Posts tagged programming

5 things I learned at SciPy

I’ve finally decompressed after my first go-around with Scipy. For those who haven’t heard of this conference before, Scipy is an annual meeting where members of scientific community get together to discuss their love of Python, scientific programming, and open science. It spans both academics and people from industry, making it a unique place in terms of how software interfaces with scientific research. (if you’re interested the full set of Scipy conferences, check out here.

It was an eye-opening experience that I learned a lot from, so here’s a quick recap of some things that I learned during my first rodeo.

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The beauty of computational efficiency

When we discuss “computational efficiency”, you often hear people throw around phrases like \(O(n^2)\) or \(O(nlogn)\). We talk about them in the abstract, and it can be hard to appreciate what these distinctions mean and how important they are. So let’s take a quick look at what computational efficiency looks like in the context of a very famous algorithm: The Fourier Transform.

Briefly, A Fourier Transform is used for uncovering the spectral information that is present in a signal. AKA, it tells us about oscillatory components in the signal, and has a wide range of uses in communications, signal processing, and even neuroscience analysis.

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Scraping craigslist

In this notebook, I’ll show you how to make a simple query on Craigslist using some nifty python modules. You can take advantage of all the structure data that exists on webpages to collect interesting datasets.

First we need to figure out how to submit a query to Craigslist. As with many websites, one way you can do this is simply by constructing the proper URL and sending it to Craigslist. Here’s a sample URL that is returned after manually typing in a search to Craigslist:

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Coherence correlation

Note - you can find the nbviewer of this post here

A big question that I’ve always wrestled with is the difference between correlation and coherence. Intuitively, I think of these two things as very similar to one another. Correlation is a way to determine the extent to which two variables covary (normalized to be between -1 and 1). Coherence is similar, but instead assesses “similarity” by looking at the similarity for two variables in frequency space, rather than time space.

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