Nabin K. Malakar, Ph.D.

I am a computational physicist working on societal applications of machine-learning techniques.

Research Links

My research interests span multi-disciplinary fields involving Societal applications of Machine Learning, Decision-theoretic approach to automated Experimental Design, Bayesian statistical data analysis and signal processing.


Interested about the picture? Autonomous experimental design allows us to answer the question of where to take the measurements. More about it is here...


I addition to the research, I also like to hike, bike, read and play with water color.

Thanks for the visit. Please feel free to visit my Weblogs.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Solution to "Newton's Math Problem" by Shouryya Ray

Analytical solution of two fundamental unsolved problems of particle dynamics

When I heard that "Newton's math puzzle was solved", I searched for the problem. All I could find was the news with variation of the title: Newton math puzzle, a 350 year old problem, solved by an Indian boy who lives in Germany. Everyone is simply running after the boy and his origin. No description of his work. Yahoo, Google, Bing, all of them capturing the same news item! Of course they show what the interest has been.

The main contribution, which mattered to me, was buried in the pages.

Here is the winner abstract (the webpage was translated using Google translator in Chrome):
  • Category: Mathematics / computer science 
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jochen Fröhlich, Dr.-Ing. Tobias Kempe 
  • Competition Energy: Youth Research
Awards received:
  • Second Place in the national competition
  • Regional winner
  • Regional winner for the best interdisciplinary project
Two problems in classical mechanics have withstood several centuries of mathematical endeavor. The first problem is to calculate the trajectory of a body thrown at an angle in the Earth's gravitational field and Newtonian flow resistance. The underlying law was discovered by Newton (17th century). The second problem is the objective description of a particle-wall collision under Hertzian collision force and linear damping. The collision energy was derived in 1858 by Hertz, a linear damping force has been known since Stokes (1850).
This paper has so far only the analytical solution of this approximate or numerical targets for the problems solved. First, the two problems are solved fully analytically generalized context, they are then compared with numerical solutions and, finally, on the basis of the analytical solutions derived statements about the physical behavior.

Original page here:
Youth Research 2012 DD Ostsachsen
And the picture of Ray holding the equation:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dragon Captured in Space

"Houston, looks like we got Dragon by the tail", Don Petit, astronaut in ISS controlling the Canadaarm2, announced.
SpaceX's Space dragon capsule has been roaming around the ISS for about three days. It carries cargo to ISS. After sophisticated tests and affirmation that Dragon will not be harmful to ISS, it has now been captured by a robotic arm. The process known as Berthing.
Credit: NASA TV screenshot.
... and now bolted to ISS...
On May 22nd, @SpaceX  uccessfully launched the #Dragon capsule into orbit! 
This is the new venture to commute to the international space station (ISS) through private efforts and is the first commercial resupply vehicle to ISS. (

Here is a tweet linked to the beautiful arc when SpaceX lifted Dragon to space.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Solar Eclipse in East Asia and North America May 2012

Clouds permitted, we will be observing a solar eclipse this weekend on 20-21st May 2012.
The track of solar eclipse created by NASA. Source

More info at:,_2012

The Annular Solar Eclipse of 2012 May 20/21
See the interactive Google Map here:

Update: We came up to higher ground and waited for the Eclipse time. Only to be disappointed. My colleague Marc referenced it as Murphy's law striking.
Screenshot of Eclipse behind the clouds. Credit: Dr. Marc Hairston. 
Yes, there is an app for that! (See my android astronomy here.)
 After about an hour, I gave up and turned towards home. Then the Sun peeked from a space between the clouds! It was just before the sun was setting. I captured the moment with my cell.
 Left: no filter. Right: through the dark glasses.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Listening to the data by sonification

When you get a good chunk of data, what do you do first?
You probably plot different aspects of the data, trying to identify the patterns and characteristic signatures in it. Well, that is very helpful for visual people. 

What would auditory people do? they listen...
"Shhhh. Listen to the data." A Physics Today article by Toni Feder.
The process of converting the data to streaming sound is called data sonification. Sometimes the visual data is too noisy. Ear may be able to pick out the subtle structures in the data.
A quote from the article:
“When Voyager 1 flew by [Jupiter’s moon] Io in 1979, we detected whistlers”—low-frequency radio waves. “That was first detected by hearing. Your ears are amazing at picking out fine signals. In frequency–time spectra, you can choose the resolution when you process the data. If you choose the wrong resolution, you may not detect anything. You have to match what you are processing to the time resolution. Your ear does that automatically.”

Friday, May 11, 2012

Student/ J-1 Visa, USA: International students

(Obtaining the U.S. visa and Entry to the United States)

Students who are applying for the *F-1 or the *j-1 visa in their home country;
(*Note: If you have the I-20 form, you will apply for the F-1 visa. If you have the DS-2019 form, you will apply for the J-1 visa.)
Documents needed:
- Valid passport from your home country
-Certificate of eligibility:*I-20 form[3 pages] or *DS-2019[2 pages]
-Letter of admission from the University and any other official letters that may have been sent to you by the University.
-Evidence of financial support (bank statements, letters of assistantship, sponsorship, and any other proof that you have sufficient funds for educational and living expenses)
-Any evidence that you might have to demonstrate that you have strong ties to your home country and that you plan to return to your home country at the conclusion of your study and any period of authorized employment.

After receiving your Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 for F-1 students, or Form DS-2019 for J-1 students or scholars) from the University Admissions Office, you must obtain (or already possess) a passport from your own government , and the United States (U.S.) visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest your place of residence.

The earliest you can apply for the U.S. visa is 90 days prior to the starting date on the certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019).

If your dependents (spouse or/and children) travel to the U.S. with you, each dependent must have a separate I-20 or DS-2019. Students should budget for at least $4000 per dependent per year for living expenses. If you did not request an I-20 or DS-2019 for your dependents at the time of admission, please contact the appropriate (Graduate or Undergraduate) Admissions office:
How to obtain the U.S. visa:
1. Contact the United States Consulate or Embassy near your residence in your home country to learn the correct procedure and to make an appointment, if necessary.
2. Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee required of all new students and exchange visitors with a form I-20 or DS-2019 issued on or after September 1,2004. (For a general overview of the fee payment process, see http:/
3. When you arrive at the consulate/embassy, make sure that you have all of the above documents (including a receipt for the fee) to present to the officer who is processing your visa request.
4. If you are granted the visa, it will be affixed to your passport. It will state the number of entries that you have been granted and an expiration date. If an “M” appears under the number of entries, it means “multiple” entry.

This was one of the document I received with my I-20. Please feel free to share with your friends.
Thanks to my wife for typesetting it.
The information provided here might not be complete. Please use the information with caution. Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

End of mission for Envisat declared by ESA

Environmental Satellite or Envisat, launched in 2002, is one of the most successful earth observing (remote sensing) missions. With 10 optical and radar instruments onboard, it celebrated 10 great years in orbit. However, on 8th April 2012, it lost communication to its command center.
The last image from the satellite. Credits: ESA
The team had been trying hard to re-establish the communication; no success. Therefore, ESA has declared end of the mission for Envisat. In the press release, they said that they will keep trying for next two months. We would like to wish them a success!

More at ...
ESA Portal - ESA declares end of mission for Envisat:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

@Linkedin App for iPad: Review

TL;DR: I liked it, try!

Here is a longer version:
Well, linkedin has emerged as a useful tool in academic circle. It not only helps one to connect and keep in touch, but also get new connections.

They have recently introduced an iPad app, iPhone app was already there. My first feeling about this app is that it is absolutely good app.

Number one: the "home" layout is as if there are  three cards on a table.
"You", "All updates" and "Inbox".
This helps focus whenever we go to the app.

Number two: I find that "linkedin daily" style of updates section impressively drawn out. They could probably use little bit more contrast over the user's comment versus the web contents. Also, when I was sliding through few news pages, back and forth, it felt slightly slower.
Moreover, there is calendar inside the updates section, which I have not used yet.
To linkedin: Do you use Machine Learning to tune up the news section to people? that could be awesomely awesome! ;)

Number three: the inbox, it brings the latest message. Again, just brings the items in focus.

It is a good app, and thanks to linkedin team for a good app. Keep up the good work.

Few snapshots:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

No, you can't "friend" students in NYC

Social Media Rules Limit Student-Teacher Contact - "New York City public schoolteachers may not contact students through personal pages on Web sites like Facebook and Twitter, but can communicate via pages set up for classroom use, the city’s Education Department said on Tuesday after it released its first list of guidelines governing the use of social media by employees."