01.1 – Let’s talk about how to talk about statistics! Part one

The first couple chapters of the ISLR deal with vocabulary and underlying concepts. I’ve chosen to summarize them in a series of hopefully more engaging and descriptive posts that break the information down topically. If you come from a STEM background, all of this should be at least passingly familiar, if not outright dull. If you don’t have a STEM background, then bear with me, cause the topic material (pretty much from here on out) is going to be dry and sometimes full of strange symbols that will frighten and enrage and confuse you at first. Rest assured, they are not sinister – they are in fact mostly chosen arbitrarily or aesthetically. They are merely tools, and you are here to learn how to make them do your bidding.

I’ll include links that explain various things in more detail if you’re like me and consistently find yourself having anywhere from 30 to 100 browser tabs open at one time that you never really fully read through.  So if you’re ready to add to your tab count, or otherwise just want a brief overview of some important basic statistics concepts and vocabulary, then by all means, jump down the rabbit hole!

Continue reading “01.1 – Let’s talk about how to talk about statistics! Part one”

Teaching Myself R via the ISLR

This will be the first of hopefully a long series of posts of me learning the R programming language by working through the examples in An Introduction to Statistical Learning“, which is free in PDF form. Before we get too deep into code and math, keep reading if you want a high level overview of Python (which I am mostly comfortable with) and R (which I know very little of).

Continue reading “Teaching Myself R via the ISLR”

What I learned from a Data Science Bootcamp

So those of you who may know me personally may be aware that I recently completed General Assembly’s Data Science Intensive Fellowship. I’ve had a few months to internalize the experience, figure out what other skills may help me get employed, and get a taste of the current job market. What follows is my deconstruction of the program:

Continue reading “What I learned from a Data Science Bootcamp”

Off-Topic Entirely – SARS-2/Covid19 Thoughts

I know what you are thinking. “I come to this blog to learn about making things blink, not get bummed out by health, politics, and economics.” And that’s fine. Writing this is maybe more an exercise for me than you. But my background and interests are pretty eclectic, and I’m using this as a chance to exercise parts of my brain that are directly relevant to the things that I am doing in class.

Continue reading “Off-Topic Entirely – SARS-2/Covid19 Thoughts”

It’s Been a While. . . .

It’s been the better part of two years since I last wrote a post for this site. The reason for this travesty is that I took a job for an abusive employer. I was working 80 hours a week, often including weekends. The breaking point was when I caught my employer stealing leave.

As my experiences withing my chosen field of chemistry have been mostly negative, and since there is little opportunity for chemists in Austin, TX anyways, I have chosen to pursue a career in Data Science. After all, I already have a good handle on the math and the concepts. Might as well learn the code. And since most of the data science world works in Python, I can use that to sharpen my skills in TouchDesigner.
Continue reading “It’s Been a While. . . .”

Is Interactive Art Actually Art?


I am writing this piece in response to a recent article on Glasstire.com. For those of you who are not aware of obscure websites that offer information and critique on the Texas art scene, Glasstire offers information and reviews of art openings, galleries, museums, and events within and adjacent to Texas.

The article, titled “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Meow Wolf,” is a scathing critique on the world of interactive art, focusing on Meow Wolf in particular, but extending itself to include Burning Man, festivals, and art fairs. The argument, essentially, is that Meow Wolf in particular, and interactive art in general, is not Art with a capital A, and that such installations are merely entertainment: “It’s fine. It works. It’s not art.” Continue reading “Is Interactive Art Actually Art?”

A Few Words on TouchDesigner

TouchDesigner is an extremely powerful and versatile tool for media and interactive art. I was introduced to this program by Tavia Morra, and got my first lessons in it from a workshop done by Daniel Schaeffer. More and more, I find myself gravitating towards making my interactive projects with it, particularly since it allows for just about any kind of trigger, and you can control huge numbers of LEDs via Artnet. Theoretically, you can control over 5.5 million LEDs via Artnet!
Continue reading “A Few Words on TouchDesigner”

The FireFlower: Some Technical Details

So last post I gave a bit of an overview of how the FireFlower worked. Today, we’ll go into a little more depth about how it was made. Newsflash – I am terrible about documenting the things I work on, and so I will endeavor to do that better on future projects! The code for the two Arduinos will be posted to GitHub presently, and I will link them in an update soon, I promise!
Continue reading “The FireFlower: Some Technical Details”

The FireFlower

The FireFlower represents my second fully self-designed interactive art project. It incorporates LEDs, color theory, propane flame effects, and an interactive puzzle game to trigger the effects. The project is made of steel and wood, uses a 30 gallon air compressor tank as a vapor accumulator, and is driven by two arduinos and a custom microprocessor. It debuted at Burning Flipside in 2016, and made an appearance at Burning Man the same year.
Continue reading “The FireFlower”