Saturday, February 26, 2011

Is the mexican peso over-valuated?

Out of insomnia, I'm reading about economics: inflation, exchange rates, and some other unlikely topics regarding my usual interest areas, this is derived from some Mexican Economy homework.

  1. Exchange rates are governed as everything else in our society by supply and demand. Some determining factors are :international commerce, foreign investments, attractive interest rates, insolvency risk, economical and political instability, etc. Besides these factors there are some others as important: productivity and inflation rates.

  2. The ideal scenario is where exchange rates reflect an equivalent value of goods and services between countries in function of the productivity (the capacity of producing goods and services efficiently) of each country.

  3. To measure the productivity of a country one important variable is the inflation rate.If the same good cost more to produce today than yesterday we're less efficient and the price to pay is the devaluation of our currency in order to keep the equivalence of value. If this relation is not endorsed, international commerce is affected negatively because exportations become more expensive. On the other hand, having an over-valuated peso increments artificially the buying power of our currency abroad and affects producers as consumers would prefer to consume cheaper foreign goods.

  4. It's said that our currency is over-valuated as our inflation rates are higher than those in the U.S. and that disparity is not reflected in the current exchange rates. But I don't know because I found some article that says that our peso is under-valuated, the effects of under-valuation are...well, this is it on these issues, these things are helping me regain my sleepiness =-D.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Power electronics

  1. Power electronics is a very neat concept. It implies the avoidance of resistors that waste energy in the form of heat through the use of diodes, capacitors, inductors, etc. Its main applications are in actuators such as motors,robotics and illumination, i.e. led lights.

  2. Neural networks. We humans are always trying to imitate nature, and its quite understandable how alluring and intriguing is observing nature's simplicity and beauty. Neural networks try to emulate how the brain functions, the dendrites are inputs attentive to stimuli, such stimuli then is pondered to a weight function and the sum of all stimuli received then is processed by a threshold function that determines whether the stimuli is enough to trigger and action, i.e. to provide with stimuli to the next neuron. This scheme is thought to provide a means for artificial learning. I read once that Marvin Minski proposed a problem they couldn't solve: the simple and very well known xor function, but it was a long time ago, I guess they have improved since then.

These days I'm playing with computer graphics most of the time and I'm getting to like opengl very much, and for what is worth I intent to use opengl es in my video game project.

Die Welle Wortschatz
rutschen. skid, slip sideways, slide uncontrollably across a surface, slide, glide
daran. on it, on them, to it, to them
ersticken. smother, suffocate, stifle, choke; suppress, crush; snuff out, crush, asphyxiate, be suffocated
seufzen. . sigh, exhale loudly as a sign of relief or sorrow
Vorschrift. instruction, order, rule, prescript, regulation, directions.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Peer to peer arquitecture using Bluetooth

  • The toughest part in my videogame design will be figuring out a way to reduce delays while discovering new devices in the range of operation. It's said that a discovery operation can take up to 10s, and while a device is in discovery mode it becomes unreachable (or undiscoverable) so there is no other choice than to alternate the discovery and listening modes continuosly if I am to implement a peer-to-peer-like communication architecture.

  • The most expensive operation within bluetooth comunication is discovering new devices and services in terms of time and energy consumption so it's mandatory for me to reduce such operation at a minimum. Nobody said it would be easy to develop a videogame like this, but it would be very rewarding in terms of achievement and self image once it's finished.

  • Poker strategy is quite different when playing with several competitors, the odds become more complicated as the probabilities are spared among all of them so your chances of wining are very scanty unless you apply some "advanced techniques" such as bluffing =-D and crazy betting, but of course the loses are significant if not done cautiously.

  • One error we gamblers incur repetitively is trying to regain the lost ground; if you're lucky enough you recover your loses but in my experience obstination can be very harmful, so one good advice would be to just let go and put our ego aside, when luck sucks it's better to withdraw while we still can.

  • My computer graphics professor has an a very impresive C.V. , I discovered it in a random search, I wonder why he's such a lousy teacher despite his extensive experience. Well, that's just another prove that knowledge does not necessarly make a good teacher, something additional is required, I think it`s love for what one does, but hell, love is such a precious and rare quality in this forgotten world.

Die Welle vocabulary:
Zeichner -> n. subscriber, one who signs up to receive a service or publication; limner, one who draws, one who describes through drawing
Gestalter -> n. framer, shaper, fashioner, designer, former, maker, one that gives form to
Lichttischen -> (duh! =-D) light tables.
hocken -> v. squat, sit low, crouch, stoop down
vorbereiten -> v. prepare, ready, put into the proper condition, make ready; get oneself ready, be ready for -
Tatsächlich -> adj. actual, factful, real, authentic
jedoch -> conj. however, in any event, anyway, though
ausser -> conj. except, but, only; unless, until, before
bestand - bestehen -> v. exist, live, be; subsist
heftig -> adj. severe, acute, intense, strong, violent, ardent, vehement, heavy, fierce

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Die Welle

I'm reading "Die Welle" a small german novel about the group psychology or mass pyschology that leads individuals to do things they wouldn't do if not influenced by the group. It's a resemblance of the young nazi groups under the Third Reigh. It was a gift from the very best german teacher I've ever had and I'm using it to improve my vocabulary.

ziemlich -> adj. pretty, quite, rather, very, somewhat, reasonably; almost, nearly
häufig -> adj. frequent, happening often, common, often
Vorrat -> n. stock, supply, provision, stockpile, hoard, accumulation
gab -> past from geben
einzig -> adj. sole, only, single; absolute, complete; unique
obere -> adj. upper, top, superior, higher
immerhin -> adv. after all, after everything else
allemal -> adv. (new spell.=alle Mal) always, constantly; once and for all, finally and forever
stopfen -> stuff, fill, cram, stopple, plug, cork; darn
Beiträge -> addendum, addition; attachment; contribution, act of donating; something donated
ausbrüten -> v. hatch, incubate, sit on eggs in order to hatch them;

That's it, ten or eleven a day, on other topics:

  • There are several known results regarding sumations that can simplify a great deal the analysis of several algorithms.

  • The link to the complete set of approved terminal projects from previous trimesters is:
but not public access is given, got to find a way into it.

  • Baroque classical music is so beautiful.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sorting ->there's no better than nlogn?

  • We were shown today that any sorting algorithm that does comparisons has as lower bound: the nlogn function, you can't go lower than that. The interesting part is where I said: "any sorting algorithm that does comparisons", well it turns out that there is such a thing as sorting algorithm that does not do comparisons, it's called radix sort and I'm gonna find out more about it later, the intriguing thing about this not very well known algorithm is that does it's stuff on the realm of the O(n) which is very amazing.

  • Constructive criticism. I think that in general we mexican engineers, and particularly mexican engineers who study at the UAM don't express ourselves in public very often due to the fear of what others might think of us. Today I showed everybody my advances in the Terminal Project proposal, and to my surprise all the criticism I received was a very constructive one, that gives me more confidence about sharing my point of view on a regular basis.

  • NURBS and Splines. Mr. Kahtchaturov is teaching us a very advanced topic in our incipient computer graphics class, these concepts come in handy constructing curve surfaces, the thing is that we ought to develop a more advanced mathematical background to grasp a better idea on how they work.

  • Composite transformations. I thought simulating articulated movement in opengl would be more cumbersome but the key idea is very simple: save the current transformation matrix, do some transformation, say: a rotation ,create the object and move to its edge, save again the current transformation matrix, do some transformation (yep another rotation), create the new objetct and pop the latter and former transformations. Of course, you need to vary the transformation parameters to have something actually moving.

Words of the day:
saß -> third person's singular for "sitzen"
hübsch -> handsome, good-looking
immer währenden -> perennial, eternal
schwinden -> fade, dissapear
aufgeregt -> nervous, agitated
kauten -> to bite

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Getting better, but its not enough

1. I applied once again for a T.A. position, still no luck. But hey! I was the second best candidate and there were many. And as I said before, the selection process is filled with unclear and weird things, but hope dies last. I learned to let modesty aside, in a world dominated by economics, everything and everyone is merchandise.
2. I've been struggling with very low spirits lately, that's why I haven't written anything in the last weeks, but struggling is the very escence of life, and hitting bottom once in a while ain't such a bad thing, it increases our sense of awareness.