On Berlusconi’s legacy

Here is the call for applications, from the official Italian web site of the Ministry for Education and Research, for a postdoctoral fellowship on a project titled “‘Dalla pecora al pecorino’ tracciabilità e rintracciabilità di filiera nel settore lattiero caseario toscano”, which roughly translates to “From sheep to pecorino, traceability in the Tuscan dairy industry.”

The announcement has an English translation, and something got lost in translation, having to do to the fact that in Italy we say “sheep style” instead of “doggy style” (don’t ask).

Update 2/16/2012: the page has been updated, below is a screenshot before the update (click to expand)


things I learned last week

  • How the graph construction of Barak, Gopalan, Hastad, Meka, Raghavendra and Steurer (which shows the near-optimality of the “Cheeger-type” bound in Arora-Barak-Steurer) works.
  • That Kuperberg, Lovett and Peled finally showed that, for every constant t, there is a sample space of size polyn of permutations \{ 1,\ldots,n \} \rightarrow \{ 1,\ldots, n \} such that a uniformly sampled permutation from the sample space is t-wise independent. This was open even for t=4.
  • That proving the following “quadratic uncertainty principle” is an open question, and probably a very difficult one: suppose that q_1,\ldots,q_m are n-variate polynomials of total degree at most 2 and c_1,\ldots,c_m are real coefficients such that for every (x_1,\ldots,x_n) \in \{ 0,1\}^n we have

    x_1 \cdot x_2 \cdots x_n = \sum_i c_i \cdot (-1)^{q_i(x_1,\ldots,x_n)}

    prove that m must be exponentially large in n. (If the q_i are all linear, then the standard uncertainty principle gives us m \geq 2^n.)

  • That women can be real men, and that they should so aspire.
  • That the rich really are different from you and me

More here.