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Aaron McDaid
PhD student - stats and computer science
PhD student - stats and computer science

Aaron's posts

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Load huge data files into R instantly
Despite some progress, loading really large data files into R still isn't as fast as it should be.
In other languages, in particular C++ and similar languages, it is possible to load arbitrarily large data files into memory in fractions of a second. This mi...

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Still haven't seen "green shoots" in the eurozone economy? Everyone is finally accepting that things are bad. The economy just isn't growing fast enough.

Now, at long last, is this the time when the politicians will finally accept that more assertive measures are needed? Unfortunately, I'm not counting on it. Yes, there's obviously a problem - but we'll still get a few more years of politicking over how to fix it.

Sony Kapoor writes:

"While this [buying loads of SME loans directly from banks] goes beyond conventional QE, it may be necessary in the euro zone’s bank dominated system."

i.e. give money to people who will spend it (not banks).

"... perhaps the most determinant for successful QE will actually be a looser fiscal stance."

i.e. governments should be required to run a larger deficit, not a smaller one. This is probably the best way to do it, there's only so much the central banks can do fiddling with interest rates. And if national governments won't do the right thing, shouldn't the EU itself directly tax/spend/borrow on its own account?

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A four-minute mile may have been run in the 18th century.

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Prag Sharma gives a good overview of how industry and academia work together in Ireland. The funding bodies, the universities, and so on.

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"I discovered something about myself—I have an amazing gift to always make the very best technology choice."

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UTF-8 is the best hack… ever. +Tom Scott explains why in a +Computerphile video.

A less than 10 min talk how utf-8 works. A must see for every utf-8 user, that means every user of the internet, that means you. 

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Good article about challenges facing the Irish government in its research spending.  It reflects what I've heard from fellow academics:


... The innovation strategy should be simplified, it says, “with a drastic reduction in the number of government agencies involved in funding innovation” – 11 at last count. It suggests a small number of agencies would be sufficient, with one dealing with applied research and innovation, and another with science and basic research. A high level coordination committee is also needed, it says, to prevent gaps or duplication. All this, it says, would allow a better focus on strengthening links between the business and academic communities, it adds.

It also calls for the development of applied research centres. The Paris based organisation agrees with the strategy of focusing on attracting high-tech multinationals, but adds that there could be more “spillover” between such companies and domestic SMEs – a sort of knowlegde, skills and overall innovation transfer. Firms involvement in patenting intellectual properties is below the average of 15 other OECD countries in nearly all industries, it points out.

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It's been a while since biology impressed me.  But a wasp smaller than a millimetre is pretty cool.  Impressive details here ..

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Substitute 'maths' for 'music', and you'll understand what this is all about!

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How to write a math slideshow.

The best set of slides I've seen in a long time.
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