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.. title: res cogitans
.. slug: index
.. date: 2015/01/01 15:07:25
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[[./img/profile.png]]
I am Toby St Clere Smithe.
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I am interested in applying advanced computational methods such as stochastic simulation and machine learning to the understanding, design and control of [[http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/complexity/study/emmcs][complex systems]]. I am particularly interested in /adaptive/ systems, or systems exhibiting some information processing.
# Such as biological systems...?
Currently, I am applying the [[http:/cv][tools I have learnt so far]] to understanding [[http://physics.gu.se/~frtbm/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91:dna&catid=78&Itemid=471][structured molecular systems]] that [[http://www.lpn.cnrs.fr/en/NANOFLU/ARTNETS/?page=research][exhibit information-processing capabilities]] but it is from studying the brain and the mind that I draw my more general interest in the connections between structure, information-processing and intelligence: in 2013, I graduated from [[http://www.magd.ox.ac.uk][Magdalen College, Oxford]], where I studied computational neuroscience, analytic philosophy, and the foundations of mathematics. Subsequently, I studied mathematics with the [[http://www.open.ac.uk][Open University]], focusing on [[http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/ms324][differential equations]], [[http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/m347][statistics]], [[http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/m373][mathematical modelling]], and [[http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/modules/m336][group theory with some applications to Euclidean geometry]].
Since September 2014, I have been a student of complex systems... A /complex system/ is any object that is composed of many (potentially different) interconnected and interacting parts, and that exhibits some coherent behaviour. Complex systems are particularly interesting where the explanation of this coherent behaviour cannot easily be given in terms of the behaviours of the parts. One excellent example of such an object is the human brain, the behaviours of which are [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eureka_effect][extraordinarily]] [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness][mysterious]].
I believe that we do not yet have adequate theoretical knowledge to understand the information-processing performed by the human brain, and I hope that by concentrating on simpler biological systems, I can come to a better understanding of how information can be processed physically.
Fundamentally,
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I am the author and maintainer of [[./pyviennacl/][PyViennaCL]], which aims to make fast, powerful [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General-purpose_computing_on_graphics_processing_units][GPGPU]] and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterogeneous_computing][heterogeneous]] scientific computing really transparently easy, and does this by harnessing the [[http://viennacl.sourceforge.net/][ViennaCL]] linear algebra library. I wrote PyViennaCL during the 2013 [[https://developers.google.com/open-source/soc/?csw=1][Google Summer of Code]], and continued that work through 2014. On 8 July 2014, I presented PyViennaCL at [[https://conference.scipy.org/scipy2014/][SciPy 2014]], and [[http://viennacl.sourceforge.net/pyviennacl/scipy-2014.pdf][you can find the slides here]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qym3Onh-Z20][a video of the talk here]].