Colloquium Archive

Evading Big Brother In A Wilderness Of Telescreens

William A. Blunden, San Francisco State University


Is anyone safe from a global surveillance apparatus that receives more annual funding than most countries spend on their entire military? There are answers to this question and they don't revolve around the latest mobile device. In high-risk environments, the key to evading Big Brother lies not in a technological quick fix but in the obscure domain of field-proven tradecraft: the classic methods of espionage. With homage to Cold War spymasters this talk draws lessons from history to formulate a set of strategies that can take away the advantage of heavily resourced signal intelligence.

Learning About Animals From Unlabeled Acoustic Data

Marie A. Roch, San Diego State University


Recent work has shown that the human preauditory and/or auditory cortex is likely to play a role in acoustic landmark processing, such as the recognition of syllable and phoneme boundaries. Neurons appear to track acoustic envelopes with neural activity corresponding well with acoustic landmarks. These structures have also been observed in non-human primates, suggesting that acoustic landmark processing could be present in non-human primates and have an evolutionary role. Should landmark processing occur in non-humans, it could provide new methods for approaching animal communication. We present the results of a biologically inspired system on a phoneme segmentation task and anecdotal evidence that plausible boundaries are detected for non-human primates. Many species of toothed-whales are poorly understood, with their ranges determined by handfuls of sightings or stranding’s. We demonstrate that properties of echolocation clicks can be used to provide hypotheses about the number of species using an area by analyzing acoustic data from a well-studied area, The Southern California Bight. We show that symmetric Kullback-Leibler similarity metrics from distributional models of toothed-whale encounters can be clustered into species-specific groups that show reasonable concurrence with groups constructed by analysts using known characteristics of echolocation clicks as measured by an adjusted Rand statistic.

Learn You A Monad

Jason Shankel, Sr. Gameplay Engineer, Roblox, Inc


Monads do for functional programming what objects do for imperative programming. As the software industry moves from simple systems that required highly optimal code to complex systems that require highly modular code, functional programming has risen in prominence. Monadic design can leverage the power of the emerging imperative/functional software engineering paradigm to produce cleaner, faster, more reliable code.

The Moral Character Of Hacking

Cooper Quintin, Electronic Frontier Foundation


Offensive hacking is fun! Unfortunately, there is no good way to do it without going to jail or working for the government. In this talk Cooper Quintin, EFF Staff Technologist, will give some reasons that you might not want to work for the government and offer some fun and inspiring alternative examples of ways to scratch your offensive hacking itch without going to jail.

The Future Of 3D Imaging

Radu B. Rusu, PhD - fyusion CEO and Co-Founder


Welcome to the future, where space is the final frontier, and visual understanding works at scale with robotics-level accuracy. ||