Archive for June, 2009

Hi everyone. I am going to take two weeks vacation starting today. As is usual for researchers, I had a mad dash of typing and finishing a paper right before going on Holiday. My new paper with Jaemo Park will appear on Tuesday. I’m going to stay quiet about the contents of the paper. This was finished right in the nick of time for me to be able not to think about this project for the next few weeks.

Unfortunately I was not able to turn on a `gone for holiday’ message on my e-mail yesterday. I guess some people writing me e-mail will be  left moored without a reply for a while. If any of them complain, send them to this post where I’m giving a half hearted apology.

Finally, settle down and watch how the cobwebs accumulate on this blog. I can already imagine the tumbleweeds passing by…

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I’m organizing a workshop in late September, together with Jun Nishimura and Toby Wiseman, taking place in London. We’re very close to the limit of participants that we can afford. The workshop will be on Numerical approaches to AdS/CFT, large N and (quantum) gravity. We’re going to put a lot of people who have not all met each other yet in a closed room, we’re going to `lock them in’ so to speak, and hope that fantastically new collaboratiosn and ideas will spring out of this.

Mostly, we will try to figure out what has been done in this area already and hope to get a road map of what can be done, what should be done and how much resources does it need in order to be done.

For more information, here is the website.

Below is the conference poster, which I cobbled up from some old photos of Big Ben, some photoshop magic and some creative license with masks trying to make it look cool. Of course, my co-organizers corrected all the mispelled names that I mistyped and it is likely that we saved a bundle on ‘artwork’ commisioning.  I really have no clue how much these things cost.

Conference Poster

Conference Poster

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The last few days I attended the conference in honor of Tom Banks and Willy Fischler on the occasion of their 60th Birthday. Here are the details of the conference.

Willy Fischler and Tom Banks at the dinner.

Willy Fischler and Tom Banks at the conference dinner.


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I have been trying to figure out what are the best books to have as a reference and learning material on Python and Java/Javascript.

Not the python Im looking for... yet

Not the python I'm looking for... yet

The reviews out there on Amazon don’t really tell me if they are good or not and they end up all over the map on commentary, mostly on possitive territory. I’m sure there is grade inflation in Amazon just like everywhere else. So I’m asking help from someone out there who might decide to take pity on me. I’m checking if Blogs can be used as a call for help with some requests for information or not.

I’ve asked around locally and gotten blank stares.

To make the job simpler, I’ll tell you what have I zeroed on, hoping to get some feedback on if these are good or not. And if you suggest some alternatives, please let me know why you like them. Here is my shopping list:

`Programming in Python 3: A complete introduction to the Python Language’, by Mark Summerfeld.

`Python in a Nutshell’, second edition, by Alex Martelly

‘Javascript, the definitive guide’, by David Flanagan

‘Java in a Nutshell’, 5th edition, by David Flanagan

‘Java examples in a Nutshell’, 3rd edition, by David Flanagan

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Sometimes I laugh very hard when I read stuff like this. If it could only work.

Speaking about which, our blog seems to have made it into the spam servers in Cyrillic: over seventy percent of the spam we are getting is in Russian. The babelfish translations are hilarious. I should probably collect them and post them one of these days. Just on that note, watch the following classic

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So I used the book “The standard model: a primer” by Cliff Burgess and Guy Moore for various of my lectures this past year. I found that the book was very enjoyable to read and it covered the topic in a thoughful way. I would definitely recommend its purchase to those who are looking to a modern introduction to the Standard model of Particle Physics phenomenology book. It is hard to find a book that is up to date on this subject.


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Well, that’s it! I have just finished teaching the last class of this quarter. The rest of my lecture notes for the class are here. I covered less than what I had originally intended. The last sets of notes are sketches of the ideas of holomorphy and basic aspects of supersymmetric vacua, plus some basic intro to the (softly broken) minimal supersymmetric standard model. So after getting five extra minutes of free time to celebrate the end of the quarter, there is all the rest of the backlog of work that I have to plow through.

I’m going to be nice to the readers and restrict my rant to my research (the rest would take some considerable extra rant).


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