Tuesday, March 5, 2019

New Leaves

While folks back in Walla Walla have just wrapped up one of the coldest Februaries ever and the cold weather shows no sign of relenting 5 days into March, here the leaves of the deciduous trees in Sevilla are already growing out:


I had a relatively productive day today. I had a math problem devolve into a topological quagmire, but realized after a couple of hours that I should just back off and say what I mean rather than try to come up with some elegant topological statement. In the end, the paper will be clearer.

I read a bit more of Hello World by Hannah Fry. She described the mountain of data that is compiled by data brokers about every person that uses the internet. Anonymity is a myth. Further, the kinds of information these companies have either directly or inferred, if misused, can be downright dangerous. These companies know, with high probability, if you're ill, if you're unfaithful, who you voted for, if you're pregnant, if you're depressed, if you're suicidal.

Europeans have wrested back some control over their personal data and its uses, but in the US, it's a total free for all.

Still trying to wrap my head around the groupby() function in pandas. It's a pretty useful way of extracting specific subsets of data from a larger dataset. I'm hoping to use it on some academic data I have from Whitman's office of institutional research on which students earn hard science degrees.