Posts

Something strange this way comes What is a strange attractor? Wikipedia says an attractor is a set of numbers towards which a system tends to evolve. It then says that an attractor is called strange if its set is fractal. If you’re like me, that definition went in one ear and out the other. Here’s an infinitely better definition: Imagine how a planet orbits a star. The planet is attracted to the center of the star by gravity, but its angular momentum flings it into an ellipse, rather than just letting it fall into the star.

CONTINUE READING

Motivation Welcome to the inaugural post of my 12 months of aRt project! In these posts I’ll walk through my motivations, technical aspects, and design choices for various generative/data art projects I make using R. Read more about my reasons and expectations for this project in my intro post. I’ve always loved the aesthetics of low-poly animal sketches, so I set out to see if I could recreate this in R.

CONTINUE READING

Announcement! Announcing a new project: 12 Months of aRt! In this post I’ll explain what this project is, why I am doing it, and what I hope to accomplish. I’m currently rewatching 30 Rock, so enjoy this story as told by 30 Rock gifs. What is aRt? The goal of this project is to use R to make generative or data-driven art. Each month I hope to explore a new idea or algorithm–my only requirement is that the primary purpose of the work is creative, not functional 😉.

CONTINUE READING

Trigger warning Introduction Getting and cleaning data Trends in violence by region Is South America more dangerous for transgender people, or just for all people? Country level analysis Proportion of murder victims that are transgender Number of transgender victims by age Conclusions Trigger warning This is an exploratory data analysis of murders of transgender people. The data contains graphic descriptions of violence against transgender people.

CONTINUE READING

2018 was a crazy year for me. A move, a new job, new career path, and many more ups and downs. And through all of this, was the soundtrack to my life: audiobooks. I listened to over 50 books this year, and the good news is most were excellent! So without further ado, here’s my favorite books that I read (listened to) in 2018. Note that these are not the best books released in 2018, just whichever books I read this year that I loved.

CONTINUE READING

Introduction Getting data with rgbif Data cleaning Data wrangling Make the animation Another example with Kudzu Introduction Since I discovered GBIF, I’ve been hooked. What is GBIF? From their website: “GBIF—the Global Biodiversity Information Facility—is an international network and research infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth.” In 2018, GBIF passed the mark of one billion occurence records, which is just incredible.

CONTINUE READING

Introduction Trials and tribulations The solution Introduction Drama, intrigue, arrogance, dashed hopes, rock-bottom, perseverance, and eventual triumph, this post has it all! It starts with me watching Rachael Tatman’s recent live-coding video, and ends with a thrilling race-to-the-bottom between two pathetically slow functions. What lies ahead: many a WTF moment, lots of trial and error, and some useful tidyverse data wrangling tips. Rachael Tatman is a data scientist at Kaggle, and does these awesome live coding sessions every Friday.

CONTINUE READING

Disclamer: I’m a trained microbiologist/biochemist, which means most of my bioinformatics knowledge was self-taught. What you’re about to see may not be pretty; the code might be janky or the workflow inefficient. But I have gone through countless hours of googleing, reading, and trial/error to learn this, and it works pretty well for me, so it might for you too. Let me know if you spot errors or have suggestions for improvement!

CONTINUE READING

The more I use the tidyverse in my R coding, the more I ask myself: does Hadley Wickham hate dogs, or does he just need help with dog-related package names? See, of the packages Hadley has developed for the tidyverse, there are two that have cat-inspired names (forcats and purrr) but zero that pay homage to man’s best friend. It’s not like doggo names are hard to think of for R packages it took me 30 seconds to come up with baRk and woofR**.

CONTINUE READING

I’ve been going through the job application cycle recently, which meant updating my CV. You can write a CV with Microsoft Word, but I find it exceptionally frustrating to do any sort of fancy formatting in Word, and more imporantly, I want my CV to be a page on my website (not just a downloadable file), that has the responsiveness expected of any modern webpage. I found this excellent HTML/CSS template from Thomas Hardy, and decided it was the aesthetic I was going for.

CONTINUE READING