This week, TCS+ hosted a talk by Greg Valiant via a Google+ hangout. Valiant gave a talk on his work with brother, Paul, on an efficient estimator for entropy and support size of an unknown probability distribution requiring only O(n/log n) samples, where n is a bound on the support size of the distribution. This work diverges from the existing literature by demonstrating that the estimate can be obtained with a concrete linear program; an algorithm which outputs a distribution very similar to the unknown distribution with respect to certain statistical properties.
I like my shopping routine at the grocery store around the corner, where my cart seems to easily navigate itself through the isles. Once in a while I make adventurous purchases (the Halloween-edition beer with pumpkin aroma still awaits in my fridge), but I usually stick to the products that have already made me happy before. Whenever in a new town, I try to shop at the same chain, where I know the products and their location on the shelves.
Many of you may have heard or read about the tragic news that Aaron Swartz, a co-founder of Reddit, political organizer, and internet activist took his own life on January 11th at the age of 26. Numerous obituaries, news articles, tributes, and criticisms have been written describing the last days of Aaron’s life and how his prosecution for felony wiretapping charges may have contributed to his suicide. Aaron’s work unquestionably changed the world in ways that are relevant to readers of XRDS.