The Art of Writing Automatic Tweets

I’m a coder, by which I mean, I like solving problems with code. The more elegant the code, the better. Being also trained in the humanities, I have a aesthetic sensibility, particularly around language. Having wanted to write a Twitter bot for a while, I finally took the time to deploy one (you can see it […]

My First Twitter Bot

Inspired by the legion of Twitter bots created by Allison Parish to disseminate all kinds of lovely linguistic mayhem, I decided to build my own bot. While I love what she’s put together (my personal favorites are The Ephemerides and Deep Question Bot), I knew that generating text algorithmically wouldn’t be my thing. I’d played with Citibike […]

The Missing Pedagogy in Computer Science

Having recently made the transition to computer science from the “softer” sciences, I’ve come to understand the field of computer science, and probably to a larger extent the entire area of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), suffers from a serious pedagogy problem.  Originally I thought this was an issue with my particular teachers, but after […]

CorridorScope – A Day in the Life of Water Street

    According to IBM, we generated 2.5 billion gigabytes of data every day in 2012.  One of my passions is making that data comprehensible, especially when it concerns cities and the urban environment. Which is why I was excited when I found out about the BigIdea sponsored by the Alliance for Downtown New York for […]

The Rightful Use of Big Data

People often express concern about the role “big data” and predictive analytics will hold in the near and long term future of our society.  Some fear that critical decisions will be made automatically with little to no human intervention.  The reality is that computers are often able to make life-saving decisions much quicker than humans. […]

Hello World – Urban Data Edition

I was recently asked to help teach business analytics for the City of New York Management Academy and in putting together an appropriate practical exercise, I thought about what made for the best introduction to the world of urban data.  In programming, there’s almost always what’s called a “Hello, world” exercise that gets programmers to be started with some tangible […]