53 episodes

The Boston Computation Club is a small seminar group focused on mathematical computer science, and computational mathematics. Its name is plagiarized from the London Computation Club. Boston Computation Club meetings occur roughly every other week, on weekends, around 5pm EDT (modulo speaker availability). The usual format is a 20m presentation followed by 40m of discussion. Some, but not all, meetings are posted on YouTube and in podcast form.

Boston Computation Club Max von Hippel

    • Science

The Boston Computation Club is a small seminar group focused on mathematical computer science, and computational mathematics. Its name is plagiarized from the London Computation Club. Boston Computation Club meetings occur roughly every other week, on weekends, around 5pm EDT (modulo speaker availability). The usual format is a 20m presentation followed by 40m of discussion. Some, but not all, meetings are posted on YouTube and in podcast form.

    04/20/24: Chess-GPT's Internal World Model with Adam Karvonen

    04/20/24: Chess-GPT's Internal World Model with Adam Karvonen

    Adam Karvonen was my coworker at Galois and is a bright guy doing really interesting stuff in the ML interpretability space. Today he joined us to present his work on Chess-GPT, you guessed it, a GPT model that can play chess. The punchline isn't so much how good the model is as it is how the model "thinks" -- Adam provides compelling evidence that the model internally reasons about an actual board state, and learns to make legal moves. The discussion on this one was great and we really appreciate that Adam took the time to talk to us! Also -- you should hire him! He's doing MATS but will be on the job market at the end of the Summer.

    • 58 min
    04/12/24: DY Fuzzing: Formal Dolev-Yao Models Meet Cryptographic Protocol Fuzz Testing with Max Ammann

    04/12/24: DY Fuzzing: Formal Dolev-Yao Models Meet Cryptographic Protocol Fuzz Testing with Max Ammann

    Max Ammann is a cybersecurity researcher at Trail of Bits, where he's recently been working on extending his Master's thesis work on fuzzing cryptographic protocols into an industrial-grade fuzzing tool. That work resulted in an S&P publication which is what he joined us to present today. This was a really good talk but also a great discussion, in large part because of the highly engaged audience (with representation from Galois, TwoSix, and academia!).

    • 59 min
    04/23/24: Pegasus Panel

    04/23/24: Pegasus Panel

    For this event, Holmes Wilson of Fight for the Future moderated a panel retrospective on the Pegasus malware. Our panelists were:

    - Jonathan Rugman: Foreign Affairs Correspondent at Channel 4 News, BAFTA Award-winning journalist, visiting lecturer at University of London, and Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI.

    - Raya Sharbain: education and communities coordinator at the Tor Project, and digital rights activist at the Jordan Open Source Association as well as the Digital Arabia Network.

    - Elina Castillo Jimenéz: feminist human rights lawyer and digital activist at the Amnesty International Tech Lab.

    - Prashant Anantharaman: former speaker at the club who completed his PhD at Dartmouth under Sergey Bratus and now works at Narf Industires. And …

    - Hinako Sugiyama: international human rights lawyer and law professor at UC Irvine.

    This was one of our best events ever and well worth the listen.

    • 2 hr 5 min
    03/08/24: Bitwuzla with Mathias Preiner

    03/08/24: Bitwuzla with Mathias Preiner

    Mathias Preiner is a Research Scientist at Stanford University in the Centaur lab. He is one of the main developers of the SMT solver Boolector (since June 2012) and Bitwuzla -- which is what he joined us to discuss today. This was a good talk, but an excellent Q&A, and we really enjoyed it. Thanks Mathias for joining us today, and to the awesome audience for showing up with such deep and technical questions!

    • 59 min
    01/13/24: How to Fund your Projects by Remembering One Number with Joe Shiraef

    01/13/24: How to Fund your Projects by Remembering One Number with Joe Shiraef

    Joe Shiraef is a professional card counter and indie game dev.  Today he joined us for a very fun, free-form conversation on advantage play, indie game development, avoid arrest, and pursuing your passions.

    https://www.inktalestudios.com/

    • 45 min
    12/15/23: Q&A on Puzzles, with Roger Barkan in conversation with Jacob Denbeaux

    12/15/23: Q&A on Puzzles, with Roger Barkan in conversation with Jacob Denbeaux

    Today puzzle-maker Roger Barkan joined us to talk about the creation and solution of cave puzzles, a category of puzzle for which he's quite famous as a puzzle author. Jacob lead the conversation, using an interactive puzzle that he implemented with the help of ChatGPT (:0), and it was a ton of fun. We're super grateful to Roger for joining us today and we look forward to doing a follow-up event sometime in the future!

    Jacob's interactive: https://bstn.cc/artifacts/jacobDenbeaux/cave.html

    Buy Roger's book (you know you want to!): https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/colossal-cave-collection-roger-barkan/1125542215

    • 1 hr 4 min

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