Dispatches

Visualizing excess deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic by race and ethnicity

American communities of color have shouldered a disproportionate share of the COVID-19 pandemic’s burden. How can we visualize this impact?

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How to send periodic local notifications to your users

Today, I want to talk about an Apple Framework: User Notifications. Based on Apple’s website, this is a simple Framework that allows us to push user-facing notifications to the user’s device from a server, or generate them locally from our app. I will not cover all the functionalities that this Framework provides, and instead just focus in in a simple problem that I had: Send a periodically notification to the user only if some condition becomes true. For example, the notification that the Activity ring app (installed by default in all the Apple Watches) sends to the user every hour and 50 minutes if the user did not stand up in the last 50 minutes. We can simplify the example like: We want users do some task every day and alert them at 5 pm if they did not do the task yet. Basically, we can reset a bool variable at midnight and set it when the user does the task on the device, showing the notification at 5 pm if the variable is false.

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Golden Age of Hollywood was not so golden for women

Movie data show women participation dropped across job roles in film from 1920 to 1950

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American Heart Association Fellowship

The American Heart Association (AHA) funds basic, clinical, behavioral, translational and population research, bioengineering/ biotechnology and public health problems broadly related to fulfilling our mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. AHA awards are open to the array of academic and health professionals. This ...

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How do we tell whether a scientific technology has reached maturity?

Life sciences research is in the midst of an extraordinary fruitful period. New technologies are enabling researchers to probe biological phenomena with ever increasing time and spatial resolution, ever greater selectivity, and ever greater coverage. Researchers can sequence thousands of mRNAs and determine their expression levels in single cells, image ...

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Brief example about data interpolation

Today, I want to talk about some data interpolation I had to do recently. As part of a project of mine, I had to deal with US census data. As you probably know, the US census collects data on many aspects of US society (population, education, income, race, and many ...

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Getting longitude-latitude coordinates for a (long) list of cities using Python and a free API

[This post was originally published on my blog] Today I’ve decided to expand the number of cities included on my murder rate map to everywhere with 100,000+ people. In order to do that using the FBI data (which only includes the names of the cities), I need to find the ...

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Step-by-step: How to plot a map with slider to represent time evolution of murder rate in the US using Plotly

[This post was originally published on my blog ] This post in based on this other one I posted a few days ago, where I’m exploring a new data set about murder rates in the US. I decided to write a plot detailing how to plot a map of said ...

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Interactive visualizations with Plotly

For the last couple of years, I’ve been using Plotly to create visually appealing interactive plots. You can create an account at plot.ly and then create and edit your plots from their online platform (they also have a premium option with extra features), but I prefer using Plotly offline, just ...

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New paper out in PLOS Biology on Why potentially important genes are ignored

We just published a new paper performing a large-scale investigation of the reasons why potentially important genes are ignored.

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New paper in Nature Human Behaviour on Personality Types

We just published a new paper investigating personality types in four large datasets (>1.5M respondents) finding robust support for at least four personality types.

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New paper in Science Advances combining topic models and complex networks

Topic models are a popular way to extract information from text data, but its most popular flavours (based on Dirichlet priors, such as LDA) make unreasonable assumptions about the data which severely limit its applicability. Martin Gerlach, member of the Amaral-lab, and co-authors explore an alternative way of doing topic modelling, based on stochastic block models (SBM), thus exploiting a mathematical connection with finding community structure in networks. A network approach to topic models Science Advances 4, eaaq1360 (2018)

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Congratulations to June Lee on winning the lightning talk competition at @Northwestern Computational Research Day!

Several students from our lab participated this week in the Northwestern Computational Research Day, where they presented some of the interdisciplinary research currently being done here. PhD candidate Hyojun (June) Ada Lee won the lightning talk competition with her presentation on the use of a smartphone app to improve quality ...

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Open positions for PhD and postdocs, join us!

The Amaral Lab invites applications of candidates for PhD and postdocs for 2019-2020. The new hires will join an active, collaborative, and supportive group of young (and not so young) researchers. We are looking for enthusiastic, collaborative individuals with strong skills in Python and statistics, interested in participating in projects ...

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The Importance of Computational Social Science

A new discipline for the digital age.

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An outlook of the fight against climate change

According to the Paris Agreement (also known as the Paris climate accord), which was initialed in 2015 and signed by more than 190 countries all over the world, we all human beings are in a war against the global climate change and should work together to curb the greenhouse emissions. The Paris Agreement has a very specific goal to limit a global temperature rise within 2 Celsius degrees compared with the pre-industrial levels. Otherwise, the temperature rise will be irreversible and lead to sea level rising and more frequent extreme weather conditions threatening millions of lives.

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Artificial intelligence is the future, is it?

Many believe that, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the future. During the Cold War, then-Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson believed that “whoever wins the space race would gain control over the Earth”. Today, AI development is the new space race. Recently, Russian President Putin said, “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world”. Despite the hyperbole in this statement, the importance of technology’s power should never be overlooked and artificial intelligence is truly today’s hot topic.

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Alumni consulting company acquired by Ideo

Ideo is a San Francisco Bay Area consulting firm that helps companies design new products and services. It has 52 employees in Chicago and will add 16 more, including 15 data scientists, with the acquisition of Datascope Analytics. Datascope, founded by two Northwestern University and Amaral Lab alumni, has partnered ...

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Holiday Fashion

An introductory guide to personalized livery.

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New paper linking fractal dynamics of worms to aging and stress

Luiz G. A. Alves, Peter B. Winter, Leonardo N. Ferreira, Renée M. Brielmann, Richard I. Morimoto, and Luís A. N. Amaral: Long-range correlations and fractal dynamics in C. elegans: Changes with aging and stress Physical Review E 96, 022417 (2017)

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