Thursday, May 30, 2019

Armed Forces Week

Every year in Spain there is an armed forces expo for about a week. This year it happens to be in Sevilla. Our bridge (the best bridge) gets closed to vehicle traffic often, but this is the first time I'd ever seen it closed to pedestrian traffic too:

Turns out there was a sound reason:

This helicopter flew up and a bunch of soldiers rappelled out of it onto the bridge deck. Our bridge has the best activities.

The pontoon bridge extended entirely across the river along the base of the bridge. A long line of civilians waited to walk across:

Later in the day, there was a mounted exhibition in the bull ring. This team was lined up on the street waiting for their cue to go in:

Turns out their cue was a bunch of paratroopers dropping into the open air bull ring to kick things off:


In other news, I read another chapter of Algorithms to Live By on Networking. I continue to be impressed at the authors' abilities to relate CS to real life. Today they discussed the problem of communication and how computers confirm the receipt of information. It's similar to how we say "ok" and "uh-huh" and "what?" as a matter of course in a conversation. We confirm that we're receiving the information or let the speaker know that something got lost.

They also discussed the problem of two computers needing a network connection at the same time. Typically computers ramp up network speed gradually as long as no other computer wants the same connection. As soon as a second computer wants the connection, the speed is cut in half. If it happens again, it's cut in half again. The speed climbs linearly, but is cut exponentially. Turns out this is what's needed to keep our networks from bogging down. We do something similar in conversation when both parties speak simultaneously. We wait for the other person go. If it happens again, we wait longer.

I also continued working on my cellular automata visualizer.

And, continued prepping for my calculus class in the fall.

Finally, I've been collaborating on ideas about a first-year course via email and did a bit more of that today.