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2021 Paper Group

A few friends in my discord do a weekly ‘paper’ discussion group (read: like a book club but nerdier) & I figured it’d be nice to record some comments from the papers selected over time & maybe revisit to see if there’s further development on what we’ve discussed previously. I’ll put a backlog of the papers we’ve discussed at the end and future papers and notes to the top of the next section.

Paper Reviews

  • Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger –
    • This was a really fun paper from 2017. I had heard about gravitational wave detections from LIGO when they were first announced as it was a pretty notable event. None of our group had read the paper and, when selecting a paper for this week I came across it in a list of frequently cited papers and decided to give it a go. On the whole we agreed it was an interesting paper, well written, and conveyed the significance and details of the detection well. Towards the end there was a big discussion about the assumptions used in the paper being both substantial and under acknowledged; on doing some follow-up research it looks like that was one of few criticisms of the paper which made its way in to a few journals — the assumptions held up and were logical but they were, never-the-less, still assumptions.
    • A good paper for those interested in what gravitational waves are, how they can be caused and how they are detected.
    • A really notable takeaway for me was the way the waves were predicted and modeled before any detections existed and not only were apparently quite accurate but also had modeled a variety of celestial phenomena (colliding black holes, stars colliding with black holes, colliding white dwarfs, etc. Very cool stuff!
  • The Attentional Cost of Inattentional Blindness –
    • Interesting paper about some phenomenons tied to attention and missing stimulus when focused on other tasks. The paper does 5 experiments in a similar vein to the familiar gorilla/basketball experiment. The biggest highlight appears to be that when focusing on something an unusual/unexpected events happen, even subconsciously, it costs some degree of attention.
    • Interesting question – what would this look like in an fMRI? Would also be interesting to see other similar experiments in different circumstances or with larger groups of people.

Past Papers

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