969 reputation
410
bio website cs.virginia.edu/~abh2n
location Charlottesville, VA
age 44
visits member for 3 years, 6 months
seen 2 days ago

I am a Principal Scientist at Dependable Computing in Charlottesville, VA, where we work on safety case engineering, formal specifications, requirements gathering, and other safety-critical and security-critical software engineering issues. I have a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Virginia, with my dissertation involving a genetic algorithm exploration of neural network models of the hippocampus. I've also previously earned Masters degrees in Physics/Astronomy (involving General Relativity) and Computer Science (involving improving multi-processor implementations of hippocampal neural network simulations).


Jan
9
comment How to say one has been accepted directly at a competitive examination?
@MattiSG: Not necessarily. There are merit-based scholarships and need-based scholarships. Merit-based scholar ships often include perks (e.g., exclusive study lounge) in addition to the financial support.
Dec
6
comment What is the difference between optimal and optimum?
Maybe it's just my engineering background, but I'm an American and optimal seems quite common to me. As others have suggested, my experience is that common usage is for optimal when an adjective is desired and optimum when a noun is desired. Although optimum can also be used as an adjective, I find that this is an infrequent usage.
Dec
6
comment Alternative to “Merry Christmas”
@Jay: You appear to be taking this very personally. Re-read what I wrote. You seem to be reading it very selectively. I never said what you think I said, specifically "that one should use this greeting to be 'non-offensive'". What I said is that one reason people do use it (not that they should) is because there are people on both sides of the issue who are sensitive. FWIW, if I knew you personally, I would wish you a Merry Christmas, because I have no desire to offend anyone.
Dec
5
comment Alternative to “Merry Christmas”
@Daniel: In the US, you would have to be living under a rock not to be aware that many people think that secularists have been trying to de-Christanize Christmas for a long time. I personally think it's much more complicated than that (e.g., was the introduction of Santa the beginning of this process?), but more importantly, by making such an assumption, you basically end up with a "Bah, humbug" squared. Please, let's just take greetings at face value and not look for reasons to be offended. Otherwise, I risk offending some people by saying "Merry Christmas" and others by not.
Dec
5
comment Alternative to “Merry Christmas”
There are multiple reasons that people say "Happy Holidays". One of those reasons is to be as non-offensive as possible (a lighter version of your "refuse to acknowledge Christmas"). However, there are plenty of other reasons. To assume that you know the reason that the person greeting you is saying "Happy Holidays" is to be presumptuous. To take offense at it is to have a very thin skin, the very thing that many defenders of "Merry Christmas" say about those who get offended by that phrase. Personally, I find either phrase perfectly adequate.
Nov
6
comment Meaning and usage of “be of”
Also, one can "be of sound mind".
Jul
22
answered How to express that one is making the conversation long for fun
Jul
15
awarded  Quorum
Jul
11
comment “flat” vs. “apartment”
No citations, so I won't post it as an answer, but your sentiment generally agrees with my experience with one caveat: I don't feel that "apartment" in the US has the connotation of a single floor.
Jul
11
comment Where/when did the *idea* of bad words come from in English?
Your Dong citation reminded me of this YouTube video: youtube.com/watch?v=sHcfGJ5SwCA (warning: video contains excessive use of the word in question).
Jun
28
comment How should a date be written?
Note that 2010-06-05 is not ambiguous (as far as I know), whereas 06-05-2010 is (as per the US/UK distinction you've already highlighted).
Jun
28
answered The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons
Jun
28
comment Is “Sheath” the right word for describing exterior covering of the plane?
@Joe Blow. No, the fuselage is not the same thing as the skin. However, it might be the word he's looking for.
Jun
28
answered Seconds has/have passed
Jun
28
comment Look who's talking
@KeithS: it is different from the former expression, but I think it also reflects this part from the question: "He's talking about this deed as a wrong one but he certainly does it too."
Jun
28
answered Look who's talking
Jun
28
answered Is “Sheath” the right word for describing exterior covering of the plane?
Jun
28
comment Throw away/in/out for rubbish?
@Colin Fine: I wasn't intending to make any such distinction. Instead, I was pointing out that in avilella's question, he used the sentence form "Don't throw them [in] (the rubbish bin)". In that particular form, in is valid. He did not specify how the verb should be delineated.
Jun
27
answered Attorney at law, is there any other kind?
Jun
27
comment “Checked into the database” versus “checked in to the database”
@RegDwight: good point. I did a quick Google search with "check in to a hotel", and it responded with, "Did you mean 'check into a hotel'?" Thus sayeth Google. (Not that this proves anything, of course.)