Monitorama has posted the videos from their conference PDX 2014 and I’ve been watching them during concentration breaks. Most of them are very good story telling from real practitioners who have real world experiences. I wanted to call out just two that impressed me deeply.

Noah Kantrowitz’s session from Monitorama PDX 2014 talks about using Discrete Signalling maths via Fourier Transforms, FFT and DCFT for finding viable information from otherwise non-useful monitoring data. It has been 20 years since I did engineering maths and I have never considered the application of frequency domain mathematics to extract periodic data from an information stream. The most intelligent graphing forms we have in networking is 95th percentile tracking ( which is really noise reduction instead of intelligence).

WARNING: REAL APPLIED MATH happening here. You can still get some hints of what is possible with applied mathematics. Make sure you stick with it ( you might want skip the “Bonus Content” at the end).

Monitorama PDX 2014 – Noah Kantrowitz from Monitorama

I’m reminded that mathematics has many wider applications than I realise. Sadly, I haven’t done serious maths since my not quite completed engineering degree and I’m not sure I have the time or talent to pick it back up.But I can really see the application of this to network flows when looking for periodic surges in traffic datum.

I’m reminded of this blog post from John D Cook –[Just-in-case versus just-in-time – The Endeavour]

Years ago someone told me that he never learned algebra and has never had a need for it. But I’ve learned algebra and use it constantly. It’s a lucky thing I was the one who learned algebra since I ended up needing it. But of course it’s not lucky. I would not have had any use for it either if I’d not learned it.

Bonus

I can’t tell you how hard I laughed during this presentation by James Mickens from Microsoft Research. This is genuine comedy on cloud computing.

Monitorama PDX 2014 – James Mickens from Monitorama

You can find the complete list of Monitorama videos at https://vimeo.com/search?q=Monitorama+2014