A baseball hackathon In Chicago? Yes, please!

On October 18th, I woke up to a notification on my phone for an email titled "2016 MLBAM Bases Coded." The preview read We are pleased to inform you that your Team’s entry has been selected as a potential Finalist entry in the 2016 MLBAM Bases Coded Technology Challenge Two weeks earlier on October 7th, I rounded up two of my friends and applied last minute, literally with minutes to spare, to Major League Baseball's Bases Coded Challenge. I had first heard of this challenge only a few hours before, through a promotional email sent by Major League Baseball.…

Generating Drake Lyrics with a Markov Chain

One of my recent data science lab assignments was to choose a musical artist, scrape every one of his/her song lyrics from the web, and use the Markov Chain technique to generate new lyrics. The following program works by compiling a separate list for every word mentioned sung by Drake. Each list is a list of all words that have ever followed the word to which the list belongs. For example, "you" --> ["to", "just", "need", "finish", "boys"]. It then uses these connections and some random selection to generate new sentences/lines. I've used Drake as my test subject…

Why is it important for our data to be encrypted and private?

Think back to a time when the computer did not exist. Now imagine you’d like to write a letter to a friend. You would have to write out your message on a piece of paper, get an envelope and a stamp, and put it all in a mailbox to be taken by your mailman the next day. Consider you may have your mom proofread the letter before you seal the envelope, or the roommate of the recipient may accidentally open the letter on arrival, thinking it is hers. Furthermore, at any point between you pressing the…

My Twitter feed and me

I just went through my entire list of people I was following on Twitter and cleaned house. Even though my following count was only just over 100, I've begun to really dislike scrolling through my feed without having gained any useful knowledge. Did I really need to spend those few minutes looking at my feed? Did I gain anything of value besides finding a way to spend a few minutes (minimum) of my life? In deciding who to unfollow, there were so many people that I thought were interesting but didn't necessarily publish…

Side Project: Mapping baseball teams ( Pt. 2 )

Today I released version 2 of The Baseball Map. I spent many hours of the past weekend rebuilding much of the site (a simple as it was) from the ground up. Building upon much of the feedback I received from my first endeavor on reddit, I fleshed a more useful interface. The map now provides a quick peek at the wikipedia entry for each stadium, a satellite view of the stadium, and users can now even view a sort of web visualization of where the minor league affiliates are located for each major…

Side Project: Mapping baseball teams across the country

As a huge fan of baseball, I was recently surfing the web to try and find a map of all the baseball teams in my current area. I'm spending the summer in Lincoln, Nebraska and am aware that the Lincoln Salt Dogs play just a few blocks away from my apartment, but I had no idea (until working on this project) that another team plays about 30 minutes away in Omaha. This would not stand. I decided that baseball fans everywhere must have the most convenient access to locate nearby baseball teams, and…