Saturday, June 6, 2020

My presentation "On the spread of Viruses and information "

I made a presentation titled "On the spread of Viruses and information " at Varahamihira Science Forum pm 25 April 2020
I thank Badri Seshadri for asking me if I can talk about the book was reading and Varahamihira Science Forum ( for this opportunity.
I messaged a few friends in Feb 2020 "It would be a good idea to understand the parameters that make an epidemic dangerous, to understand the spread of an epidemic, and also extend this to information spread. Do you have any suggestions to read?"
Anjali Deshmukh suggested a book in response, to set the ball rolling. 
Thanks to my friend Ravi (Prof  Balaraman Ravindran ) for answering my queries patiently through Whatsapp, books suggested, and his inputs on the presentation.
Special thanks to both  🙏
I understood soon that the subject was vast and the 1 hour would be just enough to provide an overview and that is what I have attempted. 
Here are the Key Takeaways from the Session.

  • SIR model is a simple model to understand the spread of contagion
  • The Idea of R, the reproduction number allows us to understand anything that spreads and is not just limited to contagious diseases and has its use in other domains
  • R = Duration × Opportunities × Transmission probability × Susceptibility
  • By playing with the parameters in R = DOTS, we can control anything that spreads
  • Even biological processes are amenable to mathematical modeling. The models are useful but are not infallible
  • The study of contagions and their use to understand other kinds of information spread has gots its limitations
  • What we call as ‘making something viral’ is not viral in the sense of the infectious disease, but just making it popular
  • The susceptibility of networks, either it be financial networks or computer networks, to contagion is an evolving area of study
  • With more dependency on Internet and IoT, our approach towards computer security has to undergo a sea change

If some of the above-used terms sound alien, please refer to the presentation and to the talk. 

(Note: I wasn't too keen to show my haircut-badly-needed face, but forgot that the room does get dark in the evening, so apologies for just showing an outline 😀 )
A PDF version of the presentation used is available here for your reference -…/1UqeCzDyd3nDjYikBdq0IWXDkKA…/view

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

What do you collect ? Questions or Answers ?

What do you collect in life? questions or answers? 

A thought-provoking comic-strip, that is totally worth the time spent.

Please watch here and do use a laptop or any big screen. Phone screens don't help.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

13 Lessons from 13 Years of Brain Pickings...

Brain Pickings has been one of my favorite sites ever since I discovered it a few years back. It is one of those sites that enrich a person and worth every second spent.

Maria Popova has shared these beautiful, insightful and time-tested learnings titled "13 Life-Learnings from 13 Years of Brain Pickings" with the tagline More fluid reflections on keeping a solid center.

I have given below the 13 lessons. 

  1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
  2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
  3. Be generous.
  4. Build pockets of stillness into your life.
  5. When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
  6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
  7. Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.
  8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit.
  9. Don’t be afraid to be an idealist. 
  10. Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively.
  11. Question your maps and models of the universe, both inner and outer, and continually test them against the raw input of reality.
  12. There are infinitely many kinds of beautiful lives.
  13. Forgive, forgive, forgive. And then forgive again. 
Please do check out the complete post here

"Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: New Year’s Resolutions from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds"  comes with the tagline Enduring ideas for personal refinement from Seneca, Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Carl Sagan, Alan Watts, Emerson, Bruce Lee, Maya Angelou, and more --is a post that I have shared on my FB wall every new year since 2016. 

A very short version can be read here.