well so what is so special about this match? (Well I don't write too much matches that don't involve India) This was the South African's 11 consecutive one day victory. With this win they level with West indies team of 84-84. The Aussies are still up there with 21 sucessive wins. Thats going to be some mountain to climb. But maybe the South Africans are finally ready to put the whole Hansie Cronje, match fixing , low team morale behind them and emerge back to cricketing scene with full force. With everyone so focussed on beating Australia in the upcoming world cup, the Proteas might sneak one in. My early money on the WC champs is the South Africans. Well as the time comes closer, I will cease to be rational in my predications and will be biased in supporting India more and more.

The Mohali match

Some good fast bowling put Sri Lanka on the backfoot from the beginning. They could never really recover from the early blows. Well the middle and lower order did not dig their heels to get their eye in and play some sensible shots. They were bowled out for a really low 122. In mordern cricket, its not even a score that can be defended on a flat wicket. The outfield is very lush at Mohali, and if the bowl is struck cleanly it will go racing to the boundary. Sachin is really enjoying is comeback. I think the break has done him good. He has come back revitalized, with a greater hunger for runs. To seal his legacy as one of the greats he needs to lead by example in the coming World Cup. This might be last World Cup for him. Well for the Lankan fans the match was over even before it began.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tendya is back with a bang!

Sachin Tendulkar is back with a bang fellas! A knock of 93 in 96 balls hearalded the return of the maestro. I had been pretty tired of reading "Sachin is finished" in various forms in the Indian tabloids. I guess they need something to fill space and given the obessession of Indians with cricket and Sachin Tendulkar in general, the tabloids were just filling their pages. Also the whole Ganguly and Chappel incident was taking precedence over "cricket". A mammoth 350 at the city of oranges (Nagpur is famous for it oranges) was simply too much for the big hearted lankans. Again the ever dependendable Rahul Dravid played a stellar knock of 85.n.o. The star of the show was Irfan Pathan. He has the potential to turn into a really allrounder. He has the potential to turn into India's Wasim Akram. India ended up by trashing Lankan by a 152 runs. The key is to keep the momentum going. I think this is the biggest thing to take from the sucess of the Aussies. They never relent or give up no matter how bad the sitution. Their persevarance is notch above all other teams. It has happened too many times in the Indian cricketing side, one good victory and then just fade away. The next match is on the lush Mohali ground. Its a beautiful stadium and a one-day match produces great enthusiam.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

TeXPoint is Free!!

One of my friends said that I didn't mention in my post that TeXPoint is free. Well I say it now, "It is Free!"

Friday, October 07, 2005

Using LaTeX in Powerpoint

So all of you who have suffered through trying to insert formulas, write equations or any kind of technical jargon in a Powerpoint it is a pain. TexPoint is a great add-in for Powerpoint that
allows Latex symbols to be very easily added to your powerpoint presentation. TexPoint has two
modes inline ( which allows you to add LaTeX directly on your presentation) and display mode (which takes the LaTeX text and generates a bitmap for it. Once the bitmap is generated you can easily edit the text embedded in the image. You don't have to recreate a new image every time. Currently TexPoint only works for Office 2000/XP/2003 or Windows 95/98/NT/2000. They are currently developing a port for MacOSX.

You have to install Latex and Ghostscript on your machine before you can get TexPoint to work. I use MikTex for my Windows. It is very easy to install and use.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


This was in an Indian Newspaper today

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) has just included a new speaking component which may deter Asians who are well-versed in “textbook English’’ but not in spoken English.

This additional component will add the greatest strain on students from smaller towns. Some of these students have a great technical background, good math skills and are very hard working. Spoken English does not come very easily to them. But if accepted to a US University they can pick up this element within a few months. The article mentioned that the listening section will now have an American accent to simulate more real life experience. The ear takes a while to get accustomed to accents. TOEFL basically turns into an exercise of reading, listening and speaking a standardized Americanized English. There are certain advantages to this approach. International students are tested on this level and those who succeed will have an easier time when in the US. But a standardized approach also doesn't allow the language to grow. Any language that does not evolve dies after a certain amount time. International students with their different flavors of English bring something new to the University when they decide to come to the US for a higher education.