Friday, April 23, 2010

Maung Shaw Loo

According to Bucknell University, its first international student, Maung Shaw Loo, Class of 1864, was the first Burmese native to study in the United States.

Born in 1839 in Moulmein, the eldest son of U Shwe Tha and Dwa Hla, the first converts of the pioneering Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson, the early years of Maung Shaw Loo were difficult. U Shwe Tha, a scholar of the Burmese language who tutored British officers, developed an addiction to alcohol that led to divorce in 1854. Because of these family problems, Shaw Loo grew up in the care of relatives.

Shaw Loo, by the way, is the Burmese transliteration of King Saul, the biblical figure. My grandmother, Daw Lun Aung, told me that he was Mon.

Read more about him at Bucknell University's web site.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The $25,000,000,000 Eigenvector

I am taking Math and Logic for Cognitive Science course this semester. We have been talking about linear algebra the past few weeks. The article my professor wanted us to read is by Prof. Bryan, in which he detailed how a simple idea from linear algebra can be turned into a powerful page ranking algorithm behind Google. The title of the article itself is the approximate market value of Google when the company went public in 2004 and Eigenvector concept from linear algebra.

I have to admit I am liking Maths more and more.