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Michael Kuhlen
Worked at UC Berkeley
Attended California Institute of Technology
Lives in Berkeley, CA
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Michael Kuhlen

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A small selection of photos from our Nepal trek around Mount Manaslu, with a side trip into Tsum Valley. Amazing!
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Marcel Zemp's profile photo
 
Awesome pictures! Keep them coming!
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Michael Kuhlen

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Ever since I decided to leave behind astrophysics academia and pursue a career in the Bay Area technology sector (see last post), I felt that such a momentous career and life change rightfully calls for some appropriate marker. A little space and time to sort out this new "me" and to put some distance between my old and my new (future) life, a kind of caesura if you will. With Ava coming up on a similar transition point in her job, we realized that we had a rare (once in a decade? lifetime?) opportunity to do some extended travel. Combine that with the fact that we never actually went on a honeymoon (we got married 1.5 years ago), and we started getting some ideas...

Like let's travel around the world!

About half a year ago we pulled the trigger and purchased an Around-The-World ticket with Star Alliance, and have been planning out our trip ever since. Many months and weeks of anticipation have finally come to an end -- we leave tomorrow and won't be back until the beginning of January. Check out the linked map (https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zP19VK0NUS1U.k5E0sJw6NixM) for a look at our itinerary. Our major stops are:

* 5 days in Tokyo, Japan
* A 20 day Himalayan trek in Nepal, doing the Mount Manaslu Circuit with a side trip into the sacred Buddhist Tsum Valley
* 5 days in Cambodia (Angkor Wat and birdwatching in Prek Toal)
* 1 week luxurious honeymoon in West Papua, Indonesia
* 1 week in Tanzania (4 day safari and 3 days on the spice island of Zanzibar)
* 1 week in Finland, north of the Arctic Circle (visit Santa Claus, see Aurora Borealis?)
* Return to the US in NYC, New Years in DC, then back to SF

What a trip, huh?!? I'll be taking lots of photos, and occasionally I may be able to upload a few to google+, so stay tuned for updates on our trip.

I'll see you all on the flip side.
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b collins's profile photoMarcel Zemp's profile photoSusan Matkov's profile photoAnna Kuhlen's profile photo
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I am thinking of you! And looking forward to hearing about your adventures when we see you in Finland.... :-)
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Michael Kuhlen

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Wowzers! Spotted at Monterey Market.
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Michael Kuhlen

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Today's farm share. :) Note the hot peppers. Like hell I'm giving those away. Also: a renewal gift of pickling cuces.

http://eatwell.com/ -- highly recommended if you're into vegetables.
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Michael Kuhlen

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Showing off some IPython Notebook goodness, including a 3D animation (Out[10]), which I recently learned about from the Pythonic Perambulations blog (http://jakevdp.github.io/ +Jake Vanderplas).
Introduction. The Via Lactea II (that's Latin'ish for "Milky Way") is a cosmological N-body simulation following the formation and evolution of the dark matter halo of galaxy like our own Milky Way. The simulation consists of just over 1 billion N-body particles, tracing the dark matter density ...
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Great stuff. If only this came with a DOI number, so it could be cited!
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Michael Kuhlen

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Ahhh, what beautiful memories - - a wedding to always remember!  mazel tov!!!
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Michael Kuhlen

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As promised, an update from our travels. These photos are from a few weeks ago in Tokyo. Stay tuned for the Nepal set, up next.

We're currently in Cambodia (haven't had time to look at those photos yet...), and we leave for Indonesia tomorrow.

So far it's been nothing short of magical.
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Since last weekend I am proudly employed as employee #14 of the startup company LendUp, located in San Francisco. Yay!!!

I'm super excited to be part of the team, and to contribute to something great. You can read more about LendUp on their webpage, but a short summary is that we provide socially responsible short-term and small-dollar loans to people that are otherwise unable to get credit. Normally such people are likely to fall prey to shady payday loan sharks, and often get stuck in an endless debt cycle that ends in bankruptcy. Our explicit goal is to completely disrupt this predatory market, by utilizing technology to offer a dignified way for this "underbanked" population to re-enter the normal credit market.

My role in the company will be in risk and analytics, working on the machine learning classification that is able to identify which of our potential customers actually are credit worthy. That and anything else that comes up, which for me was one of the biggest draws towards a startup -- wearing many hats and getting exposure to every aspect of building this business.

For reasons that will become clear in my next post, I'm not actually starting on the job until the beginning of January.
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Congrats on this very exciting endeavor!  We wish
you every success.  This will make a vast difference in the lives of people who need it the most.  We very proud of you.  Love from Marc & me.
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Michael Kuhlen

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One of these things (maybe?) doesn't belong. +Alexander Tronchin-James's workspace this morning at Insight Data Science. 
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+Michael Kuhlen, you too, eh? I'll check back in 6 weeks to see where you all end up.
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Very interesting read.

I agree with Dyson that the problem isn't data collection and analysis per se, but its secrecy. Open it all up (make it transparent what is being collected, what is being analyzed, and how the results are being used), and I think I'll be (more) ok with it. I also agree with Carr's point that this transparency should be extended to the corporate world as well.
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Michael Kuhlen

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This is a word cloud I made (using www.wordle.net, which has a pretty awesome interface) from the text of a review I just finished writing. The title is Numerical Simulations of the Dark Universe: State of the Art and the Next Decade, and +Mark Vogelsberger and Raul Angulo are co-authors. In 38 pages (plus 14 pages of references), we give an overview of the current state of the art in cosmological DM simulations, describe implications of their results for dark matter detection efforts and studies of dark energy, highlight limitations of the current approach, discuss efforts to include baryonic physics and the effect this can have on dark matter, and finish with an outlook for the next decade, in which we present our vision of how this field should progress and what kind of challenges we will have to face.

This is an invited contribution to the first issue of a new journal called Physics of the Dark Universe (http://www.journals.elsevier.com/physics-of-the-dark-universe/), published by Elsevier (eds. Amendola, Bertone, Profumo, Tait).

Hold on, hold on, I know what you're thinking: "Elsevier, really?? Aren't we boycotting them (http://thecostofknowledge.com/) for their outdated closed journal publication model, exorbitant prices and subscription bundles, and (past) support for ridiculous legislation like the Research Works Act?" Well, I fully agree with the odiousness of closed science (as well as closed source software and overly restrictive copyright more generally), and that's precisely why I decided to support this online-only, no author fees, fully Open Access venture that Elsevier is trying out with this new journal. It's possible Elsevier is simply trying to make us forget about their otherwise questionable behavior, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and hope that they're turning over a new leaf.

I just submitted the manuscript to the journal yesterday, and also posted it to arXiv, http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.5745.
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resolution, mofos.
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Michael Kuhlen

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California "winter" garden. Note how awesome the beer traps worked! These evil slugs choose beer over arugula (tough choice, if you ask me), and paid the price. At least they drowned in some fairly tasty Radeberger Pilsner.
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Our former slugs preferred PBR.
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Have him in circles
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Education
  • California Institute of Technology
    Physics, 1996 - 2000
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Mike
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Insight Data Science Fellow
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  • UC Berkeley
    Astrophysics, 2009 - 2013
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Berkeley, CA
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