Friday, July 22, 2016

Data Science: Principal Component Analysis of Twitter Data

As described on my last blog post on this topic, I've been tracking tweets from the US presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I've looked at the top words they used and the sentiments expressed in their tweets given their word choice. However, some words are used with others almost all the time, a notable example being a slogan like Make America Great Again. As such, it may be beneficial to look at groups of words rather than individual words. For that, I took an approach applying a Principal Component Analysis. Below I describe what this is, how I used it, and what it reveals. Do note, however, that I'm applying things I learned in astronomy to this problem rather than taking courses specific to text mining. It may be that there are better tools out there than what I've used.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Data Science: Presidential Candidates on Twitter

Over the past few months, I've been working on a little hobby data science project to explore twitter data with regards to the upcoming presidential election in the United States. The project has evolved quite a bit and detailing it in full is beyond the scope of a single blog post. As such, I've decided to split it into (at least) 3 posts. This post is the first of the series and will go over the basics of gathering data from Twitter and doing some simple text mining. The second and third posts will discuss more details of the project and show some neat visualizations I've created. I'll release all my code after the third post for any curious coders. For now, let's get started seeing what Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's Twitter accounts are talking about.

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.