Wednesday, 16 November 2011

On Mathematical Education, Information Flow and High Fliers

I recently gave a talk at our Schools Open Day, after which a prospective Maths student approached me. She said she was at the top of her Maths class but never was encouraged to do any better and the class was too slow and boring for her. Also she's never heard of Mathematical Competitions

There was no High Performance Maths class (like German Leistungskurs) in her school and moreover, there seem to be no Maths Specialized Schools in Dublin! Even better - Wikipedia's Site for Specialized School mentions only Soviet Union and Post-Soviet States! There is also UK terminology Specialist School including Mathematics and Computing College  which seem to restrict only to England. The UK (but not the Soviet) page links also to the US unexpected terminology Magnet School.  

Then I talked to a colleague who confirmed that Irish Schools don't seem to cater to "High Fliers". If that is true, the so popular criticism like here comes at no surprise.

Monday, 14 November 2011

On Perfect Dogs, Lost Keys and Outdated Technologies

Problem to solve: Carrying multiple keys and worrying about losing them

What was the door opening technology last century?
- Using the key!
And what is it now?
- Still the same :(
Is it going to be the same 10 years from now?
- I hope not!

I live in a well protected place. You need to pass through 2 gates and 1 door to enter the block, not counting my own door. How many keys do I need to carry at all times?
- Right - 4!
- Plus 3 keys from work!
- Plus 3 keys for my scooter!
- 4+3+3=10 if my maths is right. :)

Sounds familiar? Plus losing any of the keys is not fun. Having to wait on a dead holiday for someone to come to unlock your door is not fun too. Having to sleep under the bridge neither.

Wouldn't our life be so much nicer if various doors would simply recognize us without demanding for keys? And the "technology" is actually there! I call it the "perfect dog"!

So what is the perfect dog? It is the dog that barks strictly at everyone except you and your friends, guest or whoever is included in the "authorized circle"! You don't need any key! Nor any code! Isn't it exactly what we are looking for? Perfect keyless and codeless recognition!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Facebook and Google / Secret Revealed

A truly interesting video by Eli Pariser about recent personalization trends in internet. "There is no standard Google any more ... different people get different things!" Unfortunately it seems we are not informed about these personalization settings. Is this the direction of personalization that we want?