Thursday, May 5, 2016

Coding: A Python Notifier for the NYC Subway

New York City Subway 6 train. Photo by Robert McConnell (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.)

For fun, I created a small application in Python that checks the status of the New York City subway system and sends me an email in the morning and afternoon if there are delays in the specific lines I tend to use to get to/from work. Now, sure, something like this already exists and is offered by MTA, but I wanted to go ahead and write this myself.

Below, I describe how it works in case you want to create something similar. The code is available at GitHub, should you care to grab it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review: The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

The Bands of Mourning is the third book in the Wax and Wayne series of books in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn universe. It continues to explore the characters while introducing new things to the world. There is a fascinating mix of allomantic magic and technology presented, which sets the stage for future stories in this world.

Keep reading for my spoiler-free review.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Data Science: Essentials of Data Science Bootcamp


About a month or so ago, I undertook a bootcamp called "Essentials of Data Science" and run by a handful of people with support from NYCAscent. I've been meaning to write up a blog post about this, but only just now had the time. While I already had some knowledge of programming in R, I still learned a lot and feel far more confident about entering the data science job market now. Below, you'll find my general thoughts on the experience and a brief overview of what my project was about.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Data Science: Creating my First Web Application

Over the past month or so, I've dedicated a bit of time each week to work on developing an web application for the Brown Dwarfs in New York City research team (BDNYC). This week, I was able to finally release it to the public as AstrodbWeb. I'm very proud of what I've made, simple though it is. It's inspired me to continue developing applications and exploring this route a bit more. For this blog post, I want to detail some of what I went through for others that may be thinking of similar projects. I'll provide links to resources that I found useful when developing this.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book Review: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

Calamity, by Brandon Sanderson, is the final book in the Reckoners series, preceded by Firefight and Steelheart. I've been enjoying that series immensely as it's fun, action-packed, and light-hearted. I should probably read Mitosis at some point, as it's a novella taken place between Steelheart and Firefight. Sanderson is planning a new young-adult trilogy set "in a world parallel to that of the Reckoners." Now that I've read Calamity, I understand exactly what that means and I'm excited for it.

Below you can find my review. I aim to avoid spoilers, but you may encounter some if you haven't read the prior books in the trilogy.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book Review: The Crippled God by Steven Erikson

The Crippled God is the 10th and final book of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson. There are additional books in that universe, by both Erikson and Esslemont; however, the main series are these 10 books that I've spent the last few years reading. This particular one took a while do to my recent job/city/country change, but I managed to find the time and it was rewarding to finish. Below, you will find my review of this book. In the future, I hope to write a post comparing this series to other long epic fantasies, notably The Wheel of Time.

As always, I aim to avoid direct spoilers, but given that this is the last book of the series, events prior to this book are considered fair game.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Blog Update: February 2016


I realized the other day I haven't posted anything on my blog since last year! To be fair, that's only a month and a half, but I usually post at least a book post in a months time. So I figure I'd give a little status report on how things are going in New York and why the book I'm reading has taken a long time to finish. If that interests you, read on!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Advent of Code 2015


Over the past month, I've been slowly working on the Advent of Code programming puzzles. I was alerted to this by a colleague at work and decided to give them a try. You get one puzzle each day, with two parts, and solving them gives you a star to light up the Christmas tree (since this was in December and holiday-themed). I decided to use Python to solve these as it's one of the programming languages I know best, but any language would have worked.

Below, I describe a few of my favorite puzzles, the hardest ones I found, and things I learned from this.