Monday, August 20, 2018

Lizards are everywhere.

I found a really cool app that I've been messing around with entirely too much. It's called Physics Toolbox Sensor Suite. It gives raw access to all of the sensors in your phone like GPS, compass, accelerometers. It can record the sensors into csv files which you can do analysis on.

I took it with me on my run this morning and recorded a timeseries of the GPS coords. I've been messing around with Pandas, Python, the haversine function and calculus to see what kinds of information I can extract from the data (other than that I'm a slow runner, haha). I think there's a lot of potential for this in the calculus classroom as well as the computer science classroom.

Later I want to explore the accelerometers next and do some discrete Fourier analysis on time series. In theory, I should be able to identify an activity like running, walking or cycling by examining the frequency spectrum of the accelerometer data. Something like that would be a fun project in my engineering math class.

Basically I'm just geeking out on having raw access to all of these cool sensors that I know all of my students have (because they all have smartphones). The accessibility is there, just a matter of putting it to use.

This isn't quite on target for my sabbatical, but I don't mind, haha.

Saw the first real cloud/storm here off in the distance this evening:
Noticed this beautiful tile mural on the Triana Market building today:
Finally, saw this little lizard in our building courtyard today: