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.

Why Chinese people should support HR1044/S386

In discourse about HR1044/S386, there is a myth that Chinese people don’t support removing the per-country caps. I can tell you that this is false. I’m Chinese and I support it. Not only is it the right thing to do, … Continue reading

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INA 203(g) cancellation and DoL processing times

The Department of Labor is currently taking 4–5 months to process prevailing wage determination requests and 3–4 months to process permanent labor certifications. See here. A few years ago, prevailing wage determinations only used to take about 6 weeks. This … Continue reading

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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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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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On perspective

Reasoning objectively is difficult because we are all biased by our own subjective experiences. There are two ways I can see to address this. The first is to consider others’ subjective experiences in addition to your own. This gives you … Continue reading

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