Sunday, January 22, 2012

Assorted Links

You can file under "novel data representation." It's a heat map overlay of Google Maps that shows the most popular spots for taking photos, using the upload site Panoramio as the source.

This could be good fodder for a student research project. The only disappointment for me was not being able to zoom all the way down to street level resolution.

There's a new journal for those interested in the intersection of empiricism and computer science, in the spirit of Wolfram's A New Kind of Science.'s new "Data Science" title seeks to address these challenges:

  • how to extract meaningful data from systems with ever increasing complexity
  •  how to analyse them in a way that allows new insights
  •  how to generate data that is needed but not yet available
  •  how to find new empirical laws, or more fundamental theories, concerning how any natural or artificial (complex) systems work

  • Now I have one less excuse for not organizing my research notes into actual articles. While we're at it, here's a  list of "Best Paper" awards in computer science.

    Game theory is a fascinating and powerful set of ideas.  Ever notice at the baggage carousel in the airport how everyone crowds up as close as they can, which means no one can see anything? If everyone took three steps back, the whole group would benefit. Paradoxes like these are the subject matter for this subject from mathematics and economics. There's a site that maps out the field in an easily accessible format. It's even easy to remember:

    While browsing for study tips for my daughter Epsilon, I found Study Hacks, with this bit of non-cognitive wisdom, originally quoted from a Reddit discussion thread:

    The people who fail to graduate from MIT, fail because they come in, encounter problems that are harder than anything they’ve had to do before, and not knowing how to look for help or how to go about wrestling those problems, burn out. 
    The students who are successful, by contrast, look at that challenge, wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and stupidity, and then begin to take steps hiking that mountain, knowing that bruised pride is a small price to pay for getting to see the view from the top. They ask for help, they acknowledge their inadequacies. They don’t blame their lack of intelligence, they blame their lack of motivation.

    Check out this guy's portfolio as a case study.

    From University of Portland comes a fascinating case study "Why the Vasa Sunk: 10 Lessons Learned." From the introduction:

    Around 4:00 PM on August 10th, 1628 the warship Vasa set sail in Stockholm harbor on its maiden voyage as the newest ship in the Royal Swedish Navy.  After sailing about 1300 meters, a light gust of wind caused the Vasa to heel over on its side. Water poured in through the gun portals and the ship sank with a loss of 53 lives. 

    The rest is a case study in how not to manage a complex project. As Ashleigh Brilliant wrote, "It could be that  purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others."

    Finally, a more positive spin on leadership from The Atlantic: "Humble Leaders are More Liked and More Effective." Take it with a grain of salt (it's a small study), but be proud of your humility.

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