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Archive for May, 2011

Hello world!

Howdy Internet,

I am in the process of finishing up my MS in statistics, so while I do that I am taking a bit of time to look for a job and more importantly get some projects rolling. My goal here is to get some ideas saved for a few projects and maybe put up some pictures of projects that can have pictures.

Before summer started (while avoiding studying for finals, naturally) I came up with a list of things I wish I knew how to do and maybe some thoughts on how to do it.

Graduate:

I am currently finished with classes (at least by my count, still need to double check that), but I am working on my plan B project, which is to say, the paper I have to present to graduate. A friend of mine was nice enough to introduce me to a great advisor and project and made my life easier, but I am still finishing up a bit of work on it.

I am doing the statistical work for two Doctors in the UK who are writing a paper on hip replacements. There are two kinds of hip replacements (potentially more, but we just look at these two): half replacement and full replacement. It is worth noting that my experience with being a doctor is limited to pretending to diagnose people in an undergraduate neuroscience class, so I won’t comment on the doctor end of things (I really just read the wikipedia and that was about it), but lets agree there are two different types of replacement.  The question we are addressing is, whether or not one is better than the other.  I am using propensity score matching, but I think I will probably post about that another day.

Programming:

I built my first computer when I was 12 and I have always enjoyed programming to some extent, but I unfortunately have little academic experience with it (I took one class and didn’t like it, so I kind of avoided it after that). I am good at practical programming inside of a package (think R, SAS, STATA, matlab, etc), but I think it would be nice to get better at some more programming things.

I worked for an energy trading company for 6 months and I had to learn a decent bit of programming and found that I enjoyed it. I started in VBA, moved to VB, and then did some projects in C# (also learned some SQL). I want to do more of it, so I am rummaging around on the Internet to find some good sources for it. The list I am looking at currently is here: http://www.reddit.com/r/compsci/comments/gprp0/is_there_a_list_of_the_canonical_introductory/

Its kind of dull to just do book exercises, so my plan for working on my programming is to come up with some projects and do them. The one I am most excited about right now is coding the game Bang! and trying to “bootstrap” (simulate) a potential change or rules to make it more fair. I will probably post on this later, but here is a link to the game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bang! (its really pretty fun, but pretty unbalanced).

I am still not certain the language I would like to do it in or any of the specifics, but I am thinking of doing C or maybe Java, we will see.

Statistics:

I am looking to go through some books that I have heard were good and can get my hands on and try to work on some applied statistics I ought to know. My buddy swears by: http://www-stat.stanford.edu/~tibs/ElemStatLearn/ for machine learning, so I think I will start there. Granted I have done a lot of statistics recently, so this might get ignored a bit.

Math:

I have never been amazingly gifted mathematically, but I enjoy it and think I should get better at it, so I periodically pick up something and work with it. Reddit has a complex analysis study group I kind of read along with:

http://www.reddit.com/r/math/comments/d5egu/does_anyone_want_to_start_a_complex_analysis_club/

Home remodeling:

I have an ongoing two year basement remodel project I am hoping to finish, along with some other house stuff. Its mostly slow going and dull at times, but I will probably update about it a bit here and there.

Starcraft 2:

Its kind of silly to put a video game on your list of projects you want to accomplish, but it definitely is something I work fairly hard on. I am someone that has to have some kind of competitive outlet, so when I was a kid I played chess, then I did debate in high school, and in college I found competitive video games were the easiest way to get some fairly intense games of skill. At the end of the day I think of it as speed chess with better graphics.

This is about everything I can think of wanting to get done. I am sure I will get about half of it done, if that, but it should be a good time. There are obvious other projects, such as read some fiction and get in a bit better shape (turns out working out is actually kind of fun), but I don’t see me getting too passionate about it, so I doubt I post a ton.

Back to hip replacement statistics!

~Andy

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