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The votes have all been cast and we can now, finally, bring you the results of our First Annual Summer Photo Contest. Dozen's of excellent images were submitted and it was a challenge to whittle all the entries down and select the prize winners. Without further ado we get to the results - drumroll please!   First Prize: "Soap Bubble" Zoran Zelic (ZZ3D)'s "Soap Bubble 1" takes the top prize. We like the spontaneity the image implies along with the overall composition...
Sometimes it’s just great “when a plan comes together.” An avid warbird photographer, I’d been familiar with Christian Kieffer’s outstanding pinup photography for years – his company produces some truly amazing nostalgic calendars featuring vintage WWII aircraft and models done up to mimic the pinups from the same era that helped to keep many an airman’s spirits high. Thinking the subject matter would lend itself well to 3D, I approached Christian a few months ago about...
The 2004 release of id Software’s Doom 3 spurred many PC gamers to upgrade their rigs – with many building completely new machines with the sole intent of driving this game at its ultimate eye-candy settings. And many gamers still came up a bit short, which is just one reason why they are looking forward to jumping into the corridor-crawling fray again with the release of Doom 3 BFG Edition.Silverlight.createObject("http://d2q1944p6r21t1.cloudfront.net/files/...
We’ve rolled out a new look for the Photo page that updates the page to have a similar look and feel to the home and video pages. We’ve added a pane of larger thumbnails across the top that is user-navigable. Just click the right or left arrows to cycle. (We will be adding an auto-scroll mechanism to this soon.) And these are viewable in 3D - just click the 2D/3D toggle button at the top right of the page. Make sure to upgrade to the most recent drivers for best performance...
If you know the Trine series, you’re already salivating: the first downloadable content (DLC) for Trine 2 is now available! If you’ve not heard of Trine at all, then prepare yourself for a visual feast. Trine is a physics-based action game in which you can switch amongst three characters – each with distinct attributes – to come up with clever solutions to an array of challenges created by hazardous puzzles and threatening enemies. The platform-style gameplay is based on...

Recent Blog Entries

You know you mean a lot to a company when it takes you on a cruise around San Francisco Bay, gives you a free SHIELD Android TV device for winning an art contest, and lets you ask the CEO anything you want—even his opinion of PowerPoint presentations—after just a couple months on the job.

That’s exactly what life was like for this summer’s gang of NVIDIA interns.

Alex Bogart recently finished his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and his second summer at NVIDIA. His junior year, he braved a rare Southern California weather phenomenon—rain—to hit up NVIDIA’s booth at the USC career fair. The precipitation caused the long lines in front of our booth to disperse, so he walked right up to our campus technical recruiting team and applied.

Paint it green: NVIDIA interns work, play, repeat.

Alex experienced the deep learning revolution first hand. Last summer, he was working with our machine learning team on image recognition. This summer, the team had pivoted to DIGITS, our new deep learning software. “When I got put on this project, I knew nothing about deep learning,” said Alex. “That was a great opportunity.”

Getting Down to Business

Alex was one of over 200 summer interns at our Silicon Valley headquarters. Along with another few dozen interns scattered across five regional U.S. offices, they’ve worked hard on our latest projects in hardware, software and computer architecture.

“They’re not here just doing work that a regular engineer is too busy to do,” said Monica Spehar, who runs our internship program. “They’re working on real projects.”

It’s no wonder many of our interns come back for another summer stint, or a full-time position after graduating. “It’s pretty much a three-month interview for a full-time position,” Spehar said, citing the high number of interns who come back to stay.

Like Richard Wan. He just finished his third summer here, working on a hard-drive cloning system. He’d like to come back full time once he completes his master’s in electrical engineering at Stanford.

Along with our proximity to Santa Cruz’s surfing scene, the Atlanta native kept coming back for the culture. “Everyone’s trying to work towards the same goal,” he said. Richard’s advice to future interns is to put yourself out there. “Even if you make a fool of yourself in front of everyone, you’ll only be there for two months.”

Soumya Balakrishnan and Pranami Bhattacharya were both first-time NVIDIA interns who will be returning as full-time employees once they finish their master’s degrees in January. Soumya, who’s at USC, worked on our GRID Gaming team. Pranami, who attends Texas A&M, worked with our Tegra team, building tools for our Android devices.

Decorate, then skate: NVIDIA interns put together boards with kids from a local Boys and Girls Club.

Pranami appreciated the support she received from other NVIDIANs during her internship. “When you come on day one, you’re totally blank,” she said. “Your manager realizes you don’t know everything, but they’re there to guide you.”

Work Hard, Play Hard

Our University Recruiting team creates a strong intern community through events such as paintball, an art contest and a weekly speaker series with company executives, including CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. Our interns also got into the NVIDIA spirit of community service by building skateboards for kids from the local Boys and Girls Club.

Anna Hankinson came to NVIDIA from the University of Toronto because of the deep learning and social impact applications of our technology. She got her biggest project by asking her manager for more to do.

“Just ask and see what you can get,” she advised future interns. “An internship is what you make of it.”

The post Coding, Community, Cruising: The Complete NVIDIA Intern Experience appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

Jason Cohen isnʼt the first man to look for the solution to his problems at the bottom of a beer glass. But the 24-year-old entrepreneur might be the first to have found it.

Cohenʼs tale would make a great episode of HBOʼs “Silicon Valley” if only his epiphany had taken place in sun-dappled Palo Alto, Calif., rather than blustery State College, Pa. That Cohen has involved GPUs in this sudsy story should surprise no one. 

This is the tale of a man who didnʼt master marketing to sell his product — quality control software for beer makers. He had to master it to make his product. The answer, of course, turned out to be free beer. And thatʼs put Cohen right in the middle of the fizzy business of craft brewing, a business that moves so fast heʼs enlisted GPUs to help his software keep up. 

Jason Cohen, CEO of Analytical Flavor Systems.

Cohenʼs no stranger to fine food. His parents, both attorneys, were connoisseurs of fine olive oil. Cohen inherited their eclectic tastes. He became a professional tea taster before moving north, from Florida, to take an undergraduate political science scholarship at Penn State. There — while bouncing around from one discipline to another — he founded Penn State’s Tea Institute, now one of the worldʼs leading authorities on tea and tea culture.

Four years ago, Cohen was grappling with a problem that will be familiar to any data scientist. To get meaningful insights for the institute he needed more data. And to get it, he had to beg the college students around him to slurp tea and record their impressions. Not easy. 

A Business Built on Free Beer

Thatʼs when it hit Cohen: forget tea. Heʼd build his data set by offering free beer. Volunteers packed into his tastings, scribbling down their impressions of whatever suds Cohen served them. Bitter India pale ales. Crisp pilsners. Malty, chocolatey doppelbocks. They inhaled the two- to three-ounce portions.

Within weeks, Cohen had a trove of data that started yielding insights. He could use the data to identify flaws in beers. Beer that tastes like fresh-cut grass, for example, reveals too much of a compound called cis-3-hexenol. Thatʼs caused when hops used in a beer are stale. Itʼs something any brewer will want to know right away. 

With every chug, Jason Cohen’s data set grows larger.

Better still, Cohen could tease out insights that might escape the taster. A novice drinker, for example, may not know the difference between a good beer and one that has been “skunked” — giving the beer a manure-like flavor — because of exposure to too much light. But, by analyzing a drinkerʼs impressions of a beer, Cohen can. Better yet, he could predict what demographic groups would like a beer. 

Thatʼs when Cohen realized he didnʼt have a research project. He had a business. Turns out 11 percent of all U.S. beer sales by volume last year came from small brewers. Better still, these fast-growing brewers are guzzling more than their share of sales, grabbing 19 percent of the beer industryʼs $101.5 billion in retail sales. 

An Ale of an Opportunity

Itʼs the culmination of a brewing renaissance that shows no signs of slowing. In 1983, there were just 51 U.S. brewers. The top six owned 92% of the market. Access to better technology is changing that. Small brewers — equipped with affordable new technologies like automated, high-quality canning systems — have been surging over the past two decades. There are now more than 3,000 of them.  “Thatʼs what saved beer, new technologies,” Cohen says. 

To swallow even more of the market, these small brewers need to be consistent. Brewers — particularly small, craft brewers — live or die by quality and consistency. But no one is immune. During the 1970s, bad-tasting beer — due to  experimentation with new brewing methods — all but destroyed Schlitz, once the top-selling beer in the United States. “Thatʼs a story we tell to our clients,” Cohen says.  

Key to consistency: speed. While Cohenʼs trove of data lets him tease out 20 common flaws in a beer with just a handful of tastings — as drinkers record impressions on 25 factors on their smart phones — results werenʼt coming in quickly. That can be trouble as brewers scramble to get beer to loading docks. Once that beer gets on the truck, Cohen explains, they donʼt own it any more. 

A smartphone app makes it easy for drinkers to record data about their beverage. Chugging Data Faster

So Cohenʼs 11-employee team began experimenting with GPUs, which allowed them to speed up the analysis of data gathered from tasters  by threefold. And because Amazon hosts GPU-accelerated servers, the team can just rent access to the GPUs they need.

Thanks to GPUs, his companyʼs Gastrograph software can now identify dozens of obscure beer styles — Vienna lagers, Irish dry stouts or Berliner Weissbiers — in seconds, rather than minutes.

Thatʼs crucial to detecting bad beer. Buttery diacetyl, for example, improves the thick, creamy body of dark porters and stouts. But itʼs a fatal flaw in a crisp lager marketed to millions.

Cohen’s using GPUs for more than just classifying beers. He’s using them to create models that help analyze profiles generated by tasters against the more than 100,000 beer reviews his company has collected.

Without the parallel architecture of GPUs, for example,  it took Cohen’s team a long time to train deep neural networks with many layers, or random forest models with many trees. Cohen’s team now uses NVIDIA’s CUDA toolkit in R — such as gputools and gmatrix — to boost performance. Now model tuning only takes minutes to complete.

Regular beer tastings mean Cohen finds recruiting easy.

Next up: growing his business. Cohen — now CEO of Analytical Flavor Systems — has one customer whose name he can drop, Ottoʼs Pub and Brewery. Dozens more are either working with him under non-disclosure agreements, or are in the pipeline. Heʼs raising his first venture capital round. And heʼs planning to move into new offices. Itʼs an old frat house, appropriately enough.

Itʼs a familiar tale for any entrepreneur, with one exception: Cohen says recruiting new employees is “really easy.” After all, this is a business built on daily beer tastings. And with every chug, Cohenʼs data set grows larger. 

Photo credit (top):Kate Borkowski, some rights reserved

 

The post Better Beer Through GPUs: How GPUs and Deep Learning Help Brewers Improve Their Suds appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.