Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A blog not just about the weather...

So I am going to finally write a blog that doesn't mention snow. Of course, this could be because this is the first time we haven't had any. Don't worry we had 2.5 - 3 inches on Tuesday afternoon and evening. However, I was excited to see a little bit of sun this morning when I woke up (instead of the typical gray-ness). Maybe finally some of the roads will finally get cleared of the packet snow. The expressway was just a little wet when I was out this morning - which is wasn't when I went home yesterday.

This morning I was reminded of an interesting topic that I hadn't thought about in a couple years - Huffman coding. This method is used in compression for jpegs and mp3s. It is funny how we use these things all the time, but we don't really think about it. The method is very simply and very effective. Basically, you rank each item by the number of times it occurs. You give the fequently repeated items a short encoding. Things that occur less often get longer encodings. Therefore, reducing the over all space by approximately 25%. Simple. Straight-forward. Ducky.

Complete side note: I purchased a salad for lunch. It came with a packet of dressing (1.5 oz). How on earth do they pack 210 calories into that thing? The dressing is no where near 210 calories of yumminess. Therefore, I only used about 1/2 of the package. But still. Next time I am bringing my own light dressing from home.

Well, I better get back to work. I have to read a book on fuzzy logic - not my first book. I have been reading several on and off. However, I figured I would try to read this one (Fuzzy Logic: Intelligence, Control, and Information by Yen and Langari) all the way through.

I also need to create a help guide for my students for functions and sub procedures. They have an assignment coming up and I know this concept always causes confusion. It is the nice thing about teaching a class again. You have a better idea some of the issues before hand. Of course, each term they manage to still surprise me!

Thanks for stopping by and reading! Happy sunshine (and lack of snow)!

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