Friday, August 10, 2012

Around the blogs in 80 summer hours

"It is far better to dare mighty things even though we might fail than to stay in the twilight that knows neither victory, nor defeat" Charles Elachi, JPL Director (from here).

Before Curiosity landed, I mentioned The high stakes of Curiosity's Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) in which I talked about Max-C. An anonymous commenter kindly observed:

Wasn't Max-C cancelled?
It sure was, but people are still planning a mission that uses this type of sky-crane/EDL approach. From wikipedia:
"In April 2011, because of a budgeting crisis, a proposal was announced to fly only one rover in 2018 that would be larger than either of the vehicles in the paired concept, ExoMars (ESA) and MAX-C (NASA).[8] One suggestion was that the new vehicle be built in Europe and take on a mixed identity of European and American instruments. NASA agreed to provide the interplanetary rocket and the "Sky Crane" landing system. Despite the proposed reorganization, the goals of the 2018 mission opportunity would stay broadly the same: namely, to look for signs of past or present life by drilling into the soil and packaging or caching rocks that able to be lifted and dispatched to Earthly laboratories by a subsequent mission.[8]"

[Emphasis added]

With the success of Curiosity and the amount of fuel left in the tank at the end of the sky-crane procedure, we can safely say that it is at TRL9 and will be used in the future. 

Coming back to Earth, an important conversation took place here with Zhilin ZhangPhil Schniter and Adam Charles in:

with a rejoinder of sorts in We live in exciting times !

In light of Curiosity's landing and the low bandwidth provided for communication between Earth and the rover (31MB per day), it looks like we have a (The Curiosity) Super-Resolution ChallengeWe also Imagined A Faster Nanopore DNA Sequencing Technique and provided some Advice for an Undergraduate while several implementations were featured:

Other blogs were also rich this past week:
  • Dick mentions a new way to solve linear equations by Prasad Raghavendra. Even Terry Tao is a commenter on that blog entry. I wonder how this is directly applicable to compressive sensing reconstruction solvers, we'll see. An element worth noting and pointed out by Dániel Varga is that the algorithm does not use division. It may even have an embarrassingly parallel version. One item I pointed out in the comment section is that by putting some constraint on the family of vectors to be used, one could enforce different type of structured sparsity. The comment section is pure gold.
  • Dustin goes through a proposal writing exercise and as a result devises to explain to us some Variations on a theme: Three open problems in Short Fat Matrices
  • Anna recounts the Themes in streaming algorithms (workshop at TU Dortmund)
  • Danny has an entry on GraphChi that I did not pick up on last time. What a fool I was! Imagine the possibility of buying lots of very cheap RAM and transform your old box into the equivalent of a Haddop/GraphLab cluster. 

I also noted the appearance of signs that compressed sensing and related subjects are becoming mainstream:
Finally, Nuit Blanche featured the list of slides from several workshop
and some jobs announcements:

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