Summer as a transit magician

There are a lot of things I expected when I accepted a summer internship with Cloudflare’s Magic Transit team. I figured they would send me some nice swag (thanks for the socks!), and I would have to write some code. What I did not anticipate was shipping that code to Cloudflare’s edge to improve routing of trillions of bytes of data for real customers every day. I also did not expect my work to have a substantial, quantifiable impact on the product within twelve short weeks.

Thoughts on the M1 MacBook Air

I am a heavy computer user. I use large programs which take up plenty of space and drain enough battery to power a small nation. I also use mail clients, music players, password managers, photos apps, and notes. Often simultaneously. I don’t expect a new computer to perform miracles. I fully expect to have to carry around a charging brick with me for the rest of my life. In less than a week, the 2020 M1 MacBook Air has challenged my expectations and given me renewed hope in a cordless-backpack future.

Gnarly image manipulation

For CS 314H, our first project involves programming routines to perform visual transformations for images. While I can’t share any of the code, I will present a few of my favorite examples: A motorcycle with a single Gaussian blur and edge detector applied (middle). After another edge detection pass and some smoothing/Gaussian blurs, the outline on the right emerged. Source image courtesy of Harley-Davidson. Of course, often times our greatest feats are the results of our most egregious blunders:

Randomness and the human condition

This is a (slightly edited) version of my favorite college supplemental essay which I wrote in response to one of the Yale prompts: What is a random number? It would seem like a question with an obvious, striking answer: a random number is a number that cannot be predicted. But clearly, any particular number cannot be random; the number 42 immediately follows the number 41 and proceeds 43. Give me a tape measure and I can find 42 inches, a calculator and I can multiply six by seven.