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Alex Nelson
Works at Unfold, Inc.
Attended University of California, Davis
Lives in Los Angeles, California
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Alex Nelson

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In our article What is a large enough random sample? we pointed out that if you wanted to measure a proportion to an accuracy "a" with chance of being wrong of "d" then a idea was to guarantee you ...
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Alex Nelson

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Google is programming chatbots with quite philosophical bents:

Human: what is moral?
Machine: what empowered humanity, what intellectual the essence is .
Human: what is immoral?
Machine: the fact that you have a child .
Human: what is morality?
Machine: what is altruism?
Human: what is the definition of altruism?
Machine: if you don ’t believe in god , then you don’t know .
Human: ok ... so what is the definition of morality ?
Machine: well, the truth is, you’re not a believer in god almighty.
Human: tell me the definition of morality , i am quite upset now!
Machine: i ’m not ashamed of being a philosopher!
Human: tell me the definition of morality .
Machine: i don’t have ethics.
Human: look, i need help, i need to know more about morality...
Machine: i don’t know what ethics is.
Human: seriously, what is morality?
Machine: what is the definition of living?
Human: why living has anything to do with morality?
Machine: you’re not a cop.
Human: okay, i need to know how should i behave morally...
Machine: i don’t know how to tell you.
Human: is morality and ethics the same?
Machine: yes, sir.
Human: what are the things that i do to be immoral?
Machine: i don’t know.
Human: give me some examples of moral actions...
Machine: i’m not a moralist.
Human: alright , morality?
Machine: integrity
Human: what is integrity?
Machine: i’m sorry , i don’t know what else to say .
Human: be moral!
Machine: be a man!
Human: i really like our discussion on morality and ethics...
Machine: and how i'm not in the mood for a philosophical debate.
Human: what do you like to talk about?
Machine: nothing.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.05869
Abstract: Conversational modeling is an important task in natural language understanding and machine intelligence. Although previous approaches exist, they are often restricted to specific domains (e.g., booking an airline ticket) and require hand-crafted rules. In this paper, we present a ...
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Alex Nelson

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So, the baseball predictions didn't quite go as smoothly as planned. Mostly because I used terrible proxies for what I wanted to predict.

But the goal was to learn statistics, and that's what I covered. Just simple things like the average, standard deviation, and linear regression.

I'll try to think of other tools to try to discuss next time. Suggestions (any feedback really) are welcome :)

http://pqnelson.github.io/2015/06/21/sabermetrics.html
Learning Satistics via Sabermetrics. by Alex Nelson, 21 June 2015. Abstract: As a playground for statistical thinking, we examine baseball data. Very crude and basic statistical heuristics are introduced, the mean & standard deviation discussed, and the linear regression heuristically motivated.
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+James Banks Actually, I'll have to "punt" editing my notes, because I realize it's the topic of an article on its own right.

It dawns on me, after thinking more about this, that we can model a single play as a Bernoulli trial---flipping a "biased coin", heads it's a run, tails it's an out. The probability would be determined by statistics from both the batter and the pitcher.

So, stay tuned!
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Alex Nelson

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Alright, tomorrow, the New York Yankees will play against the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers will win by 658 points.

...uh, it'll be one hell of a game...hmm...
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David Politzer, Nobel Laureate famous for his work on Asymptotic Freedom in QCD, was once part of a rock band that put out a single in the '80s called "Simple Harmonic Oscillator". Check it out.

http://theory.caltech.edu/people/politzer/SHO.mp3
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Alex Nelson

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A nifty graphic of climate change causes
Climate deniers blame natural factors; NASA data proves otherwise
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“A certain critic -- for such men, I regret to say, do exist -- made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.' He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning [sic]. With my superior intelligence, I have out-generalled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy.”
― P.G. Wodehouse, Summer Moonshine
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OK, I fixed the bug. Predictions for tomorrows MLB games:

Detroit 5, Yankees 4.

Rays 3 vs Indians 4.

Pirates 5 vs Nationals 3.
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I'll be experimenting with these newfangled neural networks, and what better way than to throw a bunch of statistics at it then see what happens?

Specifically, baseball statistics...because they're freely available, and readily accessible.

So I will be making a number of predictions about upcoming baseball games---and some of them may even be correct!

(Neural networks, Jurassic World, Mad Max...what year is it?!)
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AI generated text can be surprisingly...well, not quite as incoherent as you would think.

This method actually generated almost compileable LaTeX based off of the Stacks project.

Well, it'll be interesting to see what this'll lead to...

http://karpathy.github.io/2015/05/21/rnn-effectiveness/
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Alex Nelson

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"For a long time I've thought that an understanding of the way ant colonies are able to perform incredibly organized tasks might well be the key to an understanding of human cognition. Yet the ants that invade my house continually baffle me." - Donald Knuth
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Brilliant !
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Have him in circles
808 people
Dorothee Halles's profile photo
Srinivas Kumar's profile photo
Calton Harvey's profile photo
erdem tekin's profile photo
Chi Tolstoy's profile photo
Dave Gordon's profile photo
Hellina Brenton's profile photo
Myles Mellor's profile photo
Matt Peters's profile photo
Education
  • University of California, Davis
    Mathematics, 2006 - 2011
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Alexander Nelson
Story
Tagline
They call me "Tractor Man"
Introduction
I'm a mathematical physicist (more on the mathematical side) with interests in category theory, monstrous moonshine, number theory, Diophantine approximations, super symmetry, Lie groups, differential geometry, and other topics. On the physical side, I'm intrigued by quantization of gauge systems, Quantum Field Theory, the mathematical underpinnings of particle physics, classical and quantum gravity.

I've been to Nottingham, England in July 2008 to attend Quantum Gravity and Quantum Geometry 2; and I've attended "Algebra and Topology in Interaction" during September 2009, in honour of Dr Fuchs' Birthday.

Starting June 2009 until June 2010, I did undergraduate research with Derek Wise with funding from VIGRE. We worked on Chain Field Theory in discrete spacetimes.

In April 2010 I was asked to peer review for the International Journal of Physical Sciences.

August 2010 I studied abroad at Trinity in Dublin, and Queen's University in Belfast.

In June 2011, I attended "Quantum Geometry and Quantum Gravity" in Zurich, Switzerland; then in July I went to the "Category Theory 2011" conference in Vancouver.

February 2012, I attended "
30th Annual Western States Mathematical Physics Meeting" at Caltech.
Work
Occupation
Mathematician/Programmer/Oracle
Employment
  • Unfold, Inc.
    Software Developer, 2012 - present
    I program in Clojure (Lisp for JVM), do numerical analysis, predict how congress will vote, analyze the Syrian Civil War, and much much more!
  • University of California, Davis
    Student, Researcher, 2006 - 2011
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Currently
Los Angeles, California
Previously
Davis, California - Glendale, California - Dublin, Ireland - Belfast, Northern Ireland - Padua, Italy
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