Matlab is an archaic piece of software, is stupidly expensive, has a ridiculous syntax, horrible UI, and a whole host of bizarre quirks that you just put up with because that one grad student 10 years ago wrote a controller in it for a camera from a company which no longer exists and your supervisor refuses to buy a new one because apparently that’s a ridiculous price for only 14 bits of dynamic range.
And despite all that, when I was in the zone I’m not sure I’ve ever been as effective in another piece of software. Let’s see about bringing it up to scratch.
Here’s a post which combines my favourite bits of writing a blog – fairly mathematical, not too simple or difficult to implement, mostly based around pictures, not covered in my undergraduate education, and pretty damn useful in my job. Excited? You should be.
The last time I looked at house prices it went pretty well, and I ended up winning a data science competition. There I was only dealing with a million or so records, and a relatively small 120 MB dataset. Then I found out it was possible to download 3.7GB of property sale records for all of England and Wales since 1995, so let’s have another go. Continue reading →
Holidays are so relaxing. You know the drill: lounge around, eat and drink haphazardly, play card games, simulate several million card games to gain an advantage over your opponents, go for walks, visit the seaside, derive relationships for expected values of card hands, buy chocolates, smash unsuspecting opponents through brute force, send a postcard, etc. etc.
Given a few of my previousposts it’s obvious that I’m a fan of the physics and mathematics that that comes along with the theory of classical optics. To make the number of lens-based posts a nice round three then, here’s a simple Matlab App I made over the last few days which lets you play with lenses interactively, hopefully giving a bit of useful insight into the underlying principles.
In my last blog post I waded through a lot of maths with no pretty pictures to show for it. I’ll redress the balance here and make the pictures extra pretty. The post title alludes to a previous post, and is similar in that I’ll be using mathematics to form interesting 3D objects.
What does this title mean? What’s with the recent bus obsession? Is this post even about buses, or are they just being carelessly shoehorned into every post title from here on out? Excellent questions, thanks for asking. Allow me to explain.
I was playing pool recently, rather badly, and remembered it was much easier to play on a computer, when one can look down on the table from above and see where the balls are more easily. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to see this in real time when playing pool? I haven’t done that here, yet, but lets have a look at the steps which might be involved in a solution.
Continuing on from my last post concerning optimisation and Lagrange multipliers, I came across a neat little paper on the arXiv here, which asks and answers the question: what shape should a planet be to maximise the gravitational force at a given position? This is a fun problem, solved using an extension of the techniques from the last post, namely the use of Lagrange multipliers to optimise a function given some constraint.
I saw an article on the Guardian website here on the 3D-printing of shapes which project interesting patterns of light. Ignoring the strangely forced Halloween reference, I thought this would be an interesting project to attempt for an arbitrary pattern, perhaps as a personalised lampshade. Buoyed by the continuing high of leftover sweets from Friday night, let’s have a look.