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Mark Crowley
Works at Oregon State University
Attended University of British Columbia
9,733 followers|843,832 views


Mark Crowley

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Even our code speaks in memes now.

Actual stacktrace error:
TypeError: ImmutableColumnCollection object is immutable
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Mark Crowley

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We're Hosting #ScienceChat: Equality & Inclusion in STEM
This Wednesday the 9th of April at 2PM PDT on Twitter,@STEMWomen will lead an online discussion on how we can improve women's participation in STEM. We'll talk about how we can address intersections of discrimination in STEM, including gender, race, LGBTQI issues, as well as other forms of exclusion. We'll also focus on the creative ways to improve science outreach to disadvantaged and marginalised groups. Join our discussion on Twitter using #ScienceChat . Our talented guests are all STEM outreach & diversity advocates:

@LaMinda +Mindy Weisberger 
@Julia_SCI +Julia Wilde 
@JessieNYC +Jessie Daniels 
@drisis Isis the Scientist
@Dharlette +Hannah Grimm 
@LlewellynCox +Llewellyn Cox 
@kaythaney +Kaitlin Thaney 
@kejames +Karen James 
@NellieNeutron +Ellen Byrne 
@madamscientist +Rajini Rao 

Thanks to +Javier Noris for the invitation to participate in this exciting event!

#stemwomen   #women   #stem   #science   #twitter   #scienceoutreach   #education   #lgbtqi   #racism  
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Mark Crowley

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Fascinating map of an experiment with balloon flight over the Antarctic. They use these flights to validate and improve their models of the dynamics in the atmosphere. Their models are very good but as always, real experiments are the only way to be sure, and they always find surprises. Also, a neat reminder than the gulf stream in the southern hemisphere loops in a circle around Antarctica unlike the windy one in the north.
One of our balloons has had quite a journey over the past few weeks. It did a lap around the world in 22 days, and has just clocked the project’s 500,000th kilometer as it begins its second lap. It enjoyed a few loop-de-loops over the Pacific ocean before heading east on the winds toward Chile and Argentina, and then made its way back around near Australia and New Zealand. Along the way, it caught a ride on the Roaring Forties — strong west-to-east winds in the southern hemisphere that act like an autobahn in the sky, where our balloons can quickly zoom over oceans to get to where people actually need them.

Traversing the stratosphere is particularly challenging this time of year because the winds actually change direction as the southern hemisphere moves from warmer to colder weather, resulting in divergent wind paths that are hard to predict. Since last June, we’ve been using the wind data we’ve collected during flights to refine our prediction models and are now able to forecast balloon trajectories twice as far in advance. In addition, the pump that moves air in or out of the balloon has become three times more efficient, making it possible to change altitudes more rapidly to quickly catch winds going in different directions. There were times, for example, when this balloon could have been pulled into the polar vortex – large, powerful wind currents that whip around in a circle near the stratosphere in the polar region – but these improvements enabled us to maneuver around it and stay on course. We can spend hours and hours running computer simulations, but nothing teaches us as much as actually sending the balloons up into the stratosphere during all four seasons of the year.

Take a look through our photo album to see some of the specific improvements that have been made to the balloon technology, thanks to the lessons we’ve learned in flight.
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Mark Crowley

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250,000 Members in our Community - Thank You!
We've passed two milestones recently. Firstly, we're actually up to 251.4K members now - and we wanted to thank you, our members! Secondly, we're the 9th largest Community on Google+! That's all thanks to you!

We appreciate your fascinating science posts, your spirited debate and your generous feedback to our fellow members who ask for science input. We'd like to highlight some of our Curator's Choice posts. Further celebrations will follow!

Clockwise from top left:
Physical +John Baez takes us through the physics of the  IceCube Neutrino Observatory (
Science Bytes +Jonathan Stevens demonstrates the complexity of embryo development in a single image.
Life +Michael Habib  explains how some birds rack up thousands of frequent flier miles (
Science Outreach +Jason Osborne discusses Shark Finder, the project providing disadvantaged students with citizen science tools (
Applied +Yonatan Zunger explains the mathematics of how we measure our Universe (
Applied +Joerg Fliege delves into the peculiar prevalence of the p-value, a standard measure in statistics (
Earth +Johnathan Chung provides an amazing science outreach answer explaining the science of the earth's layers (
Applied +annarita ruberto explains the Euler Spiral and its many applications (
Social +M. Laura Moazedi discusses the relationship between perceptions of time and internet use (

Other excellent posts are found in our Policy & Practice category, including a brave account of submitting a retraction of a science paper by +Pamela Ronald   ( In a terrific example of a Science News share +Tommy Leung brings our attention to an example of #ScienceMediaHype , where the media dive into early conclusions on the behaviour of dolphins and puffer fish ( 

Did we miss any of your favourite posts? Tell us below!

#science  #SoG+CuratorsChoice 
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For all my non-techy friends. Bit of a big deal here, short story, you might want to consider changing your passwords sometime soon.
It seems a few days ago a major flaw was found in the main way security is done on the internet. 

The flaw would let hackers steal passwords easily and it's been there for the past two years before it was found, we don't know if hackers knew about it already. So, while we don't know if anyone's passwords have been stolen, almost any time you logged into a website in the past two years could have been an opportunity for someone to steal your password.

So, sometime soon, maybe over the weekend, you should consider coming up with a couple new, good, strong passwords and logging in to all your important websites and changing them. Like banks, government services (CRA had this bug), email, facebook, amazon, netflix etc. Definitely any site that has your credit card information or address.

Tips on coming up with a good password:
Funny version:
Serious version:
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+Gary Beltrami +Mark Crowley Yes, you should also make sure the site is no longer vulnerable (, and that they've re-keyed and re-issued their SSL certificate.
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Mark Crowley

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If this is true it's really amazing. Seeing a meteor falling right past you as you sky dive.
It sounds like a remarkable story, almost unbelievable: Anders Helstrup went skydiving nearly two years ago near Hedmark, Norway and while he didn’t realize it at the time, when he reviewed the footage taken by two cameras fixed to his helmet during the dive, he saw a rock plummet past him. He took it to…
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Mark Crowley

Science Bytes (Memes, Cartoons, Images)  - 
Planetary Cakes!
This is a great idea. I don't know if they are all fully to scale but making very accurate planetary representations in cake form is educational and tasty. But they only have some of the more obvious planets done. How would you do a Europa cake? Or a Saturn cake?
This is possibly the greatest thing I have ever seen, in cake form. It's a scientifically-accurate planet cake, complete with actual inner layers that make a beautiful cutaway diagram just like you used to bake in your geophysics of cooking courses.
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Mark Crowley

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
Fascinating. I know there is bigger news today with the discovery of a new small body out beyond Pluto but this story is really interesting for the process of discovery. The short story is that an asteroid that has had strange readings and behaviour in the past was observed recently passing directly in front of a star. The way it blocked the stars light indicates it has it's own ring system! This was not something scientists had thought of before and it turns out it explains a lot of the strange previous readings. Just goes to show, when you don't know the answer, just keep an open mind and keep looking.
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Have him in circles
9,733 people
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Postdoctoral Scholar in Machine Learning at Oregon State University
  • Oregon State University
    Postdoctoral Scholar, 2012 - present
  • University of British Columbia
    Graduate Student, 2003 - 2012
  • IBM Canada
    Software Engineer, 1999 - 2003
Basic Information
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
Big Data. Big Space. Big Decisions.
I'm a postdoc researcher in Computer Science. My research focusses on large scale planning under uncertainty for spatial dynamic systems. A major motivation is ecological planning problems such as managing forest fires and invasive species in river networks but these types of problems arise in infectious disease control, natural resource management and urban planning as well. See my academic website for more information.

- You can find all my Academic Publications here
- I manage The CompSust Blog for Cornell's Institute for Computational Sustainability. The blog highlights research and news in this exciting new field.
Computationally Thinking focusses on explaining computer science and artificial intelligence news.
- My blog PopTheStack focusses on politics and democratic reform, primarily in Canada. I also have many of these posts published on the Huffington Post Canada.

Community/Page Curator
Other Interests
I'm also very interested in Astronomy, Game Theory, Behavioural Economics and Philosophy. 

Career (I'm looking for a permanent academic position)
Another translation of the work "postdoc" is "academic looking for a job". So if you hear of interesting positions in university or industry that sound related to what do or talk about, feel free to get in touch.

Feel free to drop me a line on one of my blogs or Google+ if you want to chat about one of these topics.

  • University of British Columbia
    Computer Science (PhD, Msc), 2005 - 2012
  • University of British Columbia
    Computer Science (MSc), 2003 - 2005
  • York University
    Computer Science (BA), 1995 - 1999
Mark Crowley's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Norwegian Skydiver Almost Gets Hit by Falling Meteor — and Captures it o...

It sounds like a remarkable story, almost unbelievable: Anders Helstrup went skydiving nearly two years ago near Hedmark, Norway and while h

Asteroid surprises with set of shiny Saturn-like rings - space - 26 Marc...

A small space rock called 10199 Chariklo is the first asteroid seen with a ring system akin to Saturn's, perhaps created by impacts or colli

Upcoming Computational Sustainability Workshop and Other News

Mark Crowley's website and blog on computer science, artificial intelligence, computational sustainability and education.

#1 Source For Space And Astronomy News.

It's Time to Demand a True Democracy | Green Party of Canada

The Conservatives' so-called "Fair Election Act" is a threat to our Canadian Democracy. It's time to demand a True Democracy. First Name: *.

Un peu de math...

A couple of months ago an email somehow found it's way in to my inbox mentioning a new user group that was setting up in Cardiff. This was f

Why the hurry to pass the Fair Elections Act?

The Harper government seems determined to muscle its Fair Elections Act into law with as little debate as possible

Canadian Olympic Team / Équipe olympique canadienne

The Canadian Olympic Team represents the highest level of sport in Canada. / L’Équipe olympique canadienne est fière de représenter le plus haut niveau du sport amateur au Canada.

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Advancing computing as a science and a profession

Build with Chrome

Now you can build with LEGO® bricks using Google Maps as your baseplate. Imagine. Explore. Build online in Chrome. #buildwithchrome

Build with Chrome

Now you can build with LEGO® bricks using Google Maps as your baseplate. Imagine. Explore. Build online in Chrome. #buildwithchrome

Why There's No Outcry

People ask me all the time why we don't have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive

Upcoming Computational Sustainability Workshop and Other News

Happy New Year CompSust researchers! If you are in the Atlanta area take a look at this workshop being hosted by Georgia Tech. It looks like

Doctor Who Series 5

Composer Murray Gold, a very busy and prolific musician, came up with another season's worth of background scoring for the 13 episodes of th

Just Geeked!

Want to see a Supernova?? Hey guys, what's up? Couple of nights ago, astronomers were able to identify a supernova in Messier 82 (M82),also

Congress requires publicly funded research to be publicly available

The new Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which Congress passed yesterday, contains an important -- and fantastic -- provision: it requires that

Doctor Who

This commercial page from BBC Worldwide helps to fund new BBC programmes.

Take Action | Penny4NASA

Penny4NASA. Penny4NASA is a nonprofit focused on advocating for the increase in NASA's budget to a total of 1% of the US annual budget. Penn

Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II

Kirk's Original Five Year Mission Continues

Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Jakes is in a very cool part of town and sitting in the Wood panelled booths makes you feel like it's the 1920s again. The food is fresh and well prepared by not exciting. We had the crab and artichoke dip, crab/shrimp cakes and crawfish penne. They were all pretty good but not amazing. The pasta in particular could have used more flavour.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
Great food. Great service and atmosphere. Long wait, get a drink and chat with your friends.
Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
Slowest McDonald's ever? Possibly.
Food: Poor to fairDecor: Poor to fairService: Poor to fair
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
46 reviews
As far as I can tell this is the best pizza in town. Nice thin crust, flavourful sauce and good ingredients. Don't go to that other place.
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
Ahhh, real authentic ramen. Almost washes away the awkward taste of boom noodles the other day.
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago