Igor Tolkov
Dissertation Editor in Computer Science, Disability Resources for Students
University of Washington, Class of 2013
B.Sc. Mathematics, Physics; B.Sc. Computer Science; B.A. Linguistics
Co-founder and Principal Architect, taiLib

Welcome!

I am a STEM quadruple major and recent University of Washington graduate. Read more about me via the links on this page, and feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

Contact Me

If you are a company or a recruiter, and you would like to learn more about me, I would be happy to hear from you.

E-mail
Public keyread here

If you can guess where the cover photo was taken, I will add your name to a list of winners (coming soon).

Blog

Here are the latest photos and posts from my blog.







This is Daejeon Pavillion located in Daejeon Park of Beacon Hill, Seattle. Daejeon is a Korean sister city of Seattle.

At night, it is very well-illuminated.





















It is Spring in Seattle! Photos from the Maple Leaf and Green Lake neighborhoods.

















On April 3rd I went with a group of UW CSE Alumni to Paul Allen’s Living Computer Museum in Seattle. It featured old computers, all (most) working and open to use.

I never used anything older than a PC running Windows, but I definitely read about the older computers.

How Seattle's Neighborhoods Got Their Names:

There is an interesting article out there about how Seattle’s neighborhoods got their names. Not all are listed: a commenter by the name







I am putting my warm clothes away until (in theory) next Winter, and so it is perfect time for a story…

After Lao-Tzu settled in his new home, his followers came and brought him gifts. One brought an old-looking lamp. At which Lao-Tzu looked and thought: “What an ugly lamp!

The next day Lao-Tzu looked again at the lamp and thought: “If only this lamp were a clothes hanger, it would at least have served some purpose.

When Lao-Tzu looked at the lamp for the third time, it was a clothes hanger.





















Chicago / Ann Arbor installment 5, day 6: Sunny Chicago

The Millennium and Grant Parks are beautiful in Winter! For some reason, people did not disturb the fresh snow. And it’s always great to see nature and buildings mix.

The reflective thing is the Cloud Gate. It is weird. I’m not sure what the point of it is, but I couldn’t find an angle where the sun was not reflecting.

Only one thing I didn’t like: the Chicago Transit Authority (they had a train derailment recently because they put people at odd shifts, and then people fall asleep) has downtown lines running on top of streets. It’s really ugly. Though, that line took me straight to Midway airport, so I’m not really complaining.

Oh, and another thing: as far as I could tell, Midway has one security checkpoint for the entire airport, and they do weird things like close Checkpoint 3 and make Lines 2 and 3 merge together while Line 1 goes at normal speed. (I was in Line 3.) Anyway, get there early.

Thus ends my Chicago / Ann Arbor adventure.





















Chicago / Ann Arbor installment 5, day 5: Willis Tower

Yes, I climbed the Sears Tower. Now called Willis Tower (seriously, why change the name). Good views from up there.

I tried to take a selfie, but failed. Then someone took my picture, which is decent. Then I tried to set up a flash, but was approached by an employee. The conversation went something like this:

- Is this a camera or an iPod?
- I’m sorry?
- Is this a camera or an iPod?
- It’s… a camera? Why?
[Something about how I can’t have something. Eventually, I get it.]
- Oh, you mean a tripod?

The only regret is spending too much time on the SkyDeck and leaving too little time to explore the city.





















Chicago / Ann Arbor installment 4, days 4-5: Trains

The first photos are from my return trip to Chicago. The Wolverine, which runs from Chicago to Pontiac, Michigan and stops in Ann Arbor, runs three times daily in each direction. The trip from Ann Arbor to Chicago takes about 4.5 hours.

The morning of my return, a blizzard came through, and the train was delayed at Jackson, Michigan while crews cleared snow out of a switch. We were allowed to exit the train, and the smokers braved the cold. The train proceeded to Chicago with no other problems.

The rest of the pictures are from bridges over Huron River West.





















Chicago / Ann Arbor installment 3, day 4: Huron River West

The day after I first saw the Huron River I returned, this time upstream, to the Argo reservour and nature area. The goal was to reach the Barton Nature Area, but I was, again, short on time. I did not miss out because it was scenic the whole way there. At one point along the foot trail there was a place with birds of many kinds singing in the trees and squirrels chasing them around. I saw robins, woodpeckers, and other species I can’t name - I’m no birdwatcher.

The next day I would board an early morning train back to Chicago…





















Chicago / Ann Arbor installment 2, day 3: Nichols Arboretum

I should say that my second day on the trip, and my first full day in Ann Arbor was fairly uneventful. Obviously, this excludes the morning I spent with an old friend and his roommate. I launched a spaceship in Kerbal Space Program for the first time and crashed it. The remainder of the day was spent in a 1st year grad student math office where I planned out the remainder of my stay. I also went on a walk around campus and had dinner with a friend.

On the third day of the trip, or second day in Ann Arbor, I had two teas scheduled. In the three-hour long break between the teas I went to the Arboretum. In the Winter, it’s a large park with snow-covered trails. A flute led me to the river bank where I admired the ice floats passing by - Spring was here.

This short excursion might be my favorite part of the trip, actually.





















I’ve been traveling a lot lately. A week after I returned from San Francisco, I left again to visit the Great Lakes region for the first time - actually, this was my first time to set foot in a state that doesn’t border the Pacific.

The plan was to visit friends in Chicago, then visit more friends in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a cost-saving measure, I was to fly in and out of Chicago, and travel to Ann Arbor and back by train. This gave me three full days in Ann Arbor and two partial days in Chicago.

As always, pictures will be published in several installments. The first in chronological order is Day 1 in Chicago.

The new Facebook layout, compared with the “old new” Facebook layout, misses a photos feed. Bummer, since that’s probably my favorite way of browsing Facebook.

Challenge: code up a photos feed for Facebook in 40 minutes.

The simple solution relies on a macro plugin (I use Scriptish for Firefox, there is probably a similar app for Chrome.) The macro is Javascript code that is executed on or after page load. Here is the code:

// ==UserScript==
// @id             10
// @name           Facebook-photosfeed
// @version        0.01
// @namespace      
// @author         Igor Tolkov
// @description    Introduces a photos feed for Facebook
// @include        https://www.facebook.com/*
// @run-at         document-start
// ==/UserScript==
window.setInterval(function(){
    /* Hides posts, leaving only those which contain photos */
    var show_photos = function(){
        var s = document.getElementsByClassName("_5jmm");
        for(var i in s){
            var a = s[i]; if(!a.className) continue;
            a.style.display = "none";
        }
        for(var t in {"_5cq3":0, "_2a2q":1}){
            var s = document.getElementsByClassName(t);
            for(var i in s){
                var a = s[i]; if(!a.className) continue;
                while(a.className.indexOf("_5jmm")==-1) a = a.parentNode;
                a.style.display = "block";
            }   
        }
    };
    
    /* Adds a photos feed link in sidebar */
    if(!document.getElementById("link_show_photos"))
    {
        var li = document.createElement("LI");
        li.id = "link_show_photos";
        li.className = "sideNavItem stat_elem";
        li.innerHTML = '<a title="News Feed" href="/?sk=photos" class="item clearfix"><div class="rfloat"><span aria-busy="1" aria-label="Loading..." class="img _55ym _55yn _55yo _5tqs uiSideNavSpinner"></span></div><div><span class="imgWrap"><i class="img sp_247cvt sx_cfa14f"></i></span><div class="linkWrap noCount">Photos Feed</div></div></a>';
        var ref = document.getElementById("navItem_app_4748854339" /* News Feed */);
        ref.parentNode.insertBefore(li, ref.nextSibling);
    }
    else
    {
        if(location.search == "?sk=photos")
            document.getElementById("link_show_photos").className = "sideNavItem stat_elem selectedItem open";
        else
            document.getElementById("link_show_photos").className = "sideNavItem stat_elem";
    }
    
    /* We use a custom news feed landing url. Facebook does not recognize it and ignores it. */
    if(location.search == "?sk=photos")
        show_photos();
}, 500);

Now you can also have a Facebook photos feed!



















Palo Alto is probably my favorite Bay Area suburban city, and this is my second time there. The first time was five years ago - I explored the Stanford campus in detail. This time I didn’t even go to the Stanford campus. It is a rather long way from the station, and I was tired after walking ~10 miles. Besides, my goal was to explore the living situation of the Bay Area. My impressions:

  1. Palo Alto is very scenic and a great place to visit. There is the Palantir campus, the house where HP was born, nice but not extravagant houses, plenty of non-PMV (personal motor vehicle) traffic, lots of trees. Basically, it’s a rich city where you probably won’t get shot, as opposed to some segregated wealthy neighborhoods of the West Bay. There is also a bicycle rental program, and since the West Bay corridor is nearly flat, getting around by bicycle is very tempting.
  2. The University Avenue is fun. There’s the egg made out of circuit boards, but also the old Borders store that used to be a theater and before that something else, the burger restaurant with a bookstore theme, and other shops as well.
  3. I most likely can’t afford to live there. Or, wouldn’t want to.

In other words, I’ll probably be back in the not-too-distant future.



23 February 2014 - Seattle, Roosevelt district

I’m not quite sure what the suggested donation is supposed to be… how much would you pay for these chairs? Also, does anyone else read “Putin”?

















This is the San Francisco Chinatown. I’ve been down the street many times, but this time I strolled into the park. The abstract-looking statue is of Sun Yat-Sen, according to the faint caption. An old man to the right is practicing Tai Chi.

I go to the Chinese bakery where they supposedly make their own filling. The old couple who work there don’t really speak English, and I don’t speak Cantonese (or Taishanese), but I like their pastries.





















The seals were more lively this time around - there was lots of showing off. I also visited Ghirardelli Square and had a hot fudge sundae, not because I like spending money, but because the last time I had one was in 2008.





















On my n'th visit to San Francisco (n < 10, but at least 4) I decided to finally climb up Telegraph Hill land see the Coit Tower. Unfortunately, the tower just happened to be under renovation, but the hill was still there.

I approached the tower from the South side where the bus picked up much of the elevation (warning: the South side is where all the night clubs are). The descent to the bay was more interesting: the path goes past European-style gardens, and it almost feels like you’re walking through someone’s backyard. There are also parrots and a view of the Bay Bridge on descent.

Next time I might climb from the bay side instead.



I was in San Francisco this past weekend. Here’s a teaser.







Yesterday evening was the second significant snowfall of this Winter. Here are some pictures from my neighborhood.







Time for new brakes on my bike! Because the old ones are dead.

Former class schedules

I graduated in the summer of 2013, but my six years of course schedules are still up, and I have no plans to take them down.

About Me

If any of these topics interest you, click "read more". You will find a whole page related to that topic.

MathematicsRead more
I am most specialized in mathematics, particularly in algebraic number theory. Read about my early math days, my trip to Budapest, my graduate coursework, and see some of my course papers for math classes.

PhysicsRead more
Read about how I completed my physics degree upside down, browse through my quantum mechanics notes, and look at some of my seminar slides.

Computer ScienceRead more
Explore the fruits of my early computer science experiments, my computer science coursework and research, and my web start-up. Watch videos of projects I designed in the hardware lab.

Linguistics and ChineseRead more
Learn why I like linguistics so much, browse pictures of my trip to China, and read my course papers for linguistics and Chinese classes. Practice your traditional character recognition on a writing sample.

ActivitiesRead more
See what I do in my spare time. I am currently president of a student organization, and that's no easy task. Read about that and my other leadership activities.

Websites and Profiles

Old Site http://igor.tolkov.com/archive
No longer maintained, but still interesting.
China Blog Stories and memories from July 2012
And any future China travel plans.
Tumblr Song of a thistle
My present blog, mostly with photos. Mirrored on this site.
Google+ "Not all those who wander are lost"
I occasionally post photos here.
LinkedIn My LinkedIn Profile
taiLib My taiLib Profile
A service I co-founded and run. We aim to connect students who have textbooks with students who need them.