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ESP Biography



ALEX LANDAU, Stanford coterm in CS (artificial intelligence)




Major: Computer Science

College/Employer: Stanford

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Alex Landau

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Alex first realized he was good at math when he was first in his class in the California Math League competitions in sixth grade. Five years later, he was the president of his high school math club, and had the opportunity to teach what he had learned (both about problem-solving and other miscellaneous bits of math) to other students. Now, he is getting that chance again.

In his other interests, Alex is an archetypal nerd, into video games and MtG, science fiction, science in general, politics, and sustainability. He has worked on CueCard, an artificial intelligence agent for playing eight-ball against other computers, and is currently working on a General Game-Playing agent. He is a lifelong Bay Area resident.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

C1199: Intro to Computer Graphics in Splash! Fall 2010 (Nov. 13 - 14, 2010)
The 3D graphics in your favorite Pixar movie or video game came not from the paint on an artist's brush, but from computers crunching numbers. We've learned how to mimic everyday and extraordinary objects and scenes with frightening realism (though people are still hard to imitate -- why?). In this course, we'll run through some of the basics underlying how realistic graphics are generated by computers. Why does an animated movie take so long to render when video games can run in real time? What's so great about a graphics card? Is linear algebra really good for anything? (If you're not asking yourself that now, you will in college.) Learn the answers to these questions and more.


E648: From Atoms to Apps - Part 2: C-P-You! in Splash! Fall 2009 (Oct. 10 - 11, 2009)
So you know how a transistor works. But how does it become a "computer". Transistors sitting on silicon don't magically start doing the things you ask them to in your code. This class explains how code you write "magically" gets executed by the millions of non-sentient (dumb) transistors. This class requires student participation and interaction, despite the abstraction of the subject. Come prepared to run around and act out silly things, like pretending to be a Register File, or the Arithmetic/Logical Unit. And stick around for Part 3 of the series, "From Atoms to Apps - Part 3: Software Isn't Hard".


M337: Infinity in Splash! Spring 2009 (Apr. 04 - 05, 2009)
Infinity is a big idea. It’s hard for us to find a way to reason about something so enormous and ambiguous — but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Come learn about how Georg Cantor applied ideas from set theory to develop tangible, yet surprising, insights into the infinite, like the existence of different kinds of infinity and a hypothesis that can be neither proven nor disproven. (No prior exposure to set theory is required.)


M171: Infinity in Splash! Fall 2008 (Oct. 18, 2008)
Infinity is a big idea. It's hard for us to find a way to reason about something so enormous and ambiguous -- but that doesn't stop us from trying. Come learn about how Georg Cantor applied ideas from set theory to develop tangible, yet surprising, insights into the infinite, such as the existence of different kinds of infinity and a hypothesis that can be neither proven nor disproven. (No prior exposure to set theory is required.)