Blog


birthday
  • February 19, 2017

Thirty Four

This is going to be a dark one, isn’t it? It is the ninth year you are doing this and motivation seems to be on short supply this time. Especially when the year that has been was 2016. But let’s at least try. You owe it to your downtrodden spirit. Despite your annoying tendency to […]

big-data-makes-for-exceptional-machine-learning
  • December 9, 2016

What Makes You Tick? Using Machine Learning to Study Social Media Science Communication

The first paper I wrote for my PhD just got published! Here’s the link to download it, and here’s the story behind the paper: I started my PhD with the goal of critically examining the process and outcomes of social media science communication. Despite the flurry of activities in this domain and the huge amount […]

election
  • November 11, 2016

Post US Election Reflections of a non-American Citizen

The result of the US elections has shaken me to my core. I am surprised by my own reaction and the heartache I am feeling about the election of a country that is not even my own. I have been trying very hard to figure out the source of my disquiet and disappointment. I have […]

falling-leaf
  • March 8, 2016

Toastmasters speech #9: All in Good Time

“You are such a freak!” The words pierced my heart. I stood frozen in my spot while my friends laughed and moved on nonchalantly as if they hadn’t just shattered my heart. The reason they were calling me a freak? My hair. Dear madam toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen, have you ever gotten a very bad […]

birthday
  • February 19, 2016

Thirty Three

It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. That about sums up your year doesn’t it? The sea of change very nearly engulfed you but I would be surprised if after all these years you haven’t learned to claw through the muddiest of muds. You are a messy fighter. You’ve […]

stats
  • February 11, 2016

Toastmasters speech #8: Almost Everything You Know About The World Is Wrong

When I decided to move to Australia 1.5 years ago, I broke the news to my closest friends in Geneva in an email titled “Guess where I am moving to?”, and I attached this picture: (slide) One of my friends, Mori, replied within a few minutes, with this: (slide) Now I have done my research […]

din
  • January 7, 2016

Where are the Baby Dinosaurs?

Let’s talk about dinosaurs. Because, dinosaurs. Have you ever wondered why aren’t there many (if at all) baby or adolescent dinosaur bones on display in museums? We have a large amount of different types of dinosaurs with enchanting and colourful names like Piatnitzkysaurus or Bambiraptor (I kid you not), but where are their baby versions? […]

elon
  • December 21, 2015

Elon Musk

I just finished reading Elon Musk’s biography by Ashlee Vance. The book is like an extended version of waitbutwhy’s article on Musk but provides a more in-depth and human view into Musk as a person, not just an entrepreneur with an incredible vision and is willing to take insane risks to realise his goals. If I haven’t mentioned […]

medicine
  • December 9, 2015

Innovation vs. Diffusion

An interesting article on the trade-off between innovation and diffusion, using the war on cancer as example: The social conditions that birthed a new idea in one place impeded the spread of that same idea in another. People who push for greater innovation in the marketplace often naïvely assume that what is good for the […]

empathy
  • December 7, 2015

Empathy is a Choice

Why does a single crying child or an injured puppy arouse more empathy than a large number of suffering people, e.g. in epidemics, wars or natural disasters? Isn’t it odd that empathetic feelings diminish when they are needed the most? Is empathy a limited resource that we cannot extend indefinitely and is therefore a source for […]

ex-machina
  • December 4, 2015

Humane Artificial Intelligence?

An oxymoron or the holy grail of AI design? The tendency to anthropomorphise things we create is deeply embedded in human nature. However, to create robots which resemble and emphatise with us, we need to first define ‘human’. And that in itself is quite a tricky subject, it seems. For starters, if we want humane AI, […]

male-vs-female-brain
  • December 2, 2015

The Myth of Distinct Male and Female Brains

Like the article says, one of the biggest hurdles to gender equality is crumbling. Based on rigorous analysis of core features seen in the brain scans of more than 1,400 female and male subjects, a new study found that there is essentially no difference between the brains of the two sexes. most [brains] are unique mixes […]