Riot Heatmap

I’d like to make a world heat map of the riots going on. Doing a quick google search didn’t get me any results of such an app. I was thinking about riots because of somewhat of a long story. There is a podcast that I listen to called The White Vault, that has a voice actor that lives in Chile. Now recently the podcast had to postpone an episode because there was a riot going on in Chile and it was unsafe for the voice actor to make it into the studio to record. This got me curios about riots.

There are many questions I have about riots. How do they form, what is the root cause, what are the initial conditions, how do governments handle them? How useful are they for bringing about real change? What sort of metrics and data can we collect to answer these questions? Can we then use this collected data in order to predict when riots will form? Riots are interesting and seemingly most of the world experiences them.

But, for the heatmap, I think initially the heat should be based on the number of news articles.  Make another map that is based on NLP extraction of the number of deaths/money/etc that shows how actually bad the thing is.

Could look into doing it using javascript sort of like:,32.01,1308

But, really i’d like to also link to the list of the news articles/outlets etc.

I know d3 is pretty complex but maybe something like:

where maybe the connectors would be the country that was reporting on the riot.

Started new job

I’m now working at Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Johnson and Johnson company) as a machine learning scientist for drug discovery. So, what that means is that I’m using state of the art techniques in machine learning and trying to use them to help discover new drugs with the right properties. I just finished my second week and am planning on working on a reinforcement learning project already!

I’m still learning what the bigger goals are and what the overarching plan is directing our research. And well I’m not really a chemistry or biology expert in any way so I’m getting up to speed on a lot of that. Thankfully my boss has been able to explain everything I need to know so far. So, I’ll try and keep the blog updated.

As far as Janssen itself, I’m liking that I get to work one day a week at home and that I get free access to a bunch of museums like MOMA in NYC. One downside is that the 16 hr of volunteer time they give you off you can only take it off in 8 hour increments and it doesn’t accrue. So, it is going to be a bit harder to take advantage of this benefit than I thought. Also, the health insurance options don’t seem to be as good as I was expecting, especially for a pharma company.

A quick edit. I noticed I haven’t posted here in more than a year! Well my last year was a crazy busy period due to my previous job at Raytheon BBN. While working there I got to do a variety of research on about five different proposals and worked on two different programs. So, hopefully this new job will be a less stressful and I’ll have more time to post here.

Comps and Proposal Scheduled

This week I finally got a lot of stuff I have been working on for the past couple months to the next stage.  I finally got comps and dissertation proposal scheduled and my proposal approved by the chair of my committee to be handed out to the rest of my committee.  I am so very excited!

Alexandria and Resource Allocation for Food Banks

The day before Halloween Les and I went to Alexandria and we did some of the scavenger hunt.  It was a amazing warm weather and there were all of these dogs dressed in costumes.  It was really fun.  We ate at Red Rocks Pizza, which my brother recommended, but we found to be not that great.  However, because we were still hungry after the pizza we ran across this burger joint Burger Fi.  There fries are the best and the milkshakes are so so so thick and delicious and the burger of course was juicy and tasty.

I’m nearly done my dissertation proposal.  So, should get back to working on that…  But before I stop, I found a paper “Challenges in Resource and Cost Allocation” by Toby Walsh published in AAAI just this year.  He claims that food bank distribution of food to people is a challenge problem.  This is awesome!!  I would so very much love to be working on trying to come up with solutions to this problem.  I have experience working in food banks and know the trouble with fair distribution and expiring foods.  Well, ok, back to writing.

Update on life

Wow!  This week has been crazy busy.  Last weekend Les and I packed up my stuff from Hildey’s and she had her bridal shower in Hanover.  Then Monday we moved my little stuff into our first apartment and then Tuesday we moved the bigger stuff.  Stephen Kuhl helped with the move both days!  He was a great help.  Steve Aden was an enormous help, he helped move the big stuff with his truck.  He literally came straight from the airport to Hildey’s to help us!  By now Les and I have gotten just about everything of hers moved in except her dresser and one of her bigger book shelves.  Our places is looking nice!

The, yesterday Leslie’s sister, brother-in-law and niece arrived from Germany!  Was so great to finally meet them in person and have dinner with them.  Audrey is so so energetic.  She had only five ours of sleep and was still running all over the house and up and down the steps.  I wish I had that much energy.

This Saturday, if the weather holds up, my friends have put together a bachelor party and we are going in to DC for the Food Fest!

Today, we are planning on getting some of the books onto the shelves and out of the boxes and then run some errands.

I can’t wait until we are married!!  It is so close.  October 15th at 10am it begins and then by noon we should be back to our apartment and married 🙂  Then hopefully things will start to calm down again and I can get more work done.

I am hoping to propose and do my comps in early December so I have an enormous amount of work to do.  Leslie’s freelance stuff seems to have produced a number of leads and given more time after the wedding we hope some of them will pan out!  It is all so very exciting 🙂

Praise God I have a wonderful bride, a caring family and extended family, and great friends.

Smart Apartment Communities

I am getting a new apartment and am going to move-in in October!  This time it is a fancy one, not a basement of a house, but well it is still technically in a basement (subterranean as the apartment office calls it).  It is fancy in that it is part of an apartment complex.  The best part though is that I will be moving in there with my then to be wife, Leslie :).

So, last night Leslie was on her amazon because she was checking the shipping order for one of her friends wedding gift.  I was watching and she accidentally scrolled down too far and I saw what she got me for my Birthday!  She got me a Raspberry Pi 3!  So, it is a bit early for my birthday, but I don’t care.  I’m getting a raspberry pi!!!

This got me thinking of multiple ideas of what to do with it…  From making the whole kitchen into a smart kitchen.  Where we have smart outlets, automatic faucets, lights that turn on when you walk in or off when you leave, and automatic alarms that go off if the oven has been on for longer than you set it for, sound system controller, humidity regulator (since a basement probably will need a dehumidifier), temperature controller. dishwasher monitor, voice controlled kitchen timers…. I mean the list just goes on and on and on!

This got me thinking that apartment complexes would be the ideal candidate to start renovating for smart living spaces!  Essentially a smart community.  They could operate on there own smart/micro grid, have there own micro water plant (because why don’t we operate water and sewer like the micro-grid?  I mean that way the entire water system is not so easily polluted by a single source.  Also, that means a more exact amount of water is able to be cleaned etc.  idk but seems like a cool idea right?), also there would be solar panels installed on all the roofs (or at least those that make sense).  Then they could also renovate the apartments themselves.  Of course the more you pay the more the automation and the higher end the appliances etc are.  Of course you would want the smart house to be easily able to integrate the apartment resident’s devices and personal augmentation.  That way they could add more automation themselves if they desire.

So, that is a lot up front.  But, if the complexes start offering for a significant rent increase the basic smart house, they could start to increase there revenue and start to renovate the communities and start to make there company stand out.  Eventually they would have the dream of my last paragraph.  Of course if they are building a new community they might consider doing this from the start.

So, that was a fun idea I had.  I think that this would be a fun business to get into.  Contracting with apartment companies to renovate their apartment communities.


Wedding Prep and Research

Wow!  I’m quite busy.  Leslie and I’ve been putting together a wedding website (here, also she did it all.  All I did was suggest where and put in the map lol).  We have just finished our wedding registry and wow there is a lot you need for a kitchen.  Leslie has made wedding invitations and RSVP cards and cool art to go on them.  So cool!!! Well umm most of that has been what Leslie has been doing…

I’ve been helping some with that.  But I’ve been working on redoing the cloud robotics paper for ICRA and intermittently working on the theory for Bounty Hunting.  And I’m also planning on proposing my thesis and doing my comps this fall.  Along with getting married!

NYC for Agent Mix IJCAI Workshop 2016

Had an amazing first day in New York City.  Took the BoltBus with Leslie at 7am (July 10th).  We went and got pizza for lunch and went to the Met.  To get to the met we took the metro and walked through central park catching Pokemon along the way :).  We explored the Met for a while.  It is huge!!!  We left and grabbed an Uber back to my hotel and I checked in.  We took an Uber then back to the BoltBus stop and Leslie took the bus back to DC.

After she left I tried pizza from two more places.  At the one place I got 2 slices and a coke for $3.  I ate a slice in front of the building and then I folded the other slice up and grabbed my coke and ate, sipped, and walked.  That was so much fun!  Delicious pizza, with amazing surroundings.

Tomorrow at 11am I present at the Agent Mix Workshop a paper Ermo and I did on bounty hunting with task abandonment.  I can’t wait until 11:25 and my presentation is finished and I can have fun again :).

Going to have to figure out what I want to do in the free time!  I’ll post more then!

I’m Engaged!

On June 29th 2016 I formally asked Leslie Ann Brown to marry me.  She said “Yes!”.  In a couple days, July 3rd, that will be our four month anniversary for how long we have been dating.  Before that we knew each other from seeing each other at church for the past four years.  The past four months involved a lot of skype conversations while Leslie was in Germany.  And a number of dates, double dates, cooking together, geocaching, driving around and going on adventures together both before she left for Germany and after.  We are now committing to spend the rest of our lives together.  To love each other, help each other, and care for each other.

So, today Leslie came to the lab and she worked on her stuff and I worked on things I needed to get done at the lab.  But I had in mind that I would propose to Leslie in the afternoon.  I wanted to take Leslie to the parking lot of where I sat in the car with her waiting for the rest of my friends to get there to look at the stars at GMU’s observatory.  Also, it was where she first kissed me.  But to get her to the parking lot there is a Giant in the same shopping center and it was being renovated and I thought it was finished.  However, when I got there it was still closed.  So, I was like “I didn’t come over here just to get groceries to make the meatball sub.”  So, I pulled into a spot close to where we sat in my car those many months ago and asked “Will you marry me?”.  She said “Yes!”.  And then I got out a diamond necklace and put it on her.  That necklace has been passed down from my grandmother to my mother and now down to my future wife.  So, now that parking lot is also where I proposed to Leslie.  We have many good memories in that parking lot.

I love you Leslie!

Leslie’s Birthday!

My girlfriend, Leslie, had her birthday today :)!  I didn’t get to celebrate it with her because she is in Germany with her sister and brother-in-law.  She baked herself her special chocolate cake, took care of her niece, worked on applying for a job, and had fun doing some digital art for Beyond Porch and Portal (the book she is working on) while listening to a podcast.  So, I think all in all she had a pretty nice birthday, although I wish she was with me!  Planning on spending as much time with her as possible when she gets home :).  I can’t wait!