Marinka Zitnik

Fusing bits and DNA

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Google Scholars' Retreat 2011

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Impressions from Google Scholars' Retreat 2011, which took place last month in Zurich, Switzerland, where the Retreat for the EMEA region was organized, are great.  It has really been a valuable experience to meet many Googlers, other scholars and their research work.

Below is this year logo.

This year logo for Google Scholarship.

Let me mention just a few workshops and talks I have attended during the Retreat:

  • Keynote speech
  • Working in Industry
  • Product Design Workshop
  • Career Panel
  • Poster Show
  • Android Technical Talk
  • Open source and Google Support of its Advancement in the Community (Details: Open source community at Google, development model and how Google uses it and supports advancement of this community.)
  • Google Web API (Details: Generic principles of Google Web APIs and the tools Google provide for learning and experimenting with them. Focus on interaction with these tools for research, be it to harvest data or to help present data in an efficient way.)
  • *Privacy, the Ultimate Interdisciplinary Challenge (Details: The questions of deletion and digital rights management, online reputation and self-representation, the right to be forgotten.)
  • *Google.org - Using Google's Strengths to Address Global Challenges (Details: Google.org is tasked with using Google's strengths in technology and the Internet to address global challenges. The session covered development of Google Flu Trends as well as more recent work including Google Earth Engine and Google Crisis Response.)
  • *Street View 3D (Details: Many problems arise when developing such a product, such as augmenting the panoramas with 3D features for better navigation and a more immersive experience.)
  • *Priority Inbox (Details: Because importance is highly personal, email importance is predicted by learning a per-user statistical model, updated as frequently as possible. The challenges include inferring the importance of mail without explicit user labeling; finding learning methods that deal with non-stationary and noisy training data; constructing models that reduce training data requirements; storing and processing terabytes of per-user feature data; predicting in a distributed and fault-tolerant way.)
Beside that there were some very informative talks on business visions of Google, ways of involvement with Google, office tours (I liked the slides between the floors :)) and lots of small talk with Googlers.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 July 2015 15:09
 

CG: L-Systems Fractal Generation of 3D Objects

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One of the courses I attended this semester has been Computer Graphics (CG).

I have spent some time studying algorithmic botany and especially L-systems, formal grammars for describing fractal objects. These can be used for generation of objects in biology, botany, and even buildings and entires cities. Rome Reborn is an example of such project, in which formal grammars were used for the creation of the 3D digital model illustrating the urban development of ancient Rome.

So I have decided to visualize some of the 3D fractal objects using OpenGL and LWJGL library. Below are links to short report and presentation. Take a look :)

Those of you who are interested, great book on this topic by the father of algorithmic botany, Aristid Lindenmayer. Prusinkiewicz, Przemyslaw; Aristid Lindenmayer (1990). The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants (The Virtual Laboratory).Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-97297-8

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 16:06
 

Recognized as Google Anita Borg Scholarship Finalist

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Yet another great news concering my (little) involvement with Google. I have written few weeks ago about being accepted to the Google Summer of Code 2011 with the project on matrix factorizations techniques in data mining for the Orange platform.

Nevertheless, Google has announced Google Anita Borg Scholarship Recipients and Finalists, a Scholarship for which I have applied this year and I am among 147 undergraduate and graduate students worldwide being chosen. Just for clarification - this is completely unrelated to the GSoC (the only common denominator being the Google itself), the scholarship however being awarded based on the strength of candidates’ academic performance, leadership experience and demonstrated passion for computer science.

Scholars from Europe have Scholars' Retreat at European Google centre at Zurich in June and I am very much looking forward to this event to meet some fascinating people. The retreat will include workshops, speakers, panelists, breakout sessions and social activities scheduled over a couple of days.

  • (Official Google Blog with published results of the Scholars's selection process) link
  • (Official Google Students Blog with published announcement of the Scholars's) link
  • (Faculty News) link in Slovene

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 December 2013 02:58
 

Visualizing geographic data with the WebGL Globe

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Google Team has shared a new Chrome experiment, called the WebGL Globe, namely the visualization platform for geographic data that runs in WebGL enabled browsers - Chrome, Firefox. (Check http://www.doesmybrowsersupportwebgl.com/ if your browser supports the WebGL standard).

To speed up the visualization of 3D geometry, they have used vertex shader and took advantage of GLSL with two fragment shaders. 3D data spikes are drawn with Three.js, JS library for building lightweight 3D graphics.

I have embedded simple globe showing Google search traffic. Try it or try more examples that shipped with this cool open source project. Or create your own globe using the JSON data format.

Here is post of Official Google Code Blog. Nice job :)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:39
 

Part1: Matrix Computations Notes

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Labels: FactorizationMaths

Constrained LS Problems

Subset Selection Using SVD

Total LS

Comparing Subspaces Using SVD

Some Modified Eigenvalue Problems

Updating the QR Factorization

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:43
 

GSoC & Orange: Matrix Factorization Techniques for Data Mining

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This year I have applied for the Google Summer of Code, namely the Orange project.

Will see if I will be accepted. :)

Update 25.04.2011: Google has announced the results. My proposal has been accepted and am looking forward to start working. :)

Some links to articles in Slovenian news:

Project title: Matrix Factorization Techniques for Data Mining

Description: Matrix factorization is a fundamental building block for many of current data mining approaches and factorization techniques are widely used in applications of data mining. Our objective is to provide the Orange community with a uni fed and efficient interface to matrix factorization algorithms and methods. For that purpose we will develop a scripting library which will include a number of published factorization algorithms and initialization methods and will facilitate the combination of these to produce new strategies. Extensive documentation with working examples that will demonstrate real applications, commonly used benchmark data and visualization methods will be provided to help with the interpretation and comprehension of the results.

Main factorization techniques and their variations planned to be included in the library are: Bayesian decomposition (BD) together with linearly constrained and variational BD using Gibbs sampling, probabilistic matrix factorization (PMF), Bayesian factor regression modeling (BFRM), family of nonnegative matrix factorizations (NMF) including sparse NMF, non-smooth NMF, local factorization with Fisher NMF, least-squares NMF. Di fferent multiplicative and update algorithms for NMF will be analyzed which minimize LS error or generalized KL divergence. Further nonnegative matrix approximations (NNMA) with extensions will be implemented. For completeness algorithms such as NCA, ICA and PCA could be added to the library.

Here is proposal document.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 August 2013 21:33
 

Sniffit

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Sniffit is simple network packet analyzer, which I implemented in C using libpcap library.

Here is very short presentation, with list of functional requirements which Sniffit supports.

Presentation.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:40
 

EuroSkills Informatics 2010

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Just today I returned from the Portugal, Lisbon, where Euroskills 2010 has been held. In the Office ICT Category (Informatics) I won two silver medals, one as a Project Manager of the team and second together with Slovenian team (members: me, Slavko Zitnik, Miha Longino, Peter Virant).

The contest was organized very well, we were accomodated in the part of the Lisbon, where Expo was held, and there was also the competition. In fifty trades there were 500 competitors and a few hundred of experts, observers and guests.

Competitors in Office ICT Category.

 

Slovenian team in informatics (Marinka, Peter, Slavko, Miha) with team leader.

President of RS

Sprejemi tekmovalcev:

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:41
 

ES 2010 is Here

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Tomorrow we are going to Lisbona,Portugal, to EuroSkills 2010, category Informatics.

Details of our task at competition will be revealed after it.

Some news on the contest will be published daily by rtvslo.si.

The contest in our category is scheduled from 9.12.2010 to 11.12.2010.

Some of the interviews with our team members published in the news:

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:40
 

XML DB

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I have prepared presentation on XML DBs, which I will hold tomorrow, on 1st December 2010 at Basics of Database Systems course.

XQuery Examples.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:38
 

ES 2010 Preparations

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When I started writing this article, the countdown said: ES 2010 in 17 days 0 hours 9 minutes, and 4 seconds.

Since September we (the team of four) have actively devoted ourselves to the Office ICT Test Project, draft of the project which we will have to implement in Lisbona. The project has progressed well, we gain some expertise in vast majority (if not all, we will see, depends on the final version of TP, which will be known not before as at the beginning of the compettion) of the features. Basically the task is to set up the entire ICT system of fictive international corporation from functional and network design (IPv4, IPv6, NATv6, DHCPv6, security measures, OSPF & EIGRP routing, routing destribution, dynamic VLANs, network authentication with RADIUS, wifi etc.) to common bussines services (VPN, mail, DA, AD, DNS, DHCP, VoIP Asterisk, AAA, MDT, WSUS, SNMP Nagios, virtualization etc.) and company's portfolio, documentation maintenance, cost and time management etc.

Some photos of our preparations are available at our team member's blog.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:38
 


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