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159 – Analog Computers

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(average: 4.78)
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This episode is about analog computers, which are computers that compute using a physical model of a real system, often using analog electronic devices. Our guest is Bernd Ulmann who runs the Analog Computer Museum near Wiesbaden, Germany. In the episode we talk about what analog computers are (mechanical, electronic, digital), how they are programmed, what they are used for and why they should (and will?) be used in modern computing as well. We close the episode with a short discussion of the VAX and the AN/FSQ-7, both computer systems near and dear to Bernd.

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158 – Der Internet-Backbone und DE-CIX

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(average: 4.14)
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In dieser Episode sprechen wir mit Arnold Nipper vom DE-CIX über das Internet. Konkret wiederholen wir kurz die Architektur und die wichtigsten Protokoll des Internets, sprechen dann über die Anbindung Deutschlands an das Netz, und die Besitzverhältnisse und wirtschaftlichen Aspekte des Backbones. Zum Schluss gehen wir noch auf Netzneutralität, sie Umstellung auf IPv6 und Sicherheit im Internet ein.

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153 – High-Performance Computing

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(average: 4.64)
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This episode is a conversation with Iain Bethune from the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Center about high-performance computing: the topic has played an implicit role in many previous omega tau episodes, and this episode treats it explicitly. We discuss different architectures (supercomputers, commodity clusters, grid computing), programming languages and software design as well as application areas.

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140 – Self-Driving Cars

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(average: 4.54)
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This episode is about autonomous vehicles (aka self-driving cars). Our guest is Jonathan Sprinkle, assistant professor at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona. We talk about the topic mainly from the perspective of (software and systems) engineering, but also address legal and societal questions.

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138 – Fly-by-Wire im A320

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(average: 4.77)
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Diese Episode betrachtet das Fly-by-Wire System des A320 im Detail; in gewisser Weise ist diese Episode eine Fortsetzung der letzten Episode aus anderer Perspektive. Ich unterhalte mich dazu mit Reinhard Reichel vom Institut für Luftfahrtsysteme der Universität Stuttgart. Es geht um die Grundlagen von Fly-by-wire, die Funktionalitäten die es typischerweise zur Verfügung stellt, sowie die Architektur des Systems im A320. Dabei gehen wir auch auf einige Grundlagen von robusten, redundanten Systemen ein.

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127 – Wolfram Alpha

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(average: 4.26)
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This episode covers Wolfram|Alpha, Wolfram‘s computational knowledge engine and the backend of Siri. Our guest is Michael Trott, the chief scientist of Wolfram|Alpha. In the episode we discuss how Wolfram|Alpha works, including aspects of language processing, ontologies and semantics as well as presentation of results to the user.

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126 – Mathematica

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(average: 4.51)
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In this episode we discuss Mathematica, Wolfram Research’s technical computing system. With our guest, kernel developer Daniel Lichtblau, we discuss Mathematica’s capabilities for symbolic, numeric and other forms of computation, and we can do and how it works internally.

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123 – Numerische Mathematik

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(average: 4.78)
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In dieser Episode sprechen wir mit Prof. Dr. Hermann Matthies über seine Arbeit am Institut für wissenschaftliches Rechnen der TU Braunschweig. Dabei geht es um Differentialgleichungen, Diskretisierungs- und Näherungsverfahren, aber auch um rechnergestützte Lösungsverfahren, Anwendungsbeispiele und aktuelle Forschungsthemen.

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122 – Artificial Intelligence

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(average: 4.62)
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In this episode we talk to UT Austin’s Ray Mooney about artificial intelligence. We start out by providing an overview over the field in general. We discuss some historical aspects as well as some of its subfields. We then spend some time looking at Ray Mooney’s own specialties: machine learning and natural language processing. We conclude the episode with a brief conversation about IBM’s Watson, the computer than won the jeopardy game.

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117 – Genetics, Computational Biology and Social Behavior

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(average: 4.47)
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This episode is a conversation with UT Austin’s Hans Hofmann about a number of related topics in biology. We start with computational biology and bioinformatics (the original topic of the episode). From there we moved into genetics and DNA sequencing as an example for where comptutational biology is used. Finally, we talked about Hans’ own research on biological foundations of social behavior.