10 Takeaways from TICTeC 2017

This was my first time coming to The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (TICTeC). While I’ve worked around open data and civic technology for several years now in New York City, I only heard about it right before last years conference and didn’t know what to expect. What I experienced was a community that is not […]

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. […]

Data Science in the Public Interest (And How It Differs from Academia and Private Industry)

I recently responded to a comment on Stack Overflow that denounced the use of anything but black box algorithms because other algorithms had “failed” and opaque black box algorithms were the only way to go. I completely disagreed and in the disagreement, I came to understand one of the defining differences between the academic point of view […]

Demography and Subway Fares Part 1: MTA Fare Data

Note: This is part of a project I completed as part of a Data Mining class looking at using demographic data to predict fare type usage on the New York City Subway System. I’m publishing posts on the methods I used to analyze the data and the ultimate results in a series of blog posts. […]

In Praise of Simplicity

I’ve finally been able to start getting caught up on my podcasts and just listened to Walter Isaacson’s interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air (yes, I have podcasts from over a year ago I still haven’t listened to).  Pulling nuggets of wisdom and insight from Steve Job’s life is like finding seashells on the […]

When the fundamentals really do matter (to 311 million Americans and the world)

What does it take to build a massive, never-before-seen behemoth of a campaign contribution and voter mobilization management platform? Millions of dollars spent on outside consultants to build from the top down or considerably less hiring an army of senior technologists to build from the bottom up? Anyone who’s read any of the post-election analysis of the respective systems […]