Adventures of the Datastronomer

2017 Solar Eclipse

As (probably most) of you know, there will be a total solar eclipse on 21 August, 2017. This will be the first such eclipse in the United States since 1979, and will be the last until 2024. If you are anything like me, you are now thinking "where do I ...

Should I buy phone insurance?

Ah, the question everybody guesses at: is phone insurance worth it? As Mark Watney would say:

Phone insurance generally comes with a monthly premium and a deductable, which we will call \(r\) and \(D\), respectively. If I buy insurance, the expected cost to me is then:

$$ E(\mathrm{cost\ with ...

VA BrainTrust Hack Day

Last weekend, I took part in the VA BrainTrust Hack Day, a 2-day event where teams in Austin and San Francisco worked with mentors and veterans to try to solve three big problems facing veterans with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):

  1. Improve access to care ...

Python Dependency Analysis

If you use the Python programming language, you have probably run the command

pip install [package]

at some point. What you may not know is the magic happening behind the scenes. The pip command is connecting to the Pypi server and searching for the package you want. Once it finds ...

Markov Chain Text Generation

Most physical scientists are probably aware of the ArXiv website, which hosts pre-prints of scientific papers. The site is not peer-reviewed, but does have some mysterious process for weeding out the crazies. In most cases, legitimate scientific articles get posted without issue. There are occasionally delays if something in your ...

On Bayesian Model Comparison and Climate Change

Or: Is there really a pause in global warming?

A common criticism made by climate change skeptics is that there has not been any warming in the last several years. They claim that since the CO\(_2\) abundance is still increasing, the lack of increasing temperatures proves that CO\(_2 ...

Classification with Clouds!

One of the main branches of machine learning is classification, where you put data points in two or more groups based on whatever information you have. In this post, I will be using classification for something I have experienced much more than I would like: night-time cloud cover over McDonald ...

First Post

Hello World!

First post for my blog. Let's do this!