Author Archives: Brian

About Brian

Hi! I'm Brian Bi. As of November 2014 I live in Sunnyvale, California, USA and I'm a software engineer at Google. Besides code, I also like math, physics, chemistry, and some other miscellaneous things.

On solving problems for a living


Back when I was just an intern, spending my summers chilling out in the bay area (and doing work sometimes), I started reading Quora and noticed people debating whether the compensation for software engineering was disproportionate to the difficulty of … Continue reading

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The inverse-square law of magnetism


The observation that opposite charges attract while like charges repel, with a force proportional to the inverse square of distance, motivates the study of electrostatics. Although we often don’t solve problems in electrostatics using Coulomb’s law directly, relying instead on … Continue reading

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K&R C


I was recently reading the C99 rationale (because why the fuck not) and I was intrigued by some comments that certain features were retired in C89, so I started wondering what other weird features existed in pre-standard C. Naturally, I … Continue reading

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I’m now a grownup, apparently


Whoa, it’s been a long time since my last update. (My previous post seems to have been received exceptionally poorly. I guess people don’t like negativity.) Part of the reason why I update less frequently now is that I spend … Continue reading

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Done exams


I thought my Real Analysis exam was going to be the hardest one, but it turned out to be probably the easiest exam I have ever written in my entire undergrad. Several questions just asked for definitions or statements of … Continue reading

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Relativistic electrodynamics cheat sheet


I was bored, so I decided to LaTeX up the cheat sheet I brought to my PHY450 (relativistic electrodynamics) exam. It wasn’t actually cheating, of course; we were permitted to bring in a two-sided exam aid sheet. I originally used … Continue reading

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Unit systems in electrodynamics


I learned electrodynamics, like most other undergraduate students of my generation, in SI units. They seemed like the natural choice, because we use SI units for everything else. But then I took PHY450, “Relativistic Electrodynamics”, where we use cgs-Gaussian units. … Continue reading

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