artificial intelligence in fashion (part one: brainstorming)

Brainstorming as usual: Fashion dictums involve many IF-THEN-ELSE rules. One can convert this into a decision engine (inference engine). User specifies their body shape, and a recommendation engine selects suitable clothing for them, taking into account the user’s tastes. Upload an image of a dress you want to buy, and specify the dress’s given size. […]

on leadership: dead reckoning

Sometimes circumstances require that you calculate your position using no information other than knowledge of your previous direction and distance traveled. Of course, this statement specifically refers to marine navigation, but it serves as a rather good metaphor for life and leadership. Two years ago I became “Emily”, drawing courage only from deep confidence in […]

DIY Twitter analytics (part 3: hashtag network)

I’ve been mathematically analyzing my Twitter feed to determine how best to position my tweets for maximum impact, and have been documenting the work on this blog. While I’ve not come to any brilliant conclusions yet, I’ve made progress. My first post on the subject described clustering my followers by their hashtag use to see […]

DIY Twitter analytics (part 2: correlations)

I’ve been working with the Twitter API to develop my own Twitter analytics tool chain, and have been documenting the results on this blog. My last post on the subject described clustering my followers by their hashtag use to see whose tweets are most like mine. My goal of this project is to figure out best […]

why I read evolutionary psychology papers

It might seem odd that a bioinformatician with an engineer’s training would read evolutionary psychology papers on a regular basis. Here is why I do so: Suppose the human brain changes on an evolutionary time scale. It would follow then that not much has changed about our minds since before the invention of agriculture, and […]

data scientist goes coolhunting…

Intuitive coolhunting scales poorly. Here’s some math to help fix that problem: Axioms of cool Five axioms enable us to mathematically model cool: No one is intrinsically cool, individuals simply channel it. Ability to temporarily hold coolness varies by individual. Coolness naturally flows into some individuals more readily than others. Rate of coolness flow into […]

marketing to scientists will give Red Bull new wings

“I don’t always drink rocket fuel, but when I do, I prefer Red Bull.” I hereby offer Red Bull a unique opportunity to sponsor my science career:  I’ll drink Red Bull while giving talks at scientific conferences and at my eventual Ig Nobel Prize acceptance ceremony, while Red Bull pays me lots of money. Scientists […]

data scientist walks into a bar…

A data scientist walks into a bar and observes a large crowd cheering intermittently. The crowd’s eyes track events on a large TV screen, following a bouncing spherical projectile’s motion as fit actors throw it through one of two metal rings. One of these rings elicits cheers from the crowd as the object passes through, […]

stop saying “analog” when you mean “old”!

I hereby request that all marketers immediately cease using the word “analog” as a euphemism for “old” and “out of touch”. Engineers and poets reclaim the word. Inbound Marketing authors Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah recently committed this offense while making their distinction between “digital citizens” and “digital tourists”: Digital Citizens—Born Web or very familiar […]