Dispatches

The college scorecard

Health and education should be free. Or this is what most Europeans and a large group of Americans think. In an indirect attempt to decrease the currently rapidly increasing cost of college tuition, the US Department of Education has published a college scorecard in which the tuition cost, the salary after graduation, and the graduation rate are made available, among other information.

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Welcome to New York, it's been waiting for you

Everybody here wanted something moreSearching for a sound we hadn’t heard before And it saidWelcome to New York, It’s been waiting for you

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Follow me on the Reading Rainbow

Over the summer I’ve been able to successfully chisel away at my goal of reading 20 books by 16 different authors in 2015, with my two weeks of travel to and around Spain providing me ample time to dive into my iPad and digest. For this tour, I went back ...

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Collections

From a programmer’s perspective, taking care of memory and time are the most important issues. Computers have limited memory and accessing it has a computational cost. The first step I always do before I start programming is to think about the problem and the data structure. To define the data structure well, it is necessary to know what will be the way to access the data. For example, how to iterate over the elements, access an element or insert elements. Also, it is important to know the relationship between the elements: are they unique, do they aggregates, or is there an order?

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Grad School: Burnout begets burnout?

It is common knowledge that graduate teaching requirements are more often a bane than a benefit. It is easy to see why graduate students dread it. First of all, the responsibility of being a TA is usually tacked onto an already packed schedule as if it were as easy as ...

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Setting up a new development environment

Setting up your development environment on a new computer can be a pain. This guide will show you how you can take your existing environment and put them into an installer script.

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The inevitably(?) of fraud academia

The boat only has the power that it does because we all believe that it shouldn’t be rocked. And that has to, and can, change immediately.

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Upriver

Spain is a geographically heterogeneous country with large contrasts between regions. It has mountains that rise up to 3400 meters above the sea level in the Pyrenees and Granada, such as the Mulhacén that is the highest mountain in continental Spain. Teide, which is located in the Canary Island, is the highest mountain in all the country. Spain also has beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean sea, forests in the north and deserts in Andalucia and in some regions in the center.

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Nine to Five to Nine to Nine

Towards the end of an undergraduate engineering program, the graduating class forms two distinct groups. A handful of students choose to continue their formal education in grad school, while the majority turn to industry in order to cash in on their degrees. I fell into the latter category, but today ...

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A knight and a thief walk into a bar and meet three gods……

Most people have heard the logic puzzle about the knight and the thief. The knight always tells the truth and the thief always lies. If you happen to run into the two of them on the road one day, how can you figure out who is whom by asking just ...

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CUDA

CUDA, Compute Unified Device Architecture, is a parallel computing platform designed by NVIDIA. NVIDIA manufactures graphics cards that accelerate the layout of graphics to a display. In 1999, NVIDIA presented its GeForce 256 as “the world’s first ‘GPU’, or Graphics Processing Unit”. A GPU is an specialized processor designed to speed up 3D rendering. 3D rendering algorithms involve simple calculations, such the amount of light that each pixel receives for each frame, executed over and over, extremely quickly. Therefore, the GPU has been specialized to calculate simple math operations (i.e. matrix product) using lots of threads (parallel process unit). Nowadays, developers can use this powerful architecture to operate on our own data using CUDA. NVIDIA provides the tools that developers need to take advantage of this technology.

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Funding decline for the Model Organism Research Paradigm in the USA

Despite the economy has been recovering since the 2008 crisis, many biology labs are still facing funding issues. Part of the funding issues has resulted from funding changes in the overall federal budget destined to science. A funding decrease or stagnation for science does not only affect the number of ...

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Learning: Nature and Nurture

Learning machines are a hit in fiction, while machine learning is trying to break into research. How does nature and nurture play into the systems we contrive?

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Loop loping through the years

Counting days of the year when the cycle around the Sun is not exactly 365 days.

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Anywhere in the World for a Hundred Bucks

Through strategic use of frequent flier programs, anywhere in the world is accessible for a hundred bucks.

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Dataclysm: The very best of

I recently read Dataclysm by Christian Rudder. These are some of my favorite stories from this book.

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Picking a Method

Although the current state of Picking a Method resembles a messy dark art, I don’t think that this state will continue.

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye

All cultures have traditions that seem strange to an outsider. To withstand the test of time and not fade out, these traditions presumably had to fill some niche in our lives much like different species fill a specific niche in an ecosystem. Thanksgiving caters to our sentimental side with family ...

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Being a new graduate student at Northwestern University

Unsurprisingly, questions about your life never end and starting graduate school made me think of some of the questions.

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Using pyenv

Pyenv is a simple, yet powerful, tool that manages different python versions all from within a user’s home directory.

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