Manifold

Steve Hsu

Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Join him for wide-ranging conversations with leading writers, scientists, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and more. read less
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Episodes

Glenn Luk: China’s economic evolution, GDP, and high speed rail — #58
1w ago
Glenn Luk: China’s economic evolution, GDP, and high speed rail — #58
Glenn Luk has worked as an investment banker, private equity investor, and startup founder. He has closely analyzed aspects of the Chinese economy, including its GDP and high speed rail system.Steve and Glenn discuss:(00:00) - Introduction(01:21) - Glenn Luk's Background: HK, Taiwan, China(07:59) - Evolution of Chinese Companies and Economy(14:58) - From Banking to Private Equity and Venture Capital(23:08) - Founding a Healthcare Startup and Entrepreneurial Ventures(26:35) - China's Development and Economic Policies(41:17) - Comparing US and China's Economies and Cultures(47:12) - Demographics and Consumer Behavior in China(49:09) - China's Economy: Beyond GDP(56:34) - High Speed Rail: huge success, or white elephant?(01:17:26) - Future of China's EconomyReferences:Glenn Luk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GlennLukGlenn on High Speed Rail: https://www.readwriteinvest.com/p/is-high-speed-rail-in-china-a-grayMunger and Ricardo: https://infoproc.blogspot.com/2008/03/charlie-munger-ricardo-and-finance.htmlMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU. Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Casey Handmer: Terraform Industries and a carbon-neutral future — #57
Apr 4 2024
Casey Handmer: Terraform Industries and a carbon-neutral future — #57
Casey Handmer (PhD, Caltech, general relativity) is the founder of Terraform Industries. He is one of the most capable and ambitious geo-engineers on planet Earth!Terraform Industries is scaling technology to produce cheap natural gas with sunlight and air. Using solar energy, they extract carbon from the air and synthesize natural gas, all at the same site.March 2024: "Terraform completes the end to end demo, successfully producing fossil carbon free pipeline grade natural gas from sunlight and air. We also achieved green hydrogen at Links:Casey Handmer’s website: https://www.caseyhandmer.com/Terraform Industries: https://terraformindustries.com/Nerds on Patrol [Episode 3] - Terraform Industries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9k3dHFJPEUSteve and Casey discuss:0:00 Introduction00:31 Casey's early life and background, from Australia to Caltech07:55 The academic path and transition to tech entrepreneurship10:40 Terraform Industries15:21 Solar costs, efficiency, and global Impact24:25 A world powered by Terraform methane31:27 The entrepreneurial journey: challenges and insights35:01 Investor dynamics and strategic decisions for Terraform41:28 The hard Reality of manufacturing and innovation44:11 Navigating intellectual property and strategic partnerships45:49 The moral and technical challenges of carbon neutrality55:48 Looking ahead: Terraform's next milestones and the solar revolutionMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU. Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on X @hsu_steve.
Stephen Grugett: Predicting the Future with Manifold Markets — #55
Mar 7 2024
Stephen Grugett: Predicting the Future with Manifold Markets — #55
Stephen Grugett is the co-founder of Manifold Markets, the world's largest prediction market platform where people bet on politics, tech, sports, and more. Steve and Stephen discuss:0:00 Introduction0:52 Stephen Grugett’s background5:20 The genesis and mission of Manifold Markets11:25 The play money advantage: Legalities and user engagement20:47 Manifold’s user base and the power of calibration23:35 Simplifying prediction markets for broader engagement27:31 Revenue streams and future business directions30:46 Legal challenges in prediction markets31:47 Dating markets32:53 The Art of PR38:32 Global reach and community engagement39:27 The future of Manifold Markets and user predictions43:38 Life in the Bay Area; Tech, culture, and crazy stuffManifold Markets: https://manifold.markets/Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU. Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Ray McGovern: CIA, JFK, Deep State, and Ukraine Crisis — #54
Feb 22 2024
Ray McGovern: CIA, JFK, Deep State, and Ukraine Crisis — #54
Raymond McGovern is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst, serving from 1963 to 1990. His CIA career began under President John F. Kennedy and lasted through the presidency of George H. W. Bush. McGovern advised Henry Kissinger during the Richard Nixon administration, and during the Ronald Reagan administration he chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief.He received the Intelligence Commendation Medal at his retirement but returned it in 2006 to protest the CIA's involvement in torture.Steve and Ray discuss:0:00 Introduction01:25 Ray McGovern's assessment of the JFK assassination26:10 Hunter Biden's laptop30:50 Ukraine and the U.S. intelligence services' role in the deep state55:20 Strategic implications of the Ukraine war for the U.S.01:03:38 Are things worse today, versus 1963?Books referenced in this episode:JFK and the Unspeakablehttps://www.amazon.com/JFK-Unspeakable-Why-Died-Matters/dp/1439193886Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedyhttps://www.amazon.com/Marys-Mosaic-Conspiracy-Kennedy-Pinchot/dp/1510708928/Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU. Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Lecture: Fermi Paradox, AI, Simulation Question — #53
Feb 8 2024
Lecture: Fermi Paradox, AI, Simulation Question — #53
Steve discusses DNA and the origin of life on Earth, the Fermi Paradox (is there alien life?), AI and its implications for the Simulation Question: could our universe be a simulation? Are we machines, but don't know it?Slides: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CrWLiKYhLbDLG8yTOBySrsKrzAUbV-FES1toeJL-UWE/edit?usp=sharingFurther discussion of the Simulation Question in light of AGI, and a refinement from quantum mechanics: The Quantum Simulation Question: https://infoproc.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-quantum-simulation-hypothesis-do-we.htmlCORRECTION: 31:25 The size of our galaxy is not 100 million light years. I should have said ~100 THOUSAND = 100k light years instead!!!Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Utah AG Sean Reyes: “Sound of Freedom” and Human Trafficking — #52
Jan 25 2024
Utah AG Sean Reyes: “Sound of Freedom” and Human Trafficking — #52
Sean Reyes is Utah’s Attorney General and a producer for the movie “Sound of Freedom.” Steve and Sean discuss his personal story, human trafficking, and the role of technology in law enforcement.More on Reyes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_ReyesNOTE: Reyes has announced that he will not seek re-election as Utah AG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEEj4UgjDL400:00 Sean Reyes’ early life and family history14:21 Sean's personal journey and career21:28 Political journey and decision to run for AG24:08 The movie Sound of Freedom28:45 The reality of human trafficking31:40 Technology and law enforcement44:00 The horror of human trafficking: victims, aftercare, and the media01:05:23 Future plans and aspirationsMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on X @hsu_steve.
Military Technology and U.S.-China War in the Pacific — #51
Jan 11 2024
Military Technology and U.S.-China War in the Pacific — #51
TP Huang returns for the third time to discuss the US-China strategic competition in terms of military technology.Previous episodes with TP include:China's EV Market Dominance and the Challenges Facing Tesla — #48: https://www.manifold1.com/episodes/chinas-ev-market-dominance-and-the-challenges-facing-tesla-48Huawei and the US-China Chip War — #44: https://www.manifold1.com/episodes/huawei-and-the-us-china-chip-war-44Steve and TP discuss: (00:00) - Introduction(02:23) - Hypersonic weapons and A2AD(08:15) - The evolution of China’s military technology(13:30) - Hypersonic missiles: targeting and interception(29:52) - Surprise attack on Hawaii or Seattle?(33:36) - Japan's role in a U.S.-China military conflict(36:15) - Chinese invasion of Taiwan(42:44) - Amphibious landing, boots on the ground(45:20) - Red lines and Taiwan independence(48:38) - PRC nuclear weapons buildup(51:17) - PRC-Russia alliance: natural resources, technology; Ukraine strategy disaster(59:37) - Future developments of military technology in China(01:11:44) - Predictions regarding US-PRC balance of powerMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on X @hsu_steve.
Bharat Karnad: India geostrategy, nuclear arsenal, and assassination of Homi Bhabha, the Oppenheimer of India — #46
Oct 19 2023
Bharat Karnad: India geostrategy, nuclear arsenal, and assassination of Homi Bhabha, the Oppenheimer of India — #46
Bharat Karnad is an Emeritus Professor in National Security Studies at the Center for Policy Research in Delhi. He was a member of India's first National Security Advisory Board and has authored several books on nuclear weapons and Indian security.Karnad's blog: https://bharatkarnad.com/Karnad on the death of Homi Bhabha and of other atomic weapons scientists:https://bharatkarnad.com/2020/12/06/kill-scientists-disrupt-n-weapons-programmes/An excellent documentary film on the life of Indian theoretical physicist Homi Bhabha:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6GEGOvXh4g&ab_channel=InternationalCentreforTheoreticalSciencesSteve and Bharat discuss:0:00 Introduction0:58 Karnad's educational background, nuclear research, journalism career26:50 Refocusing India's defense posture from Pakistan to China45:21 Why don't India and China have better relations?53:33 India's nuclear arsenal1:04:31 The mysterious death of Homi Bhabha, India's Oppenheimer1:28:50 Land of subjugation, the caste system, and English as the language of Indian elitesMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus.ai, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.
Yasheng Huang: China's Examination System and its impact on Politics, Economy, Innovation — #45
Oct 5 2023
Yasheng Huang: China's Examination System and its impact on Politics, Economy, Innovation — #45
Yasheng Huang is the Epoch Foundation Professor of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His new book is The Rise and Fall of the EAST: How Exams, Autocracy, Stability, and Technology Brought China Success, and Why They Might Lead to Its Decline.Steve and Yasheng discuss: 0:00 Introduction1:11 From Beijing to Harvard in the 1980s15:29 Civil service exams and Huang's new book, "The Rise and Fall of the EAST"37:14 Two goals: Developing human capital and indoctrination48:33 Impact of the exam system57:04 China's innovation peak and decline1:12:23 Collaboration and relationship with the West1:21:31 How will the U.S.-China relationship evolve?Yasheng Huang at MIThttps://mitsloan.mit.edu/faculty/directory/yasheng-huangWeb site:http://www.yashenghuang.com/Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus.ai, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.
Meritocracy, SAT Scores, and Laundering Prestige at Elite Universities — #43
Sep 7 2023
Meritocracy, SAT Scores, and Laundering Prestige at Elite Universities — #43
Steve discusses 10 key graphs related to meritocracy and university admissions. Predictive power of SATs and other factors in elite admissions decisions. College learning outcomes - what do students learn? The four paths to elite college admission. Laundering prestige at the Ivies.Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1n-nwoeKe_DcA5tJxTwqTeZBEY7nObxkujKLxVfAzRAY/edit?usp=sharingCLA and College Learning outcomes:https://infoproc.blogspot.com/2015/01/measuring-college-learning-outcomes.htmlHarvard Veritas: Interview with a recent graduatehttps://infoproc.blogspot.com/2022/08/harvard-veritas-interview-with-recent.htmlDefining Merit - Human Capital and Harvard University:https://infoproc.blogspot.com/2009/11/defining-merit.htmlChapter markers:0:00 Introduction 1:28 University of California system report and the use of SAT scores admissions8:04 Longitudinal study on gifted students and SAT scores (SMPY)12:53 Unprecedented data on earnings outcomes and SAT scores15:43 How SAT scores and university pedigree influence opportunities at elite firms17:35 Non-academic factors fail to predict student success20:49 Predicted earnings24:24 Measured benefit of Ivy Plus attendance28:25 CLA: 13 university study on college learning outcomes32:34 Does college education improve generalist skills and critical thinking?42:15 The composition of elite universities: 4 paths to admission48:12 What happened to meritocracy?51:48 Hard versus Soft career tracks54:43 Cognitive elite at Ivies vs state flagship universities57:11 What happened to Caltech?Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus.ai, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction, Othram) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.
AI on your phone? Tim Dettmers on quantization of neural networks — #41
Aug 10 2023
AI on your phone? Tim Dettmers on quantization of neural networks — #41
Tim Dettmers develops computationally efficient methods for deep learning. He is a leader in quantization: coarse graining of large neural networks to increase speed and reduce hardware requirements.Tim developed 4-and 8-bit quantizations enabling training and inference with large language models on affordable GPUs and CPUs - i.e., as commonly found in home gaming rigs.Tim and Steve discuss: Tim's background and current research program, large language models, quantization and performance, democratization of AI technology, the open source Cambrian explosion in AI, and the future of AI.0:00 Introduction and Tim’s background18:02 Tim's interest in the efficiency and accessibility of large language models38:05 Inference, speed, and the potential for using consumer GPUs for running large language models45:55 Model training and the benefits of quantization with QLoRA57:14 The future of AI and large language models in the next 3-5 years and beyondTim's site: https://timdettmers.com/Tim on GitHub: https://github.com/TimDettmersMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus.ai, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Paul Huang, the real situation in Taiwan: politics, military, China — #40
Jul 27 2023
Paul Huang, the real situation in Taiwan: politics, military, China — #40
Paul Huang is a journalist and research fellow with the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation. He is currently based in Taipei, Taiwan.Sample articles:Taiwan’s Military Has Flashy American Weapons but No Ammo (in Foreign Policy): https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/20/taiwan-military-flashy-american-weapons-no-ammo/Taiwan’s Military Is a Hollow Shell (Foreign Policy): https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/15/china-threat-invasion-conscription-taiwans-military-is-a-hollow-shell/Steve and Paul discuss:  0:00 Introduction 1:44 Paul’s background; the Green Party (DPP) and Blue Party (KMT) in Taiwan4:40 How the Taiwanese people view themselves vs mainland Chinese15:02 Taiwan taboos: politics and military preparedness15:27 Effect of Ukraine conflict on Taiwanese opinion29:56 Lack of realistic military planning37:20 Is there a political solution to reunification with China? What influence does the U.S. have?51:34 The likelihood of peaceful reunification of Taiwan and China56:45 Honest views on Taiwanese and U.S. military readiness for aconflict with ChinaMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (SuperFocus.ai, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.
Richard Hanania & Rob Henderson: The Rise of Wokeness and the Influence of Civil Rights Law — #39
Jul 13 2023
Richard Hanania & Rob Henderson: The Rise of Wokeness and the Influence of Civil Rights Law — #39
Steve Hsu, Richard Hanania, and Rob Henderson were scheduled for a June 2023 panel as part of the University of Austin (UATX) Forbidden Courses series. Steve missed the panel due to travel issues, but the three have gathered on this podcast to recreate the fun!They discuss:0:00 Introduction1:20 The University of Austin and forbidden courses17:37 Will woke campus culture change anytime soon?29:57 Common people vs elites on affirmative action35:42 Why it’s uncomfortable to disagree about affirmative action41:22 Fraud and misrepresentation in higher ed44:20 The adversity carveout in the Supreme Court affirmative action ruling50:10 Standardized testing and elite university admissions1:06:18 Divergent views among racial and ethnic groups on affirmative action; radicalized Asian American males1:10:00 Differences between East and South Asians in the West  1:23:03 Class-based preferences and standardized tests1:31:57 Rob Henderson’s next move LINKSRichard Hanania’s new book: The Origins of Woke: Civil Rights Law, Corporate America, and the Triumph of Identity Politics: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/the-origins-of-woke-richard-hanania?variant=41004650528802Richard Hanania’s newsletter: https://www.richardhanania.com/The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology: https://www.cspicenter.com/Rob Henderson’s newsletter: https://www.robkhenderson.com/Rob Henderson’s new book: Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family, and Social Class: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Troubled/Rob-Henderson/9781982168537UATX: https://www.uaustin.org/forbidden-coursesMusic used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.--Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (Superfocus.ai, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.Please send any questions or suggestions to manifold1podcast@gmail.com or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.