The benefits of interdisciplinarity: residence time

The so-called residence time of a system is both an immensely useful and highly intuitive conception which provides a relevant timescale for processes. For example, the residence time of nutrients flowing into a pond would be the average ‘lifetime’ of the nutrients before being taking up by the pond creatures. If it is a small…

Markov Chain Monte Carlo: A Practical Introduction

Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation sounds, admittedly, like a method better left to professional practitioners and the like; but please don’t let the esoteric name fool you. MCMC, as we like to call is, is a powerful yet deceptively simple technique that can be useful in problems ranging throughout science and engineering. Since this promises…

Which Witch is Which

This post is an elaboration of an iRKernel Notebook which can be found at http://misc.tkelly.org/Which_Witch.html. For a previous article on the iPython Notebook, see here. Every programming language comes pre-packaged with certain basic functions, or methods, that are considered standard. These generally include methods for sorting objects, conversions between basic types (e.g. integer float string),…

How Twitter Improved my Ecological Model

For a last couple weeks I’ve been working on a marine ecosystem model using a technique called Inverse Modeling(1)I’ll be sure to do a writeup on what Inverse Modeling is and what makes it interesting in the future.; and while there’s been lots of progress, I’m starting to get to the point where the model takes some…