Thursday, January 31, 2019

The end of January

Another month in the books. We arrived in Spain 7 months ago. In some ways, it seems longer, in other ways, shorter.

This morning I took the derivative of an integral with respect to a parameter in its domain of integration. the result was unexpectedly intuitive and, therefore, the exercise was enjoyable. Not quite sure how to use it in what I'm trying to do overall, but sometimes you just do stuff.

I did more Spanish. I think I need to conjugate haber, hacer, ser, estar, tener, querer every day for a while.

Even though rain was threatening, I ran a load of laundry and hung it on the roof. Then I went out for a run. It sprinkled on me while I was running, which worried me. It was also quite windy. When I got back home, I went straight to the roof. All the clothes were there and relatively dry. I took them all in and hung them on the indoor rack for the rest of the day. They're dry now, so that was a success. Here's the grey view of Sevilla from the bridge at the far end of my run:

I've started a data science project that attempts to characterize students at Whitman that complete STEM degrees using their first-year academic information. As with all data science projects, there is going to be a lot of data wrangling before I can actually implement the clustering algorithm. Data science is a lot like house painting. You spend most of your time prepping the house to be painted rather than actually painting.

I continued to read Factfulness. Today Rosling distinguished between the frightening and the dangerous and pointed out how ill-equipped humans are to separate the two. Spiders are frightening, but not dangerous. Cars are dangerous, but not frightening. Fright is a response that evolved over millions of years in the species. It used to correlate well with danger, but not so much anymore.