Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Watch my thesis defense live, tomorrow!

Tomorrow, August 1, at 11am, I am defending my Ph.D. thesis. I'm going to be streaming the event live. You can watch here (enter as a guest):

My advisor said that I shouldn't provide buzzword bingo cards at the defense itself. But, here's a link to the cards, and feel free to play along at home (leave a comment to this post about which number card(s) you're playing).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Northern Lights Time-Lapse in 3D

I recently finished making a time-lapse video of the northern lights from the international space station ... in 3D! I think that it may be the first of its kind so I'm pretty excited about it. Please select the high definition version so that you can see the stars in the background. You will need 3D glasses to see the full 3D effect (bought some I can mail to you if you need).

You see this like no other human ever has, not even the astronauts who photographed it. You view it as if you are a proportionally average human over 100 miles tall (about halfway to the space station's orbit).
See more information about how it was made, etc. here: http://jonathan.lansey.net/pastimes/3D_Aurora/index.html

Below you can see an example image with the Canny edge detector highlighting I used set be much brighter.
Below are a few more screenshot examples. Please let me know if you would like to use them somewhere (blog comment would be fine).

Information about the photos
The photos in this video were taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station, January 25, 2012 from 09:27:08 to 09:32:16 GMT. The images are courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center

More photos and details about the project here:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Awesome Foundation Growth

As a trustee of the Boston Chapter of the Awesome foundation, I have access to about 12,000 of the applications we have received as well as information about which projects we have funded.

If we plot thousands of dollars granted vs. time, then we see that since March 2010 The Awesome Foundation has been growing exponentially. I was pretty astounded, that while presenting it to the the Awesome Summit crowd actually applauded my exponential fit... after many years of making these kinds of graphs I am used to blank stares, yawns, polite but disinterested nodding and the like. I'm so glad that people actually liked it.

Also, below is a cool streamgraph showing the number of grant applications we have received over time, separated by region.

See a lot more detail, and some LDA topic modelling too at my alternate resume over here: Awesome Data Analysis.

Thanks Nikki Lee, Jacob Model, Christina Xu and Kara Brickman for help organizing the data.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heads up!

I saw this sign at the entrance to Steinman Hall at City College:
In order to read this sign, you need to be close enough to the building that "debris" could fall on your head.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My new nameplate

I recently started a new job; more on this (maybe) another time. The new job comes with a new office, which now has a new name plate:
[Hint: The new one is on top.]

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Buy all the things Credit Card Design

Below is an image of my freshly markered credit card, from one of my favorite memes, the X all the Y meme based on a graphic by Hyperbole and a Half.

I had previously tried several times to submit my own image for my card but they consistently rejected my designs without explanation, even when I drew them myself. Finally I submitted a completely white "photo" which was accepted - giving me the canvas upon which I drew the above.

Below you can see my attempted designs which were all rejected by Captialone. Special thanks to my brothers and Nathan for helping me come up with and tweak some of these.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Euler's toilet function

I was recently reading the Wikipedia article on Euler's totient function, and thought that I couldn't be the only person who initially read it as "Euler's toilet function." A quick Google search later turned up this Wikipedia clone with the key line:

This number lies in the n-th cyclotomic field — and in fact in its real subfield, which is a totally real field of degree over the rational numbers
where φ(n) is Euler's toilet function.
Bingo! Note, this has been fixed on Wikipedia a long time ago. This also highlights the danger, and potential hilarity of Wikipedia clones.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

A tour of the Wisconsin middle

I recently came back from Wisconsin where I had a chance to drop by the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in the middle of Wisconsin (of lightning fast snow slide fame).
The whole area was enexpectedly awesome, attached is a photo of me next to a 3 story eyeball.

That is me next to the giant eyeball.

This is inside the fiberglass art factory.

This is where the fiber is "sprayed"

These are all fiberglass molds used to make these creations

Lacrosse WI was lovely as well.

Near Tomah

This was in Mill Bluff State Park

An Amish Farm (you can tell by the windmill)

My rental car in a cranberry bog (near?)

an infinite train line

There was a random Steamboat near the airport, for the exact location click here.