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Google!

23 Nov

It’s been many months since I’ve posted here, due mostly to an extreme influx of work from classes and my jobs. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on this blog! Rather, I have a huge number of updates, which I will only describe in short detail for now. In no particular order:

After working at the Summer School in Theoretical Computer Science at Princeton, I went to one more conference the week after the school closed out. It was the annual RANDOM/APPROX dual conference, also held at Princeton. It was extremely interesting, with riveting talks by a variety of excellent speakers. I particularly enjoyed the keynote address by David Williamson, who spoke of a new generation of approximation algorithms called “lightweight algorithms” that he believes should and will define the future of the field. I saw a lot of really interesting talks and having taken a graduate course on this last semester, I was able to at least follow a good portion of most talks.

Next, I have begun my fall semester (actually by this point, it’s more than half done..)! I ended up taking two grad courses: Advanced Complexity Theory with Sanjeev Arora and an Advanced Topics course (aka, new courses which may or may not be kept in future semesters) on Information Theory with new professor Mark Braverman. Both are extremely interesting and have gotten very challenging. I think however that complexity theory started off much harder for me since I haven’t taken the undergraduate version of this course first, but as we moved on to new material, I feel like I’m keeping up fairly well with the class. As for information theory, it started off introducing really cool ideas that were pretty straightforward to follow, but our most recent topic of communication complexity is extremely difficult for someone with no prior knowledge or experience with this. The class has a couple of PhD candidates who are very familiar with this material, so I guess that somewhat helps a bit. But it goes very fast and I need to constantly review my material. Nonetheless, it’s a ton of fun! I’m also an undergrad grader for COS 340, which is called Reasoning about Computation. It’s sort of an introduction to theoretical CS through a variety of topics including probability, hashing, algorithmic analysis, approximation algorithms, graph theory, and more. Lots of super interesting material. It’s by no means a trivial course (either to take or to grade..) but it’s an excellent jumping point for anyone interested in theory. I actually haven’t taken this course in the past due to scheduling issues, so I’m enjoying following the material as the class does it too.

We also had a Quantum Computing Day mini-workshop at Princeton. I’m hugely interested in this subj. ct although I have little formal background in it. Nonetheless, I decided to attend anyway. The keynote talk was by Scott Aaronson of MIT, a well-noted theorist in this field. The talk was, as you might expect, brilliant. I’m pretty intrigued by how matrix determinants and permanents keep popping up in so many different places. Aaronson showed the application of those concepts in dealing with fermions and bosons, which given my limited quantum physics knowledge was new to me. There was also another great talk by an IBM researcher; this one a more applied talk about actually building larger multi-qubit gates while dealing with the immensely complicated issues of maintaining the superposition. The talk was very positive and the speaker showed that IBM has made a lot of progress in pinning down some of the problems. Although many believe QC is just a fad and will never actually make it to utility, I’m optimistic to see and follow real progress being made. If for nothing else, for science.

Finally, one more big news. I was offered an internship at Google in NYC! I had interviewed with Google late last year and made it to the host matching round. However, since it was already so late, there weren’t any available projects for me. Luckily, working through a recruiter over a summer, I was able to get a headstart on the process this year and was also waived through the technical interviews since I had done them just a few months prior. I was paired up with a prospective host from the NYC office and that interview went well. Before I could hear back, I was also paired up with a host from the Mountain View office and had that interview as well. In the end, it turned out that both hosts’ reactions were positive, but I chose NYC for a variety of reasons, mostly convenience. I’m extremely excited about this opportunity and I’m eagerly waiting for the summer! The team I will be working on is Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) and my project is something to do with security.

So those are the big news items from the past few months. Hopefully, I will have time to keep this updated more regularly hereon.

EDIT: One more thing! The research that I worked on with a few other undergraduates and my professor from the summer of freshman year has finally been published and presented at IMC 2011 in Germany early in November! The paper is also now online here (I think this might be behind a paywall).

A direct link is also available here.

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5 Comments

Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “Google!

  1. amondal13

    November 24, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Oooh new theme and everything!
    You should totally blog about our theoretical compsci summer school because it was awesome.

     
  2. Niko

    February 4, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    How long did it take for Google to give you an offer after the host matching interviews?

     
    • jrupac

      February 5, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      I had my first host matching interview about two weeks after they said I was ready for it. And then about a week or two after that I had a second host match interview. Then, within about a day, the second host was willing to accept me so my recruiter asked what I wanted to do. I told her that I wanted to know about the first one as well. So about a day after that, I had confirmation from the first offer as well and took that one. The offer was given to me the following week. The majority of the time was spent in waiting for a host to line up. Depending on the host, a decision is generally made within a week or two.

       
      • Niko

        February 5, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        Thank you very much. I had two host interviews last week on Wednesday and Thursday. I am really interested in one of the project and the host was also interested in me. I think I’ll get it. However, waiting for a response is nerve wracking. At least now I know that it can take a while to get a response from the hosts.

         
        • jrupac

          February 5, 2013 at 10:20 AM

          Yeah! It’s the wait that really was a pain for me too, but it’s so worth it in the end. Best of luck to you – I hope you get the offer!

           

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