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Teaching in Africa: Part 1

Mike Perkins I’m on sabbatical from Cardinal Peak right now, teaching at Carnegie Mellon’s Africa campus in Kigali, Rwanda.  Aside from the fun I’ve had being in another culture and in an academic environment, it’s been great to see how a world class uni…

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Sometimes, Noise Helps

Mike Perkins I’ve been working on a fun problem lately that involves estimating a scalar parameter from a set of repeated observations. It turns out that in certain circumstances, the presence of noise in the system can actually make the estimate more accurate,…

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EE Times: How to build video devices for the IoT

Mike Perkins I’ve got a new blog post up at EE Times, talking about how to build video devices for the Internet of Things: Video cameras are uniquely compelling sensors because vision is our dominant sense. Video is invaluable for applications such as license…

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Why Sample Size and Random Sampling Matters

Mike Perkins Recently we tweeted an interesting article on big data, from the Financial Times. The author’s key point is that sampling bias and sampling error are possible even with large data sets. As illustration, the author discusses a classic case where the…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory

On the Importance of Hiring Excellence

Mike Perkins I came across the article “Why the ‘Next Silicon Valley’ is Always Silicon Valley” during my lunchtime reading today and found it really interesting. I would summarize it—obviously not justly!—as follows: Excellence is a snowball rollin…

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Choosing the Correct Video Sampling Format

Mike Perkins We’re a little late in posting this, but I wrote a blog entry for EDN last week that discusses how to choose the correct video sampling format.  An excerpt:  To process signals digitally, they must first be sampled and quantized. Sampling refers…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory, Video

Big Data, Probability, and Birthdays: Part 2 of 2

Mike Perkins In Part One of this blog post I discussed how to state an experiment in the form of probability spaces. Determining the sample space and the event space is necessary to be able to talk intelligently about probability measures, which is the topic of t…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory

Big Data, Probability, and Birthdays: Part 1 of 2

Mike Perkins Cardinal Peak’s big data practice is expanding as we continue adding data scientists to our staff. In a recent discussion regarding a data set we’re analyzing, a probability problem conceptually equivalent to the following arose: In a room filled…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory

A C++ class to implement low-pass, high-pass, and band-pass filters

Mike Perkins We recently needed a simple C++ class for linear phase FIR filtering, and I figured it might be useful to others, as well. You can download it here. Here’s how to use this class: Specify the desired filter type (low-pass, high-pass, or band-pass)…

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Posted In: Perk, Theory

4 approaches to building digital video processing systems

Mike Deeds Mike Perkins and I wrote an article for Electronic Component News about the various approaches—hardware and software—to building a video encoder or decoder. Raw IC processing power has multiple manifestations including General Purpose CPUs (GP-CP…

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