Category Archives: Website

Research Page Updated

I’ve deleted my old “Projects” page and created a “Research” page which contains my current and past research projects. The page is split into topics of research:
-Energy, my primary research area
-Behavioral, my secondary research area
-Sports, my fun research area
-Other, including any one-off projects
-Old Projects, from undergraduate and Master’s years or from internships

Japanese Spam

Why does my website keep getting overrun with Japanese spam in the comments? I use the Akismet plugin on WordPress to block spam, but it is doing a terrible job. Does anyone know a way of blocking all non-English comments?

New Technique for Theory Posts

I’ve decided to stop selecting haphazard topics for the Theory Tuesday/Thursday sequence of posts.

My field of study goes by many names: operations research, operations management, decision science, industrial engineering, management science, etc. I want to create a useful repository of knowledge about my field. I envision it as filling two roles:
-Serving as an introduction to the field for the interested but uninitiated student
-Serving as a roadmap for learning specific topics for current analysts

I want to first create a list of topics to cover (e.g. probability, supply chains, optimization, etc.). Then I want a big list of sub-topics to hit under each topic. Each post will be about one of these sub-topics and you’ll be able to reference the entire list to see where it fits within the topic.

As I study for my qualifying exams for the spring, these lists will be built and augmented. Then I will slowly type up and add to the repository of knowledge.

If I get enough time, I would also like to create short video lectures to supplement my text-based theory notes. I’m envisioning something similar to MRUniversity. I’ve created video lectures in the past, while working. It would be fun to create optimized short lectures that deliver the information quickly and convincingly. Add this to my ever-increasing list of things I want to do but don’t really have time to do.

I will be updating the way the theory posts are stored on the website in the next couple weeks. Once an initial list of topics and sub-topics to cover is created, I will start knocking out the sub-topic posts. Stay tuned.

Semi-Death of the “Travel” Post Category

I had in mind at the start of the summer that I would write Travel posts for this blog on Friday afternoons. That didn’t really happen. I can’t compete with my fiancee’s website. Maria’s travel/adventure website is much better and more thorough than anything I could write, so check that out to see her view of our travels. Most, but not all, of her writing is about experiences common to both of us.

If I have something that needs to be written from my perspective (like the engagement story), I will write a Travel post. But it will be infrequent.

Blog posting schedule will be updated accordingly.

Code Monkey Mondays- LaTeX for WordPress

If you like to write math and run a blog with WordPress, it may be useful to know how to use LaTeX in your posts. First question: do you host your own blog and use WordPress.org as the formatting system or does WordPress.com host your blog?

Self-hosting with WordPress.org formatting:

This is what I use for my site. Goto Plugins and search for LaTeX. Install the plugin WP LaTeX. You can now add equations and math to your posts by typing “latex mathy-LaTeX-code” with $ instead of quotes. So, for example, “latex e=mc^2” would become e=mc^2 if I had used the dollar signs instead of the quotes on the outside of the expression. To allow similar expressions to be used in your comments, goto the Plugin settings and enable the comments parsing.

Blog hosted by WordPress.com:

You don’t need to install any plugins. Just type LaTeX as described above and it will auto-parse.

Blog Post Schedule

Here is the current weekly schedule for blog posting for me:
Monday AM: Code Monkey Monday
Monday PM: Life Tips
Tuesday AM: Two Links Tuesday
Tuesday PM: Theory Tuesday
Wednesday: Sports Talk
Thursday AM: Theory Thursday
Thursday PM: Project Updates
Friday: Book Review

What to expect in the posts:
I don’t like to spend a lot of time typing, so most posts will be short. You’re welcome. If you want further elaboration, please comment or email (eric.michael.webb@gmail.com) me.
Code Monkey Monday: I’ve programmed a lot more than most non-computer scientists. I will write tips for getting started and details of interesting things I’ve come across.
Life Tips: Short suggestions of things that make more more healthy/productive/awesome.
Two Links Tuesday: Two websites or news stories that caught my eye and are worth sharing.
Theory Tuesday/Thursday: I’m studying Decision Science and Operations Management with the hope of teaching these subjects in the future. These short posts are my way of providing brief explanations of technical topics for anyone that wants to know what my field is all about. Hopefully future students can reference them.
Project Updates: Short post about what I’ve accomplished lately.
Book Reviews: I read quite a bit, most of which is non-fiction. These are short reviews of the books that I have read recently.

Update on 8/15/14: Occasionally I will write a post about my travels. This will only happen when I have a unique perspective that Maria’s website can’t cover.

A backlog of each kind of post will be available in the “Past Posts” section.

Welcome

Thanks to Maria Schwartzman for setting up this website for me.  I hope to use this blog as a showcase for my research and research interests.  I’m a Decision Science PhD at Indiana University.  See the Projects page for an overview of my current and past projects and the About Me section for a description of my interests.  Thinking about and researching hidden aspects of sports takes a lot of my time.  If you share my sports interest and are in the Bloomington area, see the Sports Open House section.  As always, everything is under construction right now.