Displaying the most recent of 24 posts written by

Tom

On Encryption, Part 2: Of Rung Bells and Cats Out of Bags

Last time, we discussed the basics of encryption, and talked about concepts like security through obscurity, Kerckhoffs’ principle, Linus’s law, and the fundamental challenge of encryption (the adversary and you). In this post, we’ll discuss how those concepts apply to ideas like backdoors and deliberate flaws in encryption software, and then I’ll end with a […]

On Encryption, Part 1: The Morality of Mathematics

I have been privileged throughout my life to be surrounded by many intelligent and articulate people. Between friends, colleagues, and family members, I regularly have a chance to engage in real, honest, and meaningful discussion on a wide range of subjects. I value and cherish this fact for numerous reasons, not the least of which […]

My R Coding Convention

It seems like many R programmers (probably, many programmers in general) end up writing a post of this type, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I recently switched jobs, so I am at a nice point to make a “fresh start” with my coding conventions: I am not facing the need to refactor […]

Intro to Shiny – Talk for the Greater Cleveland R Group

I was able to give a talk recently to the Greater Cleveland R Group about Shiny, the R package that lets you build web apps for data visualization and analysis using R. It’s a pretty neat package, and I wanted to share my slides, code, and presentation here. My thanks to Gaurav Narain Saxena for recording […]

We Stopped Dreaming (Part 2)

I posted the original of this several years ago, but hadn’t realized until tonight that there was a second part, which I’m posting again now. Take five minutes to listen to the wonderful Neil deGrasse Tyson talk about space and culture.

Write your own! On having better habits as an R programmer

I contribute responses to Stack Overflow pretty frequently. I like answering well-written questions and enjoy that it keeps my skills sharp. However, one area of annoyance for me on Stack Overflow is that many answers start with “You can do this using the <insert package name here> package” – even when the task at hand can […]

This One Chart Perfectly Sums Up Why Most Posts That Start This Way Are Total Lies!!!

How many times have you heard this line before? “This one graph perfectly sums up the current plight of Millenials!” “This one chart shows everything about global warming in a nutshell!” It’s one of the more common clickbait articles, but as a data science professional and Edward Tufte fan, I just can’t take it anymore. I […]

Public Health Informatics and the Future of Public Health

I wrote this essay almost six years ago, while I was in graduate school working on my MPH. I stumbled across it recently and thought to share it, especially given the direction in which my career has moved. Public health informatics represents an exciting area of future growth in public health, where many different disciplines […]

Learn to Code

I love this video. I mean, I just love it. It inspires me about our future, and it truly moves me to see some of the titans of information technology talking about how they first discovered coding. Listening to them talk about the thrill of making a computer do something on their command reminds me […]

Experiencing E-Cigs, Part 1: The Starter Pack

It has been established beyond all doubt that smoking tobacco is, to put it mildly, not great for your health. I’ve known that since I was in elementary school, where I penned a quite-awful “editorial” asking why tobacco wasn’t made illegal, since it was so obviously bad for you. Times have changed since then, and […]