Why Is Crosscheck So Bad? Bayesian Statistics

It’s June of 2019, and political tensions are at an all-time high. Fear of election fraud, either from fears of hacking or double voting, is widespread on all political sides. Do you know what this country needs? Another hot take on the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck system. Background I’ve seen plenty of excellent criticisms leveled at this system. For those of you not familiar with it, the Crosscheck system takes voting records from all participating states, then checks for any duplicate people.

Creative Writing

Since it’s the new year, it’s allegedly a new me, and starting this semester, I’ll have the opportunity to take a few English classes. I’m starting with Intro to Fiction writing, and I’m thinking of publishing a few of the things that I write in that class on here. Although a lot of the coursework is going to be composed writing exercises that don’t have, y’know, plots or character development, I do know that I’ll be writing a couple short stories at some point this semester.

Finally (heh) Over

I’m done. I’m finally done with finals. It’s been a heck of a semester. My classes were… well, meh, for the most part. Computer Engineering was a challenge, as was Computer Science. I didn’t do as well as I would like in Linear Algebra (retrospectively, I could have, but I slacked off a little too much at the beginning of the semester). UNIX was a joke, as everyone told me.

Please Stop Using Weighted Grades

This is just me screaming into the void. You can totally choose to ignore this if you want.

Please stop using them. Your students will thank you. Since I’ve entered college, this has been something of a pet peeve of mine. I understand why teachers do it; it’s a very useful tool for structuring how much a particular group of homework, quizzes, or tests affects grades. It’s really very predictable when you calculate grades at the end of the semester. But when you’re checking grades over the course of the year, weighted grades can be very frustrating for a student, because new grades added to a weighted average system can’t affect grades across assignment groups.

Switching to Hugo

I’ve been using Jekyll to host this website since I’ve started it. I originally started using it because it’s what Github Pages provided, but since I wanted to use a custom theme, I had to use several hacks to publish a compiled version of my site to the master branch. I’ve finally switched to Hugo, since I figured that if I was going to have to roll my own publication tools, I might as well use a site generator that fit with my mental model.

Internship Post-Mortem

On Friday I finished my internship at CBOE. Quite honestly I’m going to miss working there; I learned a lot, both from my coworkers and from the codebase. In this post I’m going to go over what I liked (and disliked) about my summer internship. The Known Unknowns Going into this internship, I knew that I would have to learn how to properly develop software with others. Most of my prior experience involved me writing a program to solve a problem or complete an assignment.

I Distrohopped Again

If you know any Linux people, you’ll know that many of them seem to have this obsession with changing the distribution of their operating system every few months. I am one of these people. I guess that after so many months of use, Ubuntu just grew too ancient for me. Or something. So now I’m running Fedora 28. I have all kinds of rationalizations for choosing it: it has a better release cycle that lets me use new software sooner, it’s more FOSS than Ubuntu, yadda yadda yadda.

My First 'Real' Programming Job

Last week, I started my first internship at Cboe Global Markets. Hooray! I’m getting paid to do what I do for fun anyway! I was expecting it to be difficult, and it is, but it’s certainly not as difficult as I was led to believe. Obviously I can’t talk about anything that I’m working on in detail (NDAs and all that), but I can say that I’m being much more productive than I expected.

The Physics of Impossibly Loud Music

This post was inspired very heavily by xkcd’s What If series.

I was re-reading Douglas Adams’s Restaraunt at the End of the Universe, and I came across one of Adams’s many flights of fancy: “Disaster Area was a plutonium rock band from the Gagrakacka Mind Zones and was generally regarded as not only the loudest rock band in the Galaxy, but also as being the loudest noise of any kind at all. Regular concert goers judged that the best sound balance was usually to be heard from within large concrete bunkers some thirty-seven miles away from the stage, whilst the musicians themselves played their instruments by remote control from within a heavily insulated spaceship which stayed in orbit around the planet - or more frequently around a completely different planet.

My First Successful Game Jam

I competed in Ludum Dare 41 last weekend, when I made a small video game in 48 hours. Was that ever a learning experience. First off, you can play my entry, Puzzle Prizon, here! LD 41 is still in its voting rounds, so if you also participated in Ludum Dare, I’d like to have your feedback. Preparation I’ve written about my other failed attempts at participating in game jams. Every time that I’ve gone to join one, life has gotten in the way, whether that be schoolwork or laziness.