Choosing a Suburb by Bike Commute Time

I recently moved to a new city, and I'm looking to live close enough to work that I can bike. Although I can eyeball on a map the straight-line commute distance for a potential house, often the actual time you'd spend biking it is quite different. Dedicated bike paths are super fast to ride, bypassing stop signs and traffic lights. While airports and highways can result in time-consuming detours.

So I put together this map overlaying contours of equal commute time onto the streets and suburbs around Mountain View.

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Modelling Animal Home Ranges

The goal of this project was to develop a mathematical model for animal behaviour that would result in realistic and stable home ranges. In this writeup I’ll explain my approach and the different models I tried.

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Passing Multichoice Exams Without Studying

One of my psychology lecturers required our class to buy the textbook Writing for Psychology (O’Shea et al., 2006). He referred to it as “The Bible”. The book talked about things like how to structure a written argument and format a research proposal, and it was the key to passing undergraduate psychology assignments.

The otherwise serious textbook devoted half a page to multiple-choice exam technique, with advice such as “pick the longest answer” and “if all else fails, choose C”. Like all good humour, it was hard to tell if the authors were joking or not. And the information was not referenced, even though the book has an entire chapter on how to reference information. But it got me wondering if there really was any pattern to multichoice tests that could be exploited to give the test taker an edge.

I decided to test my idea by throwing a couple of machine learning techniques at some sample questions.

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Static Site Hosting Speed Test

I’m running this blog as a static site, which offers awesome performance and security for very little effort. Static sites also give you the option of hosting on a static host, which tend to be faster, cheaper, and easier to manage than traditional servers. The question is which host to use?

I compared the performance of various static hosting offerings from Google, Amazon, GitHub, and CloudFlare - some of the biggest players in the hosting business.

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Initial Commit

We are fortunate in the software industry that the quality of our work can be so easily assessed. Instead of relying on references and qualifications, it’s easy to share source code and deployed web work.

What’s missing is the human component: the reasoning and explanation behind what we do. I think this is important for demonstrating competence, and a blog seems an excellent place to share that information.

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