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Category Archives: research

blogging my research

Visualizing Command Line History


So, after documenting how I save a timestamped log of my bash file, I got curious about what kind of analyses I could pull out of it. (caveat: I only started this logging about a month ago, so there aren’t as many data points as I’d like. However, there is enough to see some interesting […]

Saving Command Line History


I’ve never been satisfied with the defaults for the way linux & osx save command line history. For all practical purposes, when we’re talking about text files, we have infinite hard drive space. Why not save every command that we ever type. First, A Roundup of What’s Out There Here’s the baseline of what I […]

Authority, Influence in Social Networks [tentative thoughts]


I spent the day fiddling around with twitter and buzz, to see what signals I have at my disposal. Eventually I’d like to get some metrics that quantify a few different aspects of human relationships: Global influence (how much influence does this user have upon the world). This is pretty straightforward. Local influence (how much […]

Thoughts on Publishing in Academia


To paraphrase/quote David Klein: publications would be so much better if we were forward-thinking instead of rigorous in our testing. It seems like people judge a paper’s value by “in 10 years, will someone find a hole in the rigor of my testing procedure”. I would rather judge a paper by “does this make me […]

Advice on Writing One’s Dissertation


All dissertations require four months of uninterrupted work. The last month of work takes 0.5 calendar months. The second to last month takes 1.5 calendar months. The first two months can take years, and they usually do. Prof. Daneil Bewrry, U. Waterloo Sigh… if only this were less true.

What we can learn from Folksonomy


Outward-facing Questions: The great thing about delicious and folksonomy is that it creates an ontology as an emergent biproduct of individual self-serving efforts (that is, personal bookmarking). I’m wondering if we can take a similar tact to solve other AI problems. Inward-facing Questions: What is the best way to represent the evolution of a tag’s […]

Finished the Dissertation Proposal


Ahhh, I’m done. Now, don’t that feel good. 71 pages on building a computational model of language learner errors. Phew, now to sleep.

On Rexa


Rexa, a new player in community bibliography management, was opened to the public a couple weeks ago. Here’s a blog post from the PI on this project (Andrew McCallum) who details the announcement, and a little more here, from Matthew Hurst’s Data Mining blog. A cursory use of the system shows it to be a […]

On The Success of LaTeX


I suspect that the success of LaTeX–and its ubiquity as a format for thesis-writing–is in part due to the fact that learning its arcane subtleties is a wonderful source of procrastination. What a glorious escape from having do to actual paper-writing!

Nature: “Scientists must embrace a culture of sharing and rethink their vision of databases”


Good editorial on Nature, “Let Data Speak to Data“: Web tools now allow data sharing and informal debate to take place alongside published papers. But to take full advantage, scientists must embrace a culture of sharing and rethink their vision of databases. That being said, I find it more than a little ironic that this […]