Part III Physics projects (2001)

Dr. David J.C. MacKay, Astrophysics group

Room 961 Rutherford building, x39852, http://wol.ra.phy.cam.ac.uk/mackay/

E-mail: mackay@mrao.cam.ac.uk

Meet to discuss at 2pm on Tuesday October 16th

1. Why do you weigh more, according to your bathroom weighing machine, when it is sitting on thick carpet? (Experimental/Theoretical)

To a theoretical physicist, the idea is absurd, but ask anyone who thinks they have a weight problem, and they will know it's true: you have to put the weighing machine on a hard floor, otherwise you'll appear to weigh more.

In this project you will design and carry out experiments on weighing machines to quantify this phenomenon, and work out a theory for it.

It is expected that a journal paper will result from the completed research project.

URL: http://wol.ra.phy.cam.ac.uk/teaching/projects/p.html

2. Language modelling (Computational)

Probabilistic language models are essential both for efficient text compression and for efficient text entry to computers (by speech recognition, for example). The quality of a language model can be quantified by how well it compresses a test file. While state-of-the-art text compressors achieve compression down to about 2 bits per character, it is believed that the entropy of English text is as small as 1 bit per character.

In this project you will survey existing character-based and word-based language models used in text compression and speech recognition, then develop and test new language models.

Further reading:
a. A Hierarchical Dirichlet Language Model (MacKay and Peto)
b. Dasher - a Data Entry Interface Using Continuous Gestures and Language Models (Ward, Blackwell, and MacKay)

URL: http://wol.ra.phy.cam.ac.uk/teaching/projects/p.html


David MacKay <mackay@mrao.cam.ac.uk>
Last modified: Fri Oct 5 11:28:10 2001