Category Archives: education

Talks in Python: Interactive Instruction with RISE

I had a chance to give a lecture on using Python/Pandas in scientific research this week, and it was __________ (fill this in after it happens…). Since I was talking about Python, I decided to make my talk in Python, too. I did this for a few classes in Winter and Summer quarters of 2013, but the technology has come a long way since then. For this time around, I used RISE aka the live_reveal extension, and I found it very promising, although _very_ “bleeding edge” (which is what happens when the cutting edge is too cutting).

To make it really work as a powerpoint killer, I think it needs a little more friendlyness on the slide layout side of things. I don’t need much, but I would like:
* a talk title slide that has title, name, and date;
* a full-screen image slide;
* a way to put slide titles in a consistent place;

Am I totally power-pointed in my desires? I should file some issues on github.

Other wishes, while it’s on my mind: would be helpful to start slideshow from highlighted cell, would be convenient if cell toolbar toggled automatically between slideshow to none when starting and stopping presentation display, make it all easy easy easy to use.

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Python Pandas Intros

I’m going to give a Python Pandas guest lecture in the Python Science class next week, and I thought I’d take a look at the Pandas intros that are out there. There are a lot now! Here are some that I flipped through:

http://pandas.pydata.org/pandas-docs/stable/10min.html

http://nbviewer.ipython.org/gist/fonnesbeck/5850375

http://www.gregreda.com/2013/10/26/intro-to-pandas-data-structures/

http://www.gregreda.com/2013/10/26/working-with-pandas-dataframes/

http://www.gregreda.com/2013/10/26/using-pandas-on-the-movielens-dataset/

http://synesthesiam.com/posts/an-introduction-to-pandas.html

http://www.datarobot.com/blog/introduction-to-python-for-statistical-learning/

http://www.kevinsheppard.com/images/0/09/Python_introduction.pdf

http://blog.kaggle.com/2013/01/17/getting-started-with-pandas-predicting-sat-scores-for-new-york-city-schools/

Its fun being a teacher in the age of information.

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Will I attend a MOOC?

The author of one of the best books on data visualization is giving a massively open online course (MOOC) this fall. I’m going to check it out. You may be interested, too.

http://www.thefunctionalart.com/2013/09/the-third-introduction-to-infographics.html

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Grad School Advice

It is getting to be the season of new students, and I was inspired to round up a few links on grad school:

Advice for new students from Jennifer Rexford: https://freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/jrex/advice-new-graduate-students/
Managing your advisor by Nick Feamster: http://greatresearch.org/2013/08/14/managing-your-advisor/
A simple test for those thinking of doing a PhD: http://blog.prof.so/2013/06/test.html

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PBFs in the Field

It is that time of year again, when the IHME post-bachelors fellows go off for their field placements. Some are keeping nice blogs of their experience:

p.s. The comment spam was getting so bad, I had to turn it off. PBFs, email me if you would like your blog listed here, too.

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The Mastery Table for Planning Classes

I’m quite taken with the Software Carpentry approach to teaching scientists computer skills, especially since I saw it in action in UW a few months ago. One aspect that I’ve been trying out for my own course is the “mastery table” approach that the Software Carpentry Instructor Study Groups use. Here is a mastery table for teaching version control. I have made a few of my own, but I don’t think I said enough for any novice to leave competent, according to my ambitions. I will keep trying.

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ML vs Stats

What is the difference between machine learning and statistics? Can it be captured in a tweet?

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