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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:Yet another language (204 comments)

Yeah, I think that was mentioned in Luke Hoban's talk on ECMAScript at Lang.NEXT (if not, I saw it elsewhere that I can't recall). That would certainly help and even make calling LAPACK possible in JavaScript, but I still think it wouldn't be much fun. It would be pretty cool though :-)

more than 2 years ago
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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:Why? (204 comments)

Yeah, at some point if you need to put code on something like an embedded processor or DSP you just got to get down and dirty with C code and probably some ASM. But there's still some room in the middle for less pain with good performance :-)

more than 2 years ago
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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:Not fast at all (204 comments)

Dynamic typing doesn't add any overhead when you can determine which specific method you need when generating code — which, in a dynamic language with a JIT, is very late, meaning that you can most of the time. Julia uses tons of small method definitions that call other small methods and so on, even for basic things like adding two integers, but the compiler is smart enough to compile addition into a single machine instruction. The notion that dynamic languages are slow because of their dynamism is very outdated in light of modern compiler techniques.

more than 2 years ago
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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:I "C" what they did there... (204 comments)

The C/C++ benchmarks are intentionally written in C; the only reason that's it's a C++ files instead of C is so that we can use C++'s complex template in the Mandelbrot benchmark. Otherwise the whole thing would just be done in C. The clock_now function is only used to time other code, so its performance is irrelevant.

Stefan Karpinski

more than 2 years ago
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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:Fortran anyone? (204 comments)

I didn't write the title the interview article. It's definitely inaccurate since C is already the C of scientific computing.

Stefan Karpinski

more than 2 years ago
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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:Existing Codebase (204 comments)

You can't do this just yet, but we're working on it. Should be possible in the near future. At some point further into the future, you'll be able to compile Julia code into a .so file, load it from C code and just call it as though it were written in C —except that the person writing the code gets the benefits of a high-level numerical language.

Stefan Karpinski

more than 2 years ago
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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:Yet another language (204 comments)

That's a fair question, and one I asked myself after writing the benchmark code for JavaScript and seeing just how incredibly fast the V8 engine is. Should we be doing numerical computing in JavaScript? The biggest problem that I can see is that JavaScript doesn't have a good story for calling external C/Fortran libraries. Some sort of FFI could be implemented, but there are deeper issues —especially the paucity if numerical types in JavaScript. JavaScript doesn't even have integers —every number is a double. So how can you distinguish between an array of integers versus an array of doubles that happen to have integer values? Can the compiler be smart enough to know that it can store those numerical arrays inline in a format that can be passed to LAPACK? To do numerical computing, you really need more control over memory layout, at the very least for the sake of calling external libraries.

Stefan Karpinski

more than 2 years ago
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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:Why? (204 comments)

As I mentioned in the interview, we're working on a compiler, at which point you would even be able to use compiled Julia code in embedded systems. So you get a nice productive, interactive development environment, then you invoke the static compiler and presto! you have a compiled .so files that you can just call from C. That eliminates the need to prototype in one language and then re-write everything in another language when you want to actually deploy it. I've done that before and it's deeply annoying, time-consuming, and hard to get right (it's generally harder to write correct C code than correct Matlab code). I've also deployed Matlab using their compiler. That's workable if you want to avoid re-writing your prototype, but it's also pretty annoying.

Stefan Karpinski

more than 2 years ago
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Julia Language Seeks To Be the C For Numerical Computing

Baron von Leezard Re:Tangentially (204 comments)

There's a few points:

1. Julia is entirely dynamic, so there's no need to think about compile time versus run time, simplifying the mental model (but the performance is like that of compiled languages). It's as easy as Python or Matlab in that respect, but much faster.
2. There are just a few powerful language features (e.g. ubiquitous, fast multiple dispatch, supported with an expressive type system), rather than a lot of features that interact in complicated ways.
3. Good for general programming stuff: working with strings, calling external programs and other things that are generally pretty awkward in R and Matlab (one of the reasons why NumPy is gaining popularity).

In general, the motivation (expressed in a previous Julia blog post) is to have something that's easy to use and learn, but fast and powerful (you *can* go deep if you want to), and designed expressly for numerical work —which means, among other things, that it has to be able to store large arrays of numeric values in-line and call libraries like LAPACK on them.

Stefan Karpinski

more than 2 years ago
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New Study Concludes Math Gender Gap Is Cultural, Not Biological

Baron von Leezard *despite* the data (472 comments)

It's difficult to fathom how the authors interpret the data on page 14 as *not* supporting the hypothesis that there is a male/female variance ratio of about 1.1. Figure 1A is a bell-like curve which is clearly centered around 1.1. In Figure 1B, almost all of the points are below the 1:1 line, whereas if you plot a 1.1:1 line, its a perfect fit for the data. In Figure 1C, the x value where the regression line intersects a zero gender gap (i.e. no evidence of cultural bias), is at a variance ratio of about 1.1. All of the evidence the authors present points to an underlying variance ratio near 1.1, yet somehow they conclude the opposite.

more than 2 years ago
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Wikipedia Works To Close Gender Gap

Baron von Leezard Re:Why is this a problem? (376 comments)

For a fairly mature project like wikipedia (everybody knows about them, they have more pagerank than god, ignorance is unlikely to be the reason behind most non-contributors), focusing on anomalies in your contributor statistics is a good way of identifying potential issues that might be standing in the way of your growth.

I'm pretty sure that god is not the gold standard when it comes to PageRank. Yup: god — top hit, wikipedia.

more than 3 years ago
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Where Do I Go Now That Oracle Owns OpenOffice.org?

Baron von Leezard don't (510 comments)

;-)

more than 3 years ago
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Beautiful Data

Baron von Leezard computer science beach reading (18 comments)

I'm a data scientist at company that is big enough to have a six-person data science team. Our CTO bought the data science team all copies of this book (mine is sitting on my desk right now). The best thing about this book is the cover. Which is not to say that the book is terrible —the cover is a really pretty picture of a kiwi. The only chapter in this book that was really interesting was Chapter 5, "Information Platforms and the Rise of the Data Scientist", by Jeff Hammerbacher, who edited the book. The rest is pretty fluffy. Nice easy reading, but nothing really useful or all that interesting.

more than 3 years ago
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Magnetism Can Sway Man's Moral Compass

Baron von Leezard Re:Not going to RTFA; explain? (586 comments)

Mod up parent. I was going to point out the same thing. How the heck could this not be causation?

more than 4 years ago
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True Random Number Generator Goes Online

Baron von Leezard Re:wonky definition of pseudo-random (439 comments)

Very true. On the seeding issue, note that even for events with a substantial amount of randomness inherent, like key presses or other I/O events, the high-order bits are still quite predictable. For example, the intervals between keyboard events tend to follow a Pareto distribution (power law basically). That's why the kernel only uses the very lowest few bits of data from these sources to generate entropy.

I may be wrong, but I believe that the difference between /dev/random and /dev/urandom is that the former only provides true hardware-generated entropy and blocks when that's not available, whereas the latter uses true entropy and cryptographically strong PRNG to generate stream of data that has a variable level of true entropy mixed into it over time. Can anyone corroborate that and/or refute that? (References a plus!)

[B.v.L]

more than 7 years ago

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