Goodbye WordPress, hello Medium!

I’ve switched from WordPress to Medium for various reasons. Consequently, this blog will no longer be updated, but you can follow me on my new blog at Medium if you’d like.


Waterloo Engineering Advice

I’m a graduate of Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Naturally, I’m arrogant enough to think this puts me in a position to advise those younger than me. More rationally, I’d like to highlight the range of different experiences that happened to my friends and I. Consequently, I’ve listed below a bunch of things I’ve learned over the course of my degree.

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Mind-maps for Debugging Your Thoughts and Communication

Update: I’ve switched to Medium from WordPress and divided this post into two separate posts. The first focuses on introducing Mindmaps in the context of CBT and the second explores the other applications of Mindmaps. Please read about this topic there. It is much better formatted and understandable on Medium.
Continuing with the blog theme of “stuff I’ve had to explain to a dozen people”, I’m going to explain in mindmaps in this post. I’ll start off with how I was introduced to mind maps (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), followed up with a bunch of other applications (debugging programs, life-goal planning, speaker-notes, negotiation {with applications to cognitive science!}) and finally finish off with a review of the software available for mind-mapping. None of these sections are related (and maybe I should divide these into separate blog posts), however the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy section is required if you want to understand the other sections and the Negotiation section is definitely the most interesting. All the mind-maps in this post are made with MindMup (because I left my damn drawing tablet in Sudbury), but pencil and paper work just as well.

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Nengo tip dump

Here’s a bunch of things I learned about Nengo. It doesn’t really fit on Cogsci.SE and it doesn’t belong in the Nengo tips documentation either, so I’m just going to put it here and update it as I learn more things.

What’s the difference between the Associative Memory and the Basal Ganglia? They both seem to be doing winner-take-all functions.

The difference is that the Basal Ganglia needs to scale to thousands of actions, whereas the Associative Memory is just for limited vocabularies.

Unit Testing Stories

One of the aspects that I can consistently differentiate from the professional level stories I read and the amateur ones I edit is focus. In a professional story, each word serves a purpose which can be enriched upon review and analysis. In an amateur story there is often whole paragraphs that are totally pointless. Although this goal of focus is easily described, it is much more difficult to achieve. Continue reading