Universal Laws and Architectures (Part I)

Steven’s previous posts discussing architectural issues in communication and electricity networks (part I, part II) naturally lead to a discussion of architecture more broadly, which has been topic of interest for quite a while at Caltech…

In particular, the motivation for this blog post is to start a discussion and about a research program to address an essential but (I think) neglected challenge involving “architecture.” For me, architecture is the most persistent and shared organizational structure across a set of systems and/or within a single system over time.  But nothing in this subject is clear or resolved.

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Class competitions: Motivating or damaging?

As I’m writing this, I’m enjoying the quiet solitude that comes from working on campus over a holiday break…  I’m preparing for what is my “signature” course: Networks: Structure & Economics, which I’ve called “The ideas behind our Networked World” until this year. It’s a very unique course, and I’ll probably post a bit about it as the term starts.  But, for now, I want to write about something I always struggle with as a teacher: class competitions.

I’ll start by saying that ever since I started teaching this class, I’ve always had at least two class-wide competitions, and this year, for the first time, I’ll have three.

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