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+ - Microsoft outsources algorithm research to India->

Submitted by
rafael_es_son writes "It's not about outsourcing cut-and-dried, code-monkey programming jobs anymore, Toto: theoretical research jobs are going too!

"Microsoft decided to work on algorithms in India because educational institutions in the country have considerable expertise in theoretical computer science, which makes it easier to find and attract talented staff, Anandan said."

...which is also willing to work for substantially less than their U.S. or U.K. counterparts, who are educated by institutions which have also considerable expertise in theoretical computer science.

Microsoft, for one, welcomes juicier profit margins, again, at the expense of U.S. scientists jobs.

Why are U.S. and U.K. universities having so much trouble recruiting computer science students this year?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Genetic Algorithms and Design

Submitted by
rafael_es_son writes "The application of a genetic algorithm, even when met with fitness function criteria as simple as the application of the golden-rule ratio, and a genome composed of rectangles, lines and circles, produces varied graphically and volumetrically interesting compositions. The modeling, implementation and evaluation of additional criteria, such as functional, contextual (existing natural and human-made landscape) and human factors (see "Four Story Limit" for an example) into more comprehensive fitness functions for product design -from toothbrushes to cities- appears to continue to be a promising line of research."

+ - Book Review: Notes on the Synthesis of Form

Submitted by
rafael_es_son writes " l

Alexander includes in the prologue of the second edition of his Notes on the Synthesis of Form a quote from the French philosopher of science, mathematician and theoretic physic Henri Poincaré which reads:

"Sociologist study sociological methods, physics study physics."

To this he adds that nobody will become a better designer by following his methodology -or any other- blindly, but nonetheless:

"...anyone who tries to comprehend the idea that abstract patterns can be created through the study of the implications of certain limited force systems, and that new forms can be created parting from the free combination of such patterns; during the process of creating such patterns on his or her own he or she will comprehend the central idea of the book."

To this I add that anyone who has been exposed with certain depth to the ideas presented by genetic algorithmics and neural networks will comprehend that Alexander's ideas could well be pointing towards a base for the partial or complete automation of design activities currently undertaken by humans.

N.b. GoF software design patterns were largely inspired by Christopher Alexander's "A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction". "Notes on the Synthesis of Form" was required reading on Minsky's AI courses at the Media Lab in MIT."

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.