Friday Hacks #32, Oct 12

Posted on by ejames

This week we have Melvin Zhang from Hoiio on improving AI, and Shan and Rahul on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays.

Please sign up at //bit.ly/friday-hacks

Location: COM1 SR3 [COM1/212] Time: 7pm - 9pm. Talks start promptly at 7pm. You are welcome to stay and mingle (or hack!) after the talks.

Talk 1: Playing Games by Throwing Dice: Improving AI through Randomness (by Melvin Zhang of Hoiio)

Talk Description: How do programs play games at the level of the best human players? Can the use of random moves create stronger AI opponents? This talk is an introduction to the basics of game playing AIs. In additional to classic methods, such as retrograde analysis and minimax, we’ll also describe an exciting new method that exploits random moves.

This talk is based on Melvin’s experience developing an AI to play the collectible card game, Magic: the Gathering, as part of the Magarena project.

Speaker Profile: Melvin is a programmer at Hoiio, where he is building APIs that allows developers to easily add telephony capability to their apps. In his spare time, Melvin maintains an open source card game named Magarena.

Melvin received his B.Comp (Hons) and Ph.D. degrees from NUS School of Computing.

Talk 2: FPGAs: Why Write Code When You Can "Write" Hardware! (Shan and Rahul, NUS Students)

Talk Description: This talk will be a brief introduction to the world of user-configurable hardware, specifically Field-Programmable Gate Arrays. These devices can be configured by the end user to perform any function, from a simple set of logic gates to a full-blown microprocessor. We will also talk about hardware acceleration of algorithms. Many commonly-used processing algorithms (such as AES, PRESENT and those in the h.264 codec) are fairly expensive to do in software, and can benefit greatly from hardware acceleration. Just how much of a speedup does hardware acceleration provide? Attend the talk and find out :D

Preparation: Attendees unfamiliar with the concept of a logic gate are encouraged to read up before the talk.

Speaker Profile: Shan and Rahul are final year Electrical Engineering students at NUS. Both are open-source advocates, and waste their recess weeks trying to find a Linux distro that isn’t terrible.

Shan can almost always be spotted engulfed in either his Android or his laptop. If not currently engaged by a gadget that is powered up, he would either be tearing it apart to figure out how it works, or to hack it to make it harder, better, faster, stronger!

Rahul prefers to spend his time filling his storage devices with code, some useful and some utterly useless. He has a penchant for dropping down to assembly… because C is too high-level, though his latest escapades involve GPGPU programming and image processing.

Please sign up at //bit.ly/friday-hacks

For a map, more details, as well as guidelines on giving a talk on Friday Hacks, see //nushackers.org/fridayhacks/ For more info on NUS Hackers, See: //nushackers.org/about For more Friday Hacks talks: //nushackers.org/

Supported by:

NUS Enterprise

The HANGAR by NUS Enterprise — the campus hub for entrepreneurs.

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