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I'm Bernardo and I've been invited as the next guest for the Physics Stack Exchange AMA. The session will take place on the h Bar, on June 13th at 16:00 UTC. If you, much like me, gets awfully confused by timezones, just click here.

Post questions you'd like answered below

The AMA is always informal and relaxed, and you always have the freedom to ask questions that are not here, but this gives me and idea of what to expect to be asked about. Maybe someone really likes the SuperH architecture, and in that case I definitely need to brush up my knowledge, things like that. You can reference the previous AMAs by heather, Secret, Daniel Sank, yuggib, and Slereah.

Education and work

I was born in Chiador, a small town in the Brazilian countryside, and I later moved to Rio de Janeiro. I currently live in Lisbon, Portugal where I major in Computer Engineering. I'm mostly self-taught in what I know, and my favorite classes in uni are the maths ones, although it's what I have the hardest time with. I'm almost always around on the h-Bar if you'd like to catch me. If you really need to talk to me the tales say that if you put a pint of beer and some ICs on your porch I will show up.

I'm currently about to start my first research position working on how to benchmark ARM in a meaningful way. I also plan on doing some work on adapting the Linux Scheduler to work better with HMP architectures.

Technical interests

  • Quantum Computing

    • I'm obsessed with P vs. NP. For what it's worth if you haven't yet read it, Aaronson wrote a great survey on the matter.
    • I enjoy the hardware aspects of making a quantum computer possible a lot, even if this isn't my area of expertise.
    • Recently I've been working on adapting a simple ISA, such as MIPS to support a quantum computer working as a co-processor, much like how FPU's work.
    • I also have a vested interest in figuring out how to create a scheduler that can correctly allocate tasks for the quantum computer. I don't have much at all yet, just some scribbles.
  • Programming

    • I have a passion for getting Linux to run on, say, unusual hardware. Most notably I got the following things to run Linux: My calculator, an FPGA board, a toaster. For those in the know the calculator also runs Doom.
    • I'm a Free Software guy, free as in Freedom. I avoid running proprietary software whenever possible.
    • I maintain beautysh which a beautifier/ autoformatter for Bash scripts.
    • I like C, C++, Rust, and Python.
    • I try to port every algorithm I see to use GMP and OpenMP. It's more of a hobby than anything else. You can see my implementations of Euler's Totient, and of the Ackermann Function.
    • I wrote the base of an OS of my own, named DaedalOS, it's totally broken, but you can take a look if you're interested.
  • Hardware
    • Hardware is my main point of interest, it's where most of my time goes to nowadays. I'm particularly interested in optimizing pipelines currently.
    • I developed my own CPU in VHDL. It runs at a whooping 25MHz out of a Spartan 6 FPGA. It's based on MIPS, and there's no assembler or compiler or anything. If you want to code you hate to write it in binary.
    • I've started using the Open J-Core project, which aims to develop a fully open source CPU based on the, now free of patents, Hitachi Super-H architecture.
    • I spend a lot of time reading documentation on architectures, I like AVR, ARM, and MIPS a lot. I dabble in x86_64 and I've been wanting to learn M68000.
    • I mostly code in the P3 assembly language, which is a made-up architecture by my university. The fact that they did not opt for MIX gives me sleepless nights.

Non-Technical Stuff

  • I like audio a lot, I won't say I'm an audiophile because I don't want people to think I'm a douche. And now I probably sound like a douche and I'm just making it worse so I'll stop.
  • I'm passionate about beer. Invite me any time anywhere and we can have a beer together.
  • I really enjoy airports
  • I read some philosophy, in particular I like Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Žižek. Also, if I may boast, Žižek gifted me a signed book for my birthday
  • My favorite movie is The Seventh Seal
  • My favorite composer is Ravel
  • I like biking a lot.

Finally, I'm very happy to have been invited to the AMA, I hope we can all have a good exchange. Looking forward to talking to you all soon.

Now that the AMA has happened, you can read the transcript here.

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  • $\begingroup$ thx much Bernardo! :) think its great how the hbar is very open to people of all backgrounds/ diversity not nec exclusively physics geeks! CS geeks welcome also, lol! also seem to recall you have already done quite a bit of travelling already also, did you travel to US once? anywhere else? $\endgroup$ – vzn May 29 '17 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ @vzn Well, I've been to the US a few times, mostly recently to California twice. The last one to visit our very own @DanielSank! Then some other places in South America and Europe, I'd be glad to go more in depth about my wanderings in the AMA. :) $\endgroup$ – Bernardo Meurer May 29 '17 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ No one is interested in asking my fake adoptive son any questions? SAD! $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jun 2 '17 at 0:13
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos you can ask too, family members allowed (fake & real) $\endgroup$ – Bernardo Meurer Jun 2 '17 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ @BernardoMeurer I could try to come up with some, but might be a day or two before I get to it. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jun 2 '17 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos Gimme your best old man $\endgroup$ – Bernardo Meurer Jun 2 '17 at 11:10
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You don't seem to be particularly interested in physics, which makes me wonder why you ended up here in the first place, and more importantly, why did you stay? Of course we love to have you around, I am just curious so I gotta ask. Why the h-bar?

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  • How and when did you first become interested in electronics and programming?

  • How much value do you place in structured, formal learning, such as college, as opposed to self-learning and tinkering?

  • Have you ever done any projects related to amateur (or ham) radio? Do you hold, or are planning to get, an amateur radio license?

  • nano, vim, or Emacs (or ed)?

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Assorted questions:

  1. Why haven't you started learning (modern) Fortran?
  2. Why Portugal for University? (great academics, chance to get away from home, etc)
    • What other universities did you apply and/or look at?
  3. What directions do you have for DaedalOS?
  4. What is it about airports that you enjoy so much that you included it in the post?
  5. SNES or Sega?
  6. Console or PC?
  7. What non-technical books have you read lately? (and not for schoolwork either)
  8. What sports do you watch most frequently?
  9. What sports did you play growing up?
  10. Why Linux over Unix?
  11. Favorite food?

I think that's all I've got for now.

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  • $\begingroup$ Lol, someone downvoted this. I guess that's a sign that someone either dislikes me or dislikes Bernardo. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jun 3 '17 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ great questions! $\endgroup$ – Bernardo Meurer Jun 4 '17 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ @BernardoMeurer thanks. Sadly, though probably not unexpectedly, I'll not be present to see their answers live. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jun 4 '17 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe they just don't like fortran, the philistines. $\endgroup$ – dmckee Jun 12 '17 at 21:06
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    $\begingroup$ Based on my experience in previous AMAs, people tend to downvote posts with too many questions. For some reason, they prefer one question per post. $\endgroup$ – AccidentalFourierTransform Jun 12 '17 at 21:35

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