Tyler A. Young’s Blog

Hi, I’m Tyler.

I’m a product-focused Elixir developer building my own software service and doing contract development on the side.

23 January 2017

Notes on Game Programming Patterns by Robert Nystrom

Game Programming Patterns is a game developer’s guide to the design patterns most often useful in that domain. You can read it online for free.

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18 April 2016

“Invention is Drudgery”

As a guy who’s spent the last 18 months working on a particular drudgery, with another 6 months to go, this really resonated with me.

What looks from the outside like a flashy, amazing outcome was probably the results of long, mostly boring toil. (So take heart, ye who toil long on important-yet-maybe-boring work!)

Read “Invention is Drudgery” by Jason Cohen

Sarah's Paintings

Some of my wife Sarah’s best work to date. (Mind you, she’s only been painting for a year at this point.)

16 July 2014

Highlights from Robert C. Martin’s Clean Code

This page collects the things I found really insightful in Martin’s Clean Code. By “insightful,” I mean things I didn’t already practice as a programmer with a couple years of experience. Thus, I’ve skipped over tips like “don’t be afraid of long variable names” in favor of things like “functions should act at one level of abstraction.”

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07 May 2014

Notes from Andre Alexandrescu’s Modern C++ Design

Here are my highlights from Andre Alexandrescu’s Modern C++ Design: Generic Programming and Design Patterns Applied.

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02 May 2014

Stupid Type Conversions in C++98

If you’re working on a C++98 project, you have my condolences.

There are a number of type conversions that newer versions of C++ make super easy, but which are not included in C++98.

Here’s my reference for these:

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30 April 2014

C++ Pointers & References Cheat Sheet

My dirty little secret: I’ve spent too much time in fancy-pants languages like Java… and Python… and Ruby… and PHP… and Javascript… to remember what the & does all the time.

This is my cheat sheet. Hope it helps you too.

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08 June 2011

The Problem of Collision Avoidance in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

During the 2011 NSF-funded REU on collision avoidance in UAVs at Auburn University, my team performed a literature review describing the most well-represented methods of collision avoidance. You can download the paper as a PDF.

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02 March 2011

On the Acquisition of Semantic Categories

This paper, written for my Language and the Mind course, is a summary of the current state of knowledge regarding the acquisition of semantic categories–that is, what we know about how you learn the meaning of words.

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21 February 2011

Does HAL Cry Digital Tears? Emotion and Computers – Rosalind Picard

This is an abstract of a chapter from Rosalind W. Picard’s book HAL’s Legacy. The piece is available on the MIT Press site here (note that there are 9 sections to the chapter).

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14 February 2011

Minsky’s Frame System Theory

This is an abstract of Marvin Minsky’s Frame System Theory paper, a classic paper in defining the problem space for an intelligent artifact. The paper itself is a pretty easy read, and it sheds some light on the sort of problem that humans are really good at doing without even realizing they’re good at it.

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07 February 2011

Some Challenges and Grand Challenges for Computational Intelligence – Edward Feigenbaum

This is an abstract of Edward Feigenbaum’s paper “Some Challenges and Grand Challenges for Computational Intelligence,” which presents a “grand vision” for the future of artificial intelligence research. You can read Feigenbaum’s own summary of the paper here.

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05 February 2011

Mind Design – John Haugeland

This is an abstract of the first chapter of John Haugeland’s Mind Design II, an edited collection of important works in cognitive science. It provides an overview of the framework used by cognitive scientists and, in particular, those interested in designing intelligent artifacts.

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05 February 2011

Computing Machinery and Intelligence – Alan Turing

This is an abstract of Alan M. Turing’s “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” paper, which outlines what is, in many circles, the accepted standard test to determine if a machine is intelligent. You can read the original paper on the Hugh Loebner’s site, here. It’s a straightforward read, even if you aren’t a computer scientist.

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02 December 2010

Emergence and the Mind

The radical difference between the mind and the physical material of the universe has intrigued many philosophers throughout history. Mental “stuff”—thoughts, beliefs, morals, and so on—appear so wildly different from rocks and plants and bodies that many have gone so far as to declare that the material cannot produce the mental. René Descartes, one of the most famous of these so-called dualists, believed the mind to be an immaterial entity outside the physical world, in contrast to the body, which he thought of as a sort of mechanical entity obeying the laws of physics. Continue reading…
30 November 2010

Free Will in the Age of Materialism

In a monist, materialist world, how is it that the mind can act on the body? Virtually no one today believes that the mind is of a separate substance from the body, immaterial and ethereal; most believe instead that it is a product of the physical brain. If this is the case—and it certainly appears it is—must we contend that the conscious mind is epiphenomenal? The standard physics-inspired argument goes something like this: since the mind arises from the brain, and since causation acts from foundations to outward effects, the mind must not be able to change its material foundations. Continue reading…
01 May 2010

Distributive Justice: Egalitarianism versus Libertarianism

John Rawls’ “veil of ignorance”-based egalitarian justice, as he describes it in “Justice and Fairness,” presents a very different view of what a fair society looks like compared to Robert Nozick’s account in “Distributive Justice” of the libertarian stance. As I will argue, Rawls’ position is not only undesirable in light of the alternative presented by Nozick, but is indefensible on its own grounds. Continue reading…
18 February 2010

Going Beyond the Evidence: James’ “Will to Believe”

In his essay “The Will to Believe,” William James argues that in special cases, a person is justified in believing a hypothesis which has positive implications for the believer but is not necessarily supported by sufficient evidence. Continue reading…
28 May 2008