Friday, June 17, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Book Review: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan, is the first of a series of fantasy memoirs of the Lady Trent as she explores the world and learns about dragons, among other things. I heard good things about it a few years ago and have been intrigued by it and its cover. A friend of mine at work lent me a copy (an actual physical book after so long!), so I got a chance to read it.

Read on for my full review.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Review: The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge

Vernor Vinge has written a few main novels set in the Zones of Thought universe. The main one, A Fire Upon the Deep, is highly regarded in the science fiction community. There is a prequel, A Deepness in the Sky, which I haven't read. The other main one, The Children of the Sky, is the one I just finished reading.

As a direct sequel to A Fire Upon the Deep, this book requires that you finish the prior one. This review will naturally contain spoilers for A Fire Upon the Deep, though I avoid ones for The Children of the Sky.

Read on for my full review.

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.