Monday, September 10, 2018


I went to Clic language school this morning with Laura to get the low down on the Spanish language course I plan to start next week. I'm not going to go the intensive route like Laura, just 3 hours a week. I was surprised when my possible instructor came out to meet me and gave me an oral placement test. I was super nervous, but did ok. The instructor was really kind.

One of my goals on this sabbatical is to figure out how some of the many data science competitions out there like, DrivenData and Kaggle work. Today I downloaded the introductory competition data set from DrivenData, applied what I've been learning so far about machine learning, generated a competition entry and uploaded it:
Did ok for a naive logistic regression with almost no tweaks, 57th out of 418. Looking forward to playing around with it tomorrow and adding a few more sophisticated approaches. I think students will find this compelling and fun.

As we near the autumnal equinox, we're losing daylight as fast as at anytime of the year. It's definitely noticeable here. Here the sun light skims the tops of the building on our block as the day comes to an end:
There's a pastry shop around the corner from us that comes highly recommended. Knowing it wouldn't be open this evening, Laura and I walked by anyway to see its hours of operation. It opens at 10am. Not sure if we'll hit it tomorrow, but at least we know when it opens. I took a shot of the street it's on called Calle Pureza. The original shot is at an angle because it was a low-light situation so I had my phone on a tripod hanging off of the side of an orange tree. I decided it would be cool to rotate it and put it on a black background (using Gimp). The result:
Fun fact, I used the Pythagorean theorem to create a black canvas of the correct size to contain the rotated image. The original image was $4640\times 3480$. That means I needed a background canvas that was at least $\sqrt{4640^2 + 3480^2}=5800$ on a side to accommodate the maximally rotated image. That's what you see above, a black square of dimensions $5800\times 5800$ with the rotated image overlaid.